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Exclusive! Smriti Kalra: OTT gives you the power on your fingertips to pause and play whenever you want

Smriti is gearing up to debut in movies with her upcoming comedy-drama film Cash opposite Amol Parashar.

Sunidhi Prajapat
Nov 17, 2021
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Smriti Kalra

Smriti Kalra rose to fame with her titular character in the famous TV series titled Suvreen Guggal. The actress, who started her career in 2009 with the daily soap 12/24 Karol Bagh, has always been seen in different roles in all her shows. She is now back on screen and ready to debut in Bollywood. Bankrolled by Vishesh Bhatt, the upcoming comedy film Cash stars Smriti opposite Amol Parashar.

In a recent chat with OTTplay, the actress shared her journey as an actor and her views on OTT platforms. Smriti also revealed about her upcoming projects and more. Excerpts:

What Cash is all about and your character in the film?

The film is fun, entertaining. It’s going to be a situational comedy and a family entertainer. It is something that concerned you and me when it happened- the demonetization. Cash is so much fun and relatable.

I’ve been very lucky because I get to work in Vishesh Bhat’s production as my first film. They are known to launch a series of actresses and to give chances to new talents. The script is amazing. The minute I got to read the script, I decided that I’ll have to do this because I’ve never really done comedy. My characters from my four TV shows were versatile but none of them had a comedy factor into it.

I play a character named Neha, who is a jugadu girl. She's a real estate agent and she can manipulate anyone very easily. She is sexy but selfish as well. She is a character that I’ve never played and she never smiles, which is why I always like to smile and laugh.

In the song Tera Hua, we’ve seen some cute kisses and romantic scenes of you and Amol, how did the two of you break the ice?

So from the trailer and the song Tera Hua, the audience must have figured out that Neha (Smriti) and Armaan (Amol) are not very usual as a couple. The girl is alpha and she goes for the kiss which is again not very common. Honestly, there was no ‘breaking the ice’ because during the shoot our director, Rishabh Seth, organized the set then he came to us and mentioned the scene and told us to kiss just like that. I am really shy, so when we started shooting the kissing scene, my hand, which was on Amol’s chest, started shaking badly and I didn’t even realise it. Rishabh still teases me for the same.

First, you worked with a leading news channel, then worked as RJ and now acting. How has the transition been and how has your journey been till now?

We have only one life and we should try everything. When I started off, I studied science and then I did my honours in journalism, then I thought to pursue MBA as well. But when I was in college, there was an RJ hunt going on and I randomly participated in it and got selected among 35000 participants all over the country. So I tried out and after that one of my friends asked me if I would like to do theatre, I agreed to that as well and tried it. After my first live performance, I thought that I failed miserably but actually, everyone liked my performance.

After my first TV series, which was 12.24 Karol Bagh, I thought that I’m done with acting because I was being typecast for a long time. But eventually started getting to play various characters, so I continued acting which has now landed me in this film.

You haven’t been very consistent on the screen. Would you say that you always wait for the right project?

Absolutely. Yes, it is by choice that I keep taking breaks. So, in my first show, I played an elder woman, then I played a schoolgirl in my next and then a grey character in Dil Sambhal Ja Zara. I also did a few short films in between and now I’m playing a comic character in Cash. So, to get different and fresh roles, you have to wait very patiently.

Now with theatres opening all over the country, do you believe that people will still consume OTT the way they did during the pandemic period?

Absolutely. OTT gives you that choice to stream your favourite shows and films from anywhere and everywhere. And nowadays we are always in a rush and have busy schedules but now we can start our shows from where we left off in the middle of the day. With OTT, you have the power on your fingertips to pause and play whenever you want to. OTT is like a buffet 24/7.

I’m glad that we have a whole scenario of the digital platforms because now we can see the healthy competition between theatres and TV as well.

What’s your take on the censorship on the OTT platforms?

With freedom comes responsibility. I feel we have the freedom to show different contents but at times we need to be monitored. At the same time, if we are responsible enough, we do not need censorship of someone telling us what's okay and what’s not.

Do you think that the OTT boom has increased the shelf life of actors?

Yes, it has. We can get to witness as many talents as many platforms the actors will get to showcase their forte.

What’s next after Cash?

I have just wrapped up an untitled film in Sikkim. It is a psychological romantic thriller and I’ve played a character that I’ve never done before. I have Vinay Pathak with me, who is one of the most talented actors and Vikram Chatterjee, who is a heartthrob of the Bengali film industry. I have also done a project with amazon audible and I’ve given my voice for erotica.


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