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Abigail Pande: Stereotyping only TV actors is a little unfair

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Actress Abigail Pande, who plays the role of Anushka, in the web series Dhappa, says that OTT has changed a lot in showbiz. The actress says that not only for members of the fraternity but even for viewers, OTT has opened up a lot more genres and opportunities. “OTT obviously has been one of the best developments in entertainment because, even for me, I have done TV all my life but just shifting to OTT even like watching web shows feels just different, new, fresh and I really admire that about OTT. It has just given you a lot of scopes, and opened up to different worlds of entertainment. The shows that I didn’t even imagine that I would watch, I did on OTT. Like the show called Panchayat; I really love that show and it is based on such simple beautiful stories. As an actor, too, you want to do a show like that. So, I think OTT has definitely opened up more options and opportunities for actors,” she says.

Ask her the genres she wants to be part of, and she says, “I think there’s no particular genre because as I said sometimes even small, simple shows can become so big and beautiful and it’s all about screenplay, stories, performances. I think all of that works in perfect alignment. Whatever type of show it is, based on whatever genre, whatever it belongs to, it just turns out to be beautiful. Very honestly there’s no particular character that I would play. But if there’s something like an action show, fighting scenes, all of that, I would love to do that.”

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However, the actress says that there is a dire need for people to stop stereotyping TV actors, and this, in turn, will lead to a healthy amalgamation between platforms. “I think there’s a lot of difficulties in getting into OTT for a TV actor. I think we are really stereotyped and it’s kind of unfair because for every platform, be it theatre, be it TV or be it films or web series, every platform has a different sort of acting. So, you can’t really blame someone for acting in a particular way. A good actor will always know how to perform according to the platform he or she is performing in. So, I think it’s a little unfair to categorise people. Right now, when a lot of people told me that you’ve done so much TV, I just found it weird. I don’t see that kind of differentiation when it comes to someone who has come from theatre. No one tells you, ‘Ohh my god you’re from theatre or you act like you’re on stage all the time.’ So stereotyping only TV  actors is a little unfair because I think it really takes away from the kind of hard work that we do,” she says.

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She adds, “TV has been in my life for the longest time, still it is and I love and respect whatever it has given me. But I also know we have worked for 30 days without a single break, worked for over 20-24 hours sometimes because at the end of the day telecast is most important. We receive scripts at the last minute and yet we are supposed to learn those lines and deliver with perfection. So, I think it’s really sad that people overlook all of that and just choose to categorise us in a certain manner and I think TV actors these days are doing phenomenal. A lot of TV actors have also made it to the web space and I think people should start realising that a good actor wherever he or she is from, doesn’t really matter as long as she/he knows how to perform for the platform they are performing on. It’s very difficult but there are a lot of good actors trying to make that change and I am sure that change will happen soon.”

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