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From Raveena Tandon to Samantha Ruth Prabhu: Actors who made their OTT debut in 2021

Several actors had their films directly premiered on OTT platforms, skipping theatrical releases. 

Aishwarya Vasudevan
Dec 27, 2021

OTT debuts in 2021

2021 has been a year of many actors whose films skipped theatrical releases and premiered on OTT platforms directly. Well, many made their web series debuts and added a new feather to their cap. The finest example is Raveena Tandon, whose Netflix series Aranyak dropped in December of this year. While Samantha Ruth Prabhu made her much-awaited OTT series debut with Amazon Prime Video's The Family Man 2. Whereas Tamannaah featured in the Telugu web series 11th Hour on Aha Video and Kajal Aggarwal made her OTT debut with Disney+ Hotstar's horror series Live Telecast.

Actors who had direct-to-OTT releases this year are Mohanlal, Dhanush, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Taapsee Pannu, Tovino Thomas, Sidharth Malhotra, Nivin Pauly, Prabhu Deva, Kartik Aaryan, Kriti Sanon, and many others.

Learn about them in detail below.

Aishwarya Lekshmi
Aishwarya Lekshmi made her OTT debut with the Netflix original Tamil film Jagame Thandhiram, opposite Dhanush. Soon after that, the actor was seen in the Malayalam film Kaanekkaane opposite Tovino Thomas, which is currently streaming on SonyLIV.
Ankita Lokhande
Ankita Lokhande made her OTT debut by reprising her role as Archana in Pavitra Rishta 2, streaming on ZEE5. The actor was seen alongside Shaheer Sheikh in the series.
Arya was seen in the Tamil action thriller film Teddy, which premiered on Disney+ Hotstar earlier this year. The film also featured his wife, actor Sayyeshaa, as the female lead.
Bhoomi Shetty
Bigg Boss Kannada contestant Bhoomi Shetty made her Kannda debut with Ikkat, which streamed directly on Amazon Prime Video in 2021. The movie features Nagabhushana in the lead role.
Dhanush made it to OTT with the Netflix original Tamil flick Jagame Thandhiram, directed by Karthik Subbaraj. Soon after that, the actor played the leading role in Atrangi Re, which premiered on Disney+ Hotstar.
Farhan Akhtar
Farhan Akhtar made his OTT debut with Toofaan, which premiered on Amazon Prime Video. The sports drama reunited Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Farhan after Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
Jayam Ravi
With his 25th film, Bhoomi, Jayam Ravi made his OTT debut. The film was released on Disney+ Hotstar on the occasion of Pongal 2021.
Kartik Aaryan
Kartik Aaryan made his Netflix and OTT debut with Ram Madhvani's Dhamaka, which he shot during the coronavirus pandemic. The film is the only release from the actor this year and also features Amruta Subhash and Mrunal Thakur in the lead roles.
Kriti Sanon
Kriti Sanon had two OTT releases this year. She made her web debut with Mimi, in which she plays the titular role. The film is streaming on Netflix and Jio Cinema. Her second release, Hum Do Hamare Do, is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
After eight long years, Mohanlal returned as the iconic character Georgekutty in the sequel Drishyam 2. The film, directed by Jeethu Joseph, skipped the theatrical release and made it to OTT on Amazon Prime Video.
Nivin Pauly
After a no-show in 2020, Nivin Pauly made his OTT debut with the Malayalam film Kanakam Kaamini Kalaham, which premiered on Disney+ Hotstar.
Prabhu Deva
Prabhu Deva's Pon Manickavel marked the 50th film of Prabhu Deva and also his OTT debut. The film, also featuring Nivetha Pethuraj, premiered on Disney+ Hotstar.
Prithviraj Sukumaran
Prithviraj Sukumaran had three OTT releases in 2021, starting with Cold Case, which premiered on Amazon Prime Video. The actor-filmmaker was then seen in Kuruthi and Bhramam, both streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Raveena Tandon
Raveena Tandon made her much-awaited OTT debut with the Netflix series Aranyak. In the Whodunnit series, the actor plays the role of a cop named Kasturi Dogra.
Reba Monica John
After featuring in Malayalam and Tamil movies, Reba Monica John made her Kannada debut with Rathnan Prapancha, which was directly released on Amazon Prime Video. The film stars Dhananjay in the lead role.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu
Samantha Ruth Prabhu created a storm on OTT with her web series debut, The Family Man: Season 2, in which she plays the antagonist named Rajalekshmi Sekharan, aka Raji. The actor earlier turned host with Sam Jam, which premiered on Aha Video.
Sidharth Malhotra
Sidharth Malhotra had a no-show in 2020, and finally, his much-awaited Shershaah was released this year. However, Shershaah skipped a theatrical release and premiered on Amazon Prime Video, which marked the actor's OTT debut.
Taapsee Pannu
Taapsee Pannu featured in three films released on three OTT platforms this year. Her first film this year was Haseen Dillruba, which premiered on Netflix, followed by Annabelle Sethupathi on Disney+ Hotstar and Rashmi Rocket on ZEE5.
Tovino Thomas
Tovino Thomas' first release of 2021 is Kala, which premiered on Amazon Prime Video. Soon after that, the actor was seen in Kaanekkaane on SonyLIV. Tovino has signed off the year with one of his biggest releases, Minnal Murali, which is streaming on Netflix.
Late actor Vivek's OTT debut, LOL: Enga Siri Paappom, premiered on Amazon Prime Video posthumously. The Tamil Amazon Original series was also co-hosted by Shiva. The actor passed away on April 17, 2021.
Eesha Rebba
Eesha Rebba made her OTT debut earlier this year with the Netflix Telugu anthology titled Pitta Kathalu. The actor was a part of the segment titled "Pinky," in which she played the titular role.
Kajal Aggarwal
Kajal Aggarwal made her OTT debut with a Tamil web series titled "Live Telecast." The horror thriller series premiered on Disney+ Hotstar earlier this year.
Nabha Natesh
The Telugu remake of Andhadhun, Maestro, marked the OTT debut of Nabha Natesh in which she was seen alongside Nithiin and Tamannaah Bhatia. The actor played the role that was originally played by Radhika Apte. The film premiered on Disney+ Hotstar.
Nandamuri Balakrishna
The veteran Telugu actor Nandamuri Balakrishna made his OTT debut as a talk show host with Unstoppable with NBK. The show is currently streaming on Aha Video.
On Disney+ Hotstar, Nithiin made his entry into the world of OTT with Maestro. The film is the Telugu remake of the hit Hindi film Andhadhun, and he played the lead role, originally featuring Ayushmann Khurrana.
Tamannaah Bhatia
Tamannaah Bhatia made her web series debut with the Telugu series titled "11th Hour." The crime thriller series streams on Aha Video. Soon after that, she had an OTT release with Maestro streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

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