Aahana Kumra: On OTT, variety of roles for female actors is refreshing | Web Series - Hindustan Times
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Aahana Kumra: On OTT, variety of roles for female actors is refreshing

By, New Delhi
Jul 16, 2022 12:58 PM IST

Aahana S Kumra feels blessed to be a part of the OTT boom where relatable yet varied scripts are the norm.

For actor Aahana S Kumra, the most exciting aspect of OTT is that one never knows what would be “offered next” to them. “The web is an exciting space for us. You can reimagine and invent yourself,” she tells us.

Actor Aahana Kumra, has been a part of a variety of web shows such as Marzi, Official CEOgiri, Sandwiched Forever and Betaal, and recently portrayed a grey character in Avrodh 2.
Actor Aahana Kumra, has been a part of a variety of web shows such as Marzi, Official CEOgiri, Sandwiched Forever and Betaal, and recently portrayed a grey character in Avrodh 2.

And this is something that is rare for female actors, she feels. “It (the variety of roles being written) is absolutely refreshing for a female actor. For men, there are so many different roles/parts written, and women get typecast. Everyone stereotypes you so much that even you start believing ki hum issi type ke roles hi kar sakte hai bas. But sometimes you get pleasantly surprised, and they (makers) give you a role that you wouldn’t have ever imagined yourself in,” says Kumra.

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Aahana says she’s overwhelmed by the positive response she has received for Avrodh 2.
Aahana says she’s overwhelmed by the positive response she has received for Avrodh 2.

The actor, who has been a part of a variety of web shows such as Marzi, Official CEOgiri, Sandwiched Forever and Betaal, recently portrayed a grey character in Avrodh 2. Talking about the experience, she says she had never imagined being cast in a negative role, and is overwhelmed by the positive response she has received for it. “I really like the idea of playing a villain... something like a SRK (actor Shah Rukh Khan) in Darr (1993). Samar Khan, my producer, imagined it for me. It’s amazing. It has opened up a new space for me,” she says.

Further opining what makes OTT such a hit with viewers, Kumra says relatable stories and characters on the medium do the trick. “There are so many times I am watching a show, and I think, ‘Oh this happened [with me]’. Shows like Panchayat and Gullak are some of my favourites. The earnestness in the character, performances and writing was very relatable in Panchayat. And, since I am from a middle class [family] in Uttar Pradesh, I could identify with the characters in Gullak. I feel relatability with a character is very integral,” she says, adding that larger-than-life stories only work on the big screen.

Does that mean she prefers working only on the digital medium and not on the big screen? She shares, “I am very happy to work in a big film if it’s offered to me because it opens avenues for you as it generates employment, and you’re seen a lot more. But I also feel on OTT, even the smallest shows gets picked up because of word of mouth.”

As many A-listers such as Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit Nene also venture into the OTT space, Kumra opines it’s happening because “they are being offered the kind of work they want to do”. She elaborates, “In films, they are stuck with a certain type of a role. They also want to play characters which are relatable. For instance, in Family Man, (actor) Manoj Bajpayee’s character became so relatable because he has the same problem any middle class man — being a father to rebellious kids and struggling to balance his work and his wife’s expectations. People saw the relatability in the story.”

Author Tweets @Nainaarora8

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