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Ankur Bhatia on OTT censorship: Some makers have taken liberty for granted

Ankur Bhatia will next be seen in Aarya 2.

Shaheen
Jul 05, 2021
 
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Ankur Bhatia.

Ankur Bhatia, who was last seen in Sushmita Sen’s comeback show Aarya, is all geared up for the second season of the show. Ahead of its release, we at OTTplay got in touch with the actor, who exclusively spoke about working with the actress, OTT censorship, Crackdown 2 and more.

Excerpts from the interview:

What has your time during the partial lockdown been like? Were you shooting?

I shot for Aarya in January-March. We had to dub for Aarya in a studio but couldn’t because of the lockdown, hence we recorded from our homes. I did it while in the US with my family. Apart from that, I did Crackdown, which was released on Voot. The same happened with that series too. We began shooting for Aarya season 2 in Jaipur in February. We shot there for a month and when we moved to Mumbai, Maharashtra went on a complete lockdown.

Aarya became quite the name when it released. What are your expectations with Aarya 2?

I agree. Aarya did garner a lot of accolades from the viewers across the globe. I had a ball shooting the second season. My character is more developed, central with a bigger graph this time. So I’m really excited to be a part of the second season. I’m sure people will enjoy seeing me.

How do you select your script when it comes to web series?

It shouldn’t be too similar to what I’ve done in Aarya or Crackdown. I’ve done movies before this and even then, I maintain not to repeat characters. I always look at it in a way that if the character goes out of a story, will it make a huge impact to the story? If my answer is yes, then I go for it. I’ve done projects that haven’t released but I love all of those characters. I wish to show people more variety of work.

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What are your views on the censorship debate for OTT?

I have a mixed view. To a certain extent, I feel there shouldn’t be censorship because the platform is doing so great. People developing the content have freedom to show what’s happening. The shows are appreciated for the rawness and reality. At the same time, some shows have taken advantage of the liberty and gone overboard with it. Kids have easy access to TV and such shows could corrupt their mind. So I feel there should be a boundary so that kids don’t get corrupted.

What is your experience working with Sushmita?

We have all become a big large family so we talk frequently. We even enjoyed the success of season 1 and it was a reunion for season 2.

You are also a part of Crackdown 2. What is the status of that show?

Yes, I am a part of it. I’m very excited for it. Season 1 was more of a setting ground for the second season. Here my character Tarikh will come in full colours. It is where all the action for me begins. It’s ready to roll sometime soon. Hopefully, we’ll start shooting once lockdown is over.

Would we be seeing you in more web shows or web movies in the future?

Yes, I’m sure. Unfortunately we have been slow for the last year, but I have Aarya and Crackdown season 2. I am in talks for other projects too but because of the lockdown, everything is slow. I just hope to do something exciting and different which could woo the audience.

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