Silence 2 actor Manoj Bajpayee: Nobody is a superstar on OTT; I’m happy to be relevant and working

Silence 2 actor Manoj Bajpayee: Nobody is a superstar on OTT; I’m happy to be relevant and working

Actor Manoj Bajpayee is perhaps one of the few mainstream actors who has maintained a fine balance between his OTT projects and theatrical releases. Even on the streaming, he has tried hand at long format shows such as The Family Man, Killer Soup to web only films including Dial 100, Gulmohar, Sirf Ek Bandaa Kafi Hai, Mrs Serial Killer and Silence… Can You Hear It?

Manoj Bajpayee was last seen in Silence 2
Manoj Bajpayee was last seen in Silence 2

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Overwhelmed with the kind of variety to pick and choose from, the actor says, “This is the USP of OTT platforms where you can experiment a lot with so many genres. And then you can include so many details to make each of them much more authentic and credible. That’s the freedom this medium gives you.”

Talking about murder mysteries and thrillers in particular that have become a hot pick on the web, Bajpayee, who stars in the recently released Silence 2: The Night Owl Bar Shootout, states, “I personally think that investigative thrillers and murder mysteries works in every medium because it has its inherent drama that keeps you engaged throughout. They have always worked in theatres as well, and on OTT, we have more takers.”

However, as an artiste, Bajpayee refutes that the approach changes when it comes to shooting for an OTT or a theatrical release. “The approach doesn’t change because you are working for the camera. But yes, when you are working in a long format series, you have much more time and freedom to give to many other facets of the character and the story and dwell on the nuances. Whereas in a film, you only have a specific time to do everything in it,. so that’s the only difference I notice,” he notes, adding, “Even for the directors and editors, the editing pattern and the process to take a shot will change.”

Here, Bajpayee addresses the debate around star culture that has for long plagued the streaming space. The actor opines, “Nobody is a superstar on OTT. Each and every person who knows his job is a superstar for a particular point of time when the audience is watching their content. So for me, it’s a great time to be working on OTT. I am still working and I am still relevant, and I thank God for that.”

The 55-year-old, who got immense critical acclaim for Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai (2023) — the only film to release on OTT and then head to theatres — says that the best part about the medium is no pressure of box office numbers, and that, in a way, has democratised the whole industry.

“During the pandemic, there was no other medium that was entertaining the world other than OTT. The audience was getting exposed to a plethora of content, mainly the Indian audience, which was earlier bombarded only with one kind of mainstream cinema all the time. They didn’t have any other choice,” he continues, “So, OTT platforms started to churn out regional, international, and all other kind of content. Many audiences from the Hindi belt started watching Malayalam content, and vice versa. Look at the ground now, it has completely changed. Tamil actors are working in Hindi shows, Hindi speaking actors are seen in Telugu and Tamil films. The exchange has only increased.”


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