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Exclusive! Ankush: I will explore OTT more as big stars like Shahid Kapoor and Vijay Sethupathi are also working in this space

Ankush talks to us about the character Keshto of Shikarpur and the dispute regarding Mirza. Read on… 

Exclusive! Ankush: I will explore OTT more as big stars like Shahid Kapoor and Vijay Sethupathi are also working in this space
Ankush as Keshto in Shikarpur
  • Shamayita Chakraborty

Last Updated: 07.47 AM, Jan 08, 2023

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With Shikarpur on Zee5, Ankush debuted on OTT. By his admission, he is keen to explore choices on OTT. Directed by Nirjhar Mitra, the web series also features Kaushik Ganguly, Sandipta Sen, Debashish Mondal, and others. Ankush plays the protagonist – a detective in a small town. While the web show has started bagging positive reviews, Ankush talks to us about the character Keshto and the dispute regarding Mirza. Read on…

Your character in Shikarpur is nothing like the way your fans are used to seeing you…

Our primary understanding was that – to make my character very different from the characters I have played so far. My character Keshto has his style. Our objective was to make him a different one. He has a way of walking, he thinks himself to be a great detective, and he has a certain attitude. All of these traits were planned so that Keshto becomes a unique character. I also wanted this character to be deeply associated with me so that no one else can play the character. For example, I cannot imagine Eken Babu being portrayed by some other actor apart from Anirbanda (Chakrabarti). I wanted Keshto to have my identity. Hence, I focussed on body language, diction, and so on. When I met Nirjhar (Mitra, director), he specifically told me not to make Keshto a pointless funny character. There have to be specific traits that will be a blend of my stardom, comedy out of that forced heroic attitude, and so on.

Your OTT debut is being praised. Will you work more on OTT?

I am open to any project. Many of my colleagues have this perception that one should not get into OTT at the peak of their career. I disagree. When I got the offer from Shikarpur, I had six films over the next two years in my bag. Many big stars, including Shahid Kapoor and Vijay Sethupathi, are debuting in the OTT space. If I get a good offer on OTT, then why not? I am open to working in films and OTTs, or hosting or judging television reality shows. I realised TV gives us way better reach than the box office. I don’t give too much importance to the size of the screen as long as I am there.

There has been a setback over your debut production, Mirza. How is it going?

The collaboration meetings are on and we are planning to go to the floors in the middle of this year. But we don’t want to rush.

How are you dealing with the setback?

Look, Bumbada (Prosenjit Chatterjee) always taught us to work with and encourage young people – artistes, directors, and producers. It is always safe to work with established names. But unless we take the risk of working with new and young people, how can we bring fresh talents on board? I have always followed this philosophy. However, there are possibilities of mistakes in this process also. I chose a group of incompetent people. People often fail to understand that these big houses today became big because of their sheer hard work for a long time. Anyway, It has been a learning experience. My audience will wait for me to release Mirza and that will happen. It is not easy to make a film. It involves a lot of hard work and we are confident to bring it through. I am not sad but hopeful.

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