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They shattered the hierarchy of stardom: Sayani Gupta on rise of OTT platforms

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Rise of the popularity of OTT platforms in India has given opportunities to shine to many actors and Sayani Gupta is one of them. The actress who has been praised for performances in films like “Margarita with a Straw”, “Article 15” and “Jolly LLB” got her much-deserved success on the digital medium with shows like “Inside Edge” and “Four More Shots Please”.

Talking about the rise of OTT platforms Gupta says the rise of streaming platforms in the country has shattered the hierarchy of stardom with artistes today getting work democratically. OTT platforms have come as a boon for artistes who are now blessed with abundant opportunities, which the big screen would not have offered, she added.

“The hierarchy of stardom has been shattered in a big way. People now know you thanks to the internet and your shows. You no longer need to be a huge star to be cast in a show or a film. You are cast because you are right for the part. That’s what is the most important,” the actress said in an interview.

The Kolkata-born actor has been working in film industry for a decade now. She had three films released on OTT platforms, including “Pagglait”, which was one of the most critically-acclaimed movies of this year. Gupta also explained that how the changing dynamics of the entertainment industry has ensured that the demarcation between a theatrical film and a movie releasing on a streaming platform has completely vanished.

“While I don’t think that everything that’s coming out is great – it mostly isn’t, but there’s a lot of varied content that you can watch. As an actor, there couldn’t be a better time to be a part of the industry. A huge new horizon has opened in front of us. Now it doesn’t matter if your film is coming in a theatre or on OTT. Certain films were never meant for the big screen, now we know that they don’t have to. We are happy to watch a lot of shows and films on our own devices, it (the process) has become more intimate.” Gupta explained.

Sayani is currently lending her voice to the new Audible Original thriller “Buri Nazar”. A tale about “cultural miscommunications, family secrets, and the lingering echoes of trauma”, the audio show also voice stars Supriya Pathak and Rithwik Dhanjani as narrators.

The thriller chronicles the story of a mother who grows increasingly suspicious of her daughter’s new boyfriend as she is convinced that the Evil Eye, a curse that brings continuous misfortune, was cast upon her daughter in the womb.

Talking about how she was fascinated with the transformation of the show from a light-hearted family-dramedy to a supernatural thriller Gupta says, “I thought it was an interesting twist, you don’t quite expect what happens. I really liked the banter between the mother and the daughter, which is similar to what I have with my mother, although not on this topic. I was quite happy how it read and was thrilled to be doing it.”

“Buri Nazar” is told through a series of phone calls and voicemails and penned by playwright Madhuri Shekar. It is adapted into Hindi by Noopur Sinha.