That OTT is the future of entertainment is no longer true. It has emerged as an alternative medium for entertainment and many may even agree that it is proving to be a stiff competition to theatres and multiplexes. And with the lockdown that called for all theatres to be shut and the on-going pandemic still looming large, several OTT platforms has become the go-to and the only choice for the audience. From crime thrillers to slice-of-life shows, web platforms offered an eclectic choice to the viewers. While some shows were spearheaded by the biggest names in showbiz, others saw emerging talents acting as the driving force behind the narrative.
We bring to you 7 actors who made their web debuts in 2020 and stood out for their impeccable performances and strong screen presence:
Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen made a powerful digital debut with Hotstar Special, Aarya. Back on screen after a decade, the actor played the titular character with elegance, restrained as well as gusto. Her transformation from being a dutiful mother and a homemaker to taking the reins of her husband’s business and dodging the eyes of the law enforcement as well as the mafia is simply remarkable. Needless to say, the role was tailor made for Sushmita. Her return to the screen was marked with a lot of excitement from her fans and her performance was widely lauded by the critics and the audience.
Karan Tacker, who made his debut as an actor with a television drama, emerged as a leading television star. Early this year, the talented actor forayed into the OTT space with Neeraj Pandey’s Special Ops, a Hotstar Special. His performance as a RAW agent was a testament to his versatility and he went on to receive wide acclaim for it. Needless to say, he struck gold with his first web show and proved his mettle with a character that he tried his hands on for the first time. Special Ops opened up interesting opportunities for Karan who has some exciting projects lined up.
Masaba Gupta is known to have redefined the straitjacketed definitions of beauty and fashion in the Indian fashion scene. In August 2020, she added a new feather to her when she marked her acting debut with Netflix’s Masaba Masaba, a fun and frothy take on her life and her relationship with her mother, actor Neena Gupta. Her effortless performance and charming screen space captured the attention of many. She received raving reviews from the critics, the audience and her peers alike. The couture designer and actor along with the makers of the series continue to receive requests from fans to revive Masaba Masaba for a second season.
The theatre and film actor, who carved a niche for himself in the Gujarati entertainment circuit, made his foray into the digital world with SonyLIV’s Scam 1992 based on the life and the times financial maven, Harshad Mehta. Even though all the actors won accolades for their performances in the web show, it was Pratik Gandhi who was the ultimate show stealer. His portrayal of a stock broker who starts out as a salesman and goes on to become a financial Czar in the money market was immensely appreciated. Needless to say, he has emerged as one of the most promising and sought-after actors in the world of Hindi entertainment.
With 8.4/10 rating on IMDb, bringing to audiences a perfect blend of spirituality, practicality and science, Voot Select's Asur takes you on a journey of Indian mythology and forensic science, through an immersive and gripping storyline. Packed with a bunch of supremely talented actors, each member of the cast of Asur, breathes life into their respective characters. The show marks the web debut of Arshad Warsi, who gained massive acclaim for leading the brigade with his fantastic portrayal of DJ a.k.a. Dr. Dhananjay Rajput, a forensic expert, along with Barun Sobti, who lends ample support with an intense performance as Nikhil Nair.
Ishwak Singh made many heads turn as a suave and charming man in Veere Di Wedding. But it was the Amazon Prime Original series, Paatal Lok, that proved his acting prowess and earned him good reviews from the audience and the critics. His portrayal of a badass cop from the heartland in his debut web series won him a lot of praises and he emerged as one of the most promising faces in showbiz. The actor will next be seen in Unpaused, an Amazon Prime Original anthology film where he will be seen playing a confidante to a married woman.