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Exclusive! Bhool Bhulaiyaa's Chhote Pandit, Rajpal Yadav predicts next 10 years will be golden decade due to OTT

Yadav will next be seen in the ZEE5 film Ardh, also starring Rubina Dilaik. Directed by Palash Muchhal, it will release on ZEE5 on June 10.

  • Akhila Damodaran

Last Updated: 09.43 AM, Jun 07, 2022

Exclusive! Bhool Bhulaiyaa's Chhote Pandit, Rajpal Yadav predicts next 10 years will be golden decade due to OTT
Rajpal Yadav in Ardh/YouTube screengrab

Ardh is one of the most-anticipated films by ZEE5 this year. It follows the story of a man from the lower strata of society, who aspires to become an actor. He is forced to act like a transgender and beg at traffic lights to earn a living for himself and his family. The trailer of the film, which was released recently, shows glimpses of the story of that man Shiva (played by Rajpal Yadav). It has been gaining a lot of popularity as it shows Rajpal in a different light. Directed by Palash Muchhal, the film also marks the Bollywood debut of the female lead Rubina Dilaik. The Bigg Boss 14 winner plays the role of Shiva's doting wife. The film Ardh is all set to release on ZEE5 on June 10.

OTTplay caught up with the lead actors of the film Ardh to speak about the film, their journeys, their struggles and how OTT has given a new lease of life to the artists and technicians working in the entertainment industry. Excerpts:

The trailer of Ardh looks interesting. It is getting very good responses as well. How are you feeling?

Rubina: It's extremely gratifying. When you work so hard and be diligent and the audience reciprocates it, I think it is a humbling experience.

Rajpal: I am feeling great. The response is good. Everyone has worked so hard on it. It feels very good when an artist is a part of a good project that gets a good platform. It's an exhilarating experience.

Could you tell us about your characters?

Rajpal: Shiva is a married and family man. He has a son. A person does not just live his life, he lives his dream too. Mujhe lagta hai ke mujhe jeevan se juda hua character jeene ko mila, jisme roti, kapda aur makaan hai, survival bhi hai, aur career bhi. I got to live a life that I see around me. The usual anxieties that you see in people around you and get to live it, it's a different feel.

Rubina: Madhu is a wife who believes her husband's dreams are her own. She is relentless, she is always there for shiva. She knows how important it is for Shiva to become an actor. She has given up on her dream or desire of living a fancy life because she wants to support shiva. That is something very relatable, especially for Indian housewives who dedicate their lives to their families, and their husbands. It's a small tribute to every Indian woman who's there for her family.

The film portrays the struggles of an aspiring actor. How do you relate to it? What has your journey in the entertainment industry been like?

Rubina: Everyone has their own struggles. Everybody has their own way of overcoming them and learning from them and moulding themselves back again from them. So I have my own set of struggles, firstly adapting to the way of living in Mumbai because I belong from the mountains, where life is quaint and serene and I belong from a family of academicians. So, coming into the entertainment business was entirely the opposite and I was learning everything from a new standpoint of view. Ardh is going to be my very first Bollywood film. I am again relearning things and beginning my career again.

Rajpal: I don't have any theory. Everybody's struggles are different. Everybody's background has been different. Some come from film institutes, some from a theatre background and other backgrounds. There's nothing like agar ye karoge to struggler manege. Everybody has their own experiences. Everyone is building a life through their careers. Say, two boys are staying under the same roof, yet their journeys would be different. Aur ussi ka maza hai. I can't express it in words and there's no such thing as correct or wrong. Whatever path has worked for a person to build his career is correct for him. I consider my journey magical as for the last 20 to 25 years, it's been a hectic life, be it theatre or any platform. Entertainment industry ko hawa ka business kehte hai. Whatever you imagine, you pen down on the paper and turn it into a reality, putting all your heart into it. That's how a film is made. There's a story behind every person, which makes for a book in itself.

I must say you look great in the trailer and the way you have worn a saree is like a pro. How did you pull that off?

Rajpal: I got very good support from the unit. All departments have supported me well. I think that is why I could carry what I don't wear on a regular basis so easily. As an actor, it gives me happiness that I was able to carry it properly but it's all teamwork. The entire credit goes to the team.

How was the experience working on the film? Was it challenging to play Shiva?

Rajpal: It was a great experience. When you are from a theatre background, it helps you understand the emotions of the character and then live as per them. There's one interpretation of Shiva and Parvati by the director. Even when I wear Parvati's clothes, there's still Shiva in me and when I take on Shiva's role, there's Parvati inside me. This character aspires to lead a good life. He wants to fulfil his dreams in front of his family. Usmein kuch kar guzarne ki tamanna hai. I enjoyed playing Shiva and getting to learn a different psyche of a person.

Rubina, this is your first Bollywood film. Most actors say that they prefer to see themselves on big screens. Why did you choose OTT for the film debut?

It would be very narcissistic for me to say that I would love to see myself on the big screen. I would love to perform something that people would love to watch. For me, the medium does not matter. If the film is meant to be on OTT, it was meant to be on OTT. So, it doesn't really bother me. There's no bone of contention that I wanted to be seen on the big screen. I wanted to be presented with a good character so that my first step in the film industry be memorable. The success or failure of the film is in the hands of the audience but I've made an earnest attempt towards my character. The rest will unfold on the release date and then we'll know whether it was a wise decision or not.

You've mainly been into television and artists say that it prepares you well to perform in any other medium as it involves hours of shooting for days and years. So what was your transition like? Was it challenging or easy?

Rubina: Acting is acting. There is no transition. It's not like you need to act differently in films and TV. It's not like that. Transition happens in each and every project you associate yourself with. You learn new things. It's just that sometimes, you are on television, sometimes you are on OTT or 70 mm. Transition project ke hisab se hoti hai, platform ke hisab se nahi. As an actor, you have to constantly work on yourself and evolve. That is very important, otherwise, you will be stagnant, and you will never grow or experience or explore. So all these things are important for an individual. It is an individual's choice. I make these choices even when I doing a television show or an OTT show.

How has life been after winning Bigg Boss 14?

My life has been exposed to more love and criticism. That's all I can say about it.

With the advent of OTT, do you think it is the best time now to be an actor?

Rajpal: It has given an opportunity for good content and different varieties of concepts to be presented. It has given us a platform to release our work. It has given a sense of security. OTT has made a good place amongst TV and big screens. It has also given opportunities to thousands of people from different fields like technicians. Because of OTT, it's been a good time. It will be a golden year for the next decade. So keep doing good work and release them.

Rubina: He's predicting it already. He's rightly said it. With more mediums, with more OTT platforms coming into play, many actors are getting that specific opportunity to portray himself or herself. A lot of creations are happening, and we are in such a diversified field and multilingual community now. OTT has given an absolutely new face to our industry and we are blooming and blooming.