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Saif Ali Khan: OTT is an honest medium, there’s more reality in it

The actor’s next big release Adipurush - starring Prabhas and Kriti Sanon - is releasing in June this year

Saif Ali Khan: OTT is an honest medium, there’s more reality in it
Saif Ali Khan

Last Updated: 10.33 PM, Mar 20, 2023


Saif Ali Khan, whose next big film Adipurush - starring Prabhas, Kriti Sanon, Amitabh Bachchan and Kajol - is all set to release later this year, has said that at a time when visually appealing movies are performing well at the box office, films that can bring families to the theatres are equally powerful. According to the actor, there is a need to understand the changing taste of theatre-going audiences. 

In an interview with PTI, Saif said, “I don’t think it has to be visually big, even though that’s what everyone’s saying. I think something that a family can watch together and enjoy might be good also. We should try and give them that experience, whatever it is.”

Citing the example of his 2021 horror-comedy film Bhoot Police that was released on OTT, Saif said he has now realised the importance of entertaining family audiences. “When I watch Bhoot Police with my family, or when I watch Mummy, I realise the power of a family horror movie that’s not really very scary… The kids enjoy, everyone’s cuddling up under a blanket. So, the idea of a film bringing a family together is powerful, which I had not realised. It’s a lovely thing to bring a family together,” the National Award-winning actor elaborated.


Bunty Aur Babli 2 (2021) and Vikram Vedha (2022) were his last two theatrical releases after the pandemic. “A change that has happened is if they like a movie, they really like it and it makes lots of money, more than before the pandemic actually. But if they don’t like it, then it makes less money than before the pandemic because nobody’s interested at all. So, it’s become a little more extreme,” said the Padma Shri awardee.

So, is he looking at scripts differently now? “No. I just go instinctively as usual.” He is also part of an upcoming audio series, titled Marvel’s Wastelanders: Star-Lord. The Hindi version will premiere on Audible, and run exclusively on the platform throughout 2023 and 2024.

The audio epic, which was originally launched as an English series in June 2021, comprises six seasons - Marvel’s Wastelanders: Star-Lord, Marvel’s Wastelanders: Hawkeye, Marvel’s Wastelanders: Black Widow, Marvel’s Wastelanders: Wolverine, Marvel’s Wastelanders: Doom and Marvel’s Wastelanders.

Saif said the offer for the podcast series came to him last year, and he instantly jumped at it, because he was keen to explore this new medium. “Audio work helps you develop your voice and your acting skills because sound is everything. Sometimes in movies we’re not so well trained with the sound. We should but we’re actually not. Some of these theatre guys who are in movies now, they are trained. But from our generation of guys, we haven’t had any formal training in voice and it’s so important.” 

Saif voices Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord - a hugely popular character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who is synonymous with Hollywood actor Chris Pratt in the movies. “It’s a completely different thing that’s written for audio. And therefore, any actor that’s playing it has to make it his own. So, it’s like a play… Somebody’s written like Hamlet, then somebody else has done it, and then you do it. Chris Pratt is great, this is an audio thing, which is a whole different story and world,” he explained. 

The actor, who recently announced that he will star in the Hindi adaptation of Danish-Swedish drama Bron/Broen (The Bridge), said he enjoys exploring the streaming world as the shows and characters are more real and closer to reality. For him, OTT platforms are ‘more liberating’ as an artist.

The actor made his OTT debut with the Netflix series Sacred Games (2018-2019) and followed it up with Amazon Prime Video show Tandav (2021). He said, “OTT doesn’t have rules and there’s no kind of worrying about pleasing everybody… There’s more reality, it’s more honest, whether you express love or your language, all these things that we don’t do in our movies so much. The web is more liberating because you can be more honest and you feel like you’re doing something that is more kind of connected to reality. We’re lucky as actors if you can do it all.” 

According to him, OTT platforms have exposed viewers to diverse content from different countries. “I’ve discovered so many international shows, like South Korean and German shows through Netflix. There’ll come a time when there’ll be people from different cultures and countries acting on a platform like that. And it is the future when people get onto the same kind of… like there is a globalisation of thought,” Saif summed up.

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