Avinash Mukherjee: OTT has not taken over the market share of TV

MUMBAI: While many from the television fraternity might be scared of the web luring people away from the small screen, good looking actor Avinash Mukherjee is not one of them. The actor says that both the platforms have a very different audience. “India has a huge population and television is for an audience which has been there since the last 20 years. OTT has not taken over the market share of television. It has increased it.  It has created a new market of its own. Balika Vadhu in 2015- 2016 was running in 27 countries simultaneously in many dubbed languages from Romania to Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Srilanka, Dubai, America, Russia, Europe, everywhere. I have gone to an event and the number of people who came was unbelievable. Right now, any show on OTT has not received such a huge response. I am not saying that OTT will not receive that, all I am just trying to say is markets are different. Not only do we need more OTT platforms and content, but we also need more streams of content consumption,” he says.

While many believe that acting is acting, irrespective of the medium, the actor says that this not true. “I know some actors says acting is acting, be it any medium. But I believe that actors have the paramount responsibility of telling a story and doing justice to it. For the audience, we are not performing because we are actors, we are performing because we have been chosen to deliver a story. If you see, OTT is mainly consumed on a mobile device, television is mainly consumed through a small screen, theatre is consumed by a live audience, films are consumed through a big screen. So while the commitment to the craft doesn’t change, there need to be some nuances that change, which fits the medium,” he says.

Ask him who he derives inspiration from, and he says, “My inspiration and role models are Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Alpichino, and my Dad. I love all four as they have taught me 90 percent of things that I know about life and my craft.”

The actor has been part of varied projects and essayed versatile roles. When asked which project has been closest to his heart, Avinash says, “People ask me which show I like more, Shakti which I am doing right now or Balika Vadhu? The shows are being aired Balika Vadhu at the same time. Shakti replaced Balika Vadhu four years back. Balika Vadhu reminds me of my roots and that why that show is closer to me.”

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