Supriya Pathak Kapur also speaks about her back-to-back OTT releases with Tabbar and Rashmi Rocket.
In a career spanning four decades, Supriya Pathak Kapur has made a mark in the world of television and movies. In 2021, she created a storm in the OTT world with back-to-back releases like Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi, The Big Bull, Toofaan and Mimi. She also made her web-series debut with Cartel, which is currently streaming on ALTBalaji and MX Player.
Now, the actor is gearing up for the release of Tabbar which will drop on SonyLIV. The series also features Pavan Malhotra, Gagan Arora, Sahil Mehta, Paramveer Cheema, Nupur Nagpal, Ranvir Shorey and Kanwaljit Singh.
Ahead of Tabbar's release, Kapur spoke at length about the series, OTT as a medium, regularisation on the web and more.
Excerpts from the conversation are below:
You have back-to-back OTT releases, Tabbar and Rashmi Rocket, in the same week. It's a different clash between a web series and a movie, what do you have to say about it?
I don't know whether it's good or bad that I can't say. But I'm very excited about the fact that hopefully, people will be able to see two different personalities, two different characters and enjoy both of them. The difference between a film and a web series is that the series is a long stretch, so you have more time to explore the character. In the film we all have these two hours, so we work on that. Also in Rashmi Rocket, the story is about Taapsee Pannu's character Rashmi. So, it's a different space altogether for me. In Tabbar, the story is of the family and it has a different space for me. I think it will be an interesting watch and I feel that for the audience who are coming on OTT platforms, it doesn't matter whether they're coming together or not. People are going to watch it when they have the time. The fact that there was Mimi came before with The Big Bull, Toofaan and also Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi. All these have come but people have watched it at different times. They all are stories that I feel are exciting enough for people to watch.
You have had releases on OTT every two months from Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi to even Cartel. As a medium, what do you have to say about OTT?
I think it's a fabulous medium, I have always believed it. Because of the lockdown, because of people having to stay at home and because there were no releases, there was no other entertainment due to lots of reasons. But to me, it was a very important medium from the beginning. It has a lot of potential. It is also scary because we have a kind of follower mentality that if one thinks others will too. I hope we don't do that, I hope we give our audiences different genres to watch because we have that prospect. I have not seen much of Indian OTT but when I have seen the global OTT films and shows. They are fabulous and so well made. They are talking about so many different aspects of life in different genres. I hope we can do that, too. Recently, whatever has been released in which I've seen a little bit of most of it is all about the underworld, the underbelly of all kinds of different areas, or marital affairs, lesbian and all that. Everything seems very dark, I wish we would come to the other side, there is a comedy which we haven't touched at all. I have not seen a show which has humour, which has been released recently. Tabbar I feel is a story of totality, there is a lot of dark, but it's a story based series and not an area-based. So I think it will be a little different. Cartel was just underworld again, I am hoping to do a show, which is not like that. But I thought because we also have the films releasing on OTT, that is good because that has a lot more diverse subjects.
What was it about Tabbar that intrigued you?
It's a very interesting story. When I talked to the director Ajitpal Singh who is the director on a Zoom call for the first time, I realized he is a very interesting person. I thought when I meet somebody like that over a Zoom call and he can connect with me, that somewhere works for me. So I would personally say I did this for Harman Wadala, who is the writer and for Ajitpal who is the director.
The trailer for Tabbar has been cut mysteriously. If you could describe your character without divulging much how would you do it?
Sargun is a woman who has come to terms with life and who has been living for her family and maybe curbed a lot of her own emotions or own desires to keep the family together, to make them happy and keep them satisfied. So I think she's a very typical mother in that sense. Then there is the woman who comes out of her and says, 'This is not what we bargained for, now how do we manage?' So it's a lot of shades, I won't reveal anything, but it has an emotional journey of this woman who from being a protective mother becomes a very protective mother. She has a kind transformation almost in her, coming to terms with her exploits is very difficult. So it's a very interesting journey.
A lot of people credit OTT as a medium that increased the shelf life of a female actor and a lot of characters for women are being written now. What's your take on that?
I think now everything has become very story-based. It doesn't matter whether it's female-centric or whose story you're telling. People want to watch different stories, they want to get involved with those characters, whether it's girl, boy, man, nothing matters. It doesn't matter whether you are a young person or an old person. If you have a story to tell, they are very interested in it. I have become happier because it's a story based thing now. That's what films, television and everything should be about. We are actual storytellers, whether we like it or not, we are not proposal makers, we are storytellers. Therefore we should keep telling stories of different kinds, which will inspire, which will create positivity and which will show you the negative but will give you hope.
So, do you think the definition of star power will also change with the medium of OTT?
Let's see what happens now with theatres reopening. Let's see what the audiences are looking for, I can't say it right now.
Having worked in different formats and even being a part of what one called 'art film', what's your take on the ongoing debate about censorship being drawn on OTT?
Well, I feel there should be regulation in watching or in making, but who is there to define that? There has to be somebody very logical to do that. It can't be illogical or say a 15-year old can't watch. Do you know what that 15-year old kid is watching? I don't know how to do it. But it would need to do some kind of work that helps the audience.