Actors Shouldn't Be Bothered Whether Their Films Release On OTT Or Theatres: Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Nawazuddin Siddiqui, whose next film Ghoomketu is directly releasing on streaming service Zee5, says that actors should not be bothered about whether their films open on the big screen or OTT platform.

A debate has been raging on about theatre releases vs OTT premieres ever since Amazon Prime Video announced last week that it would stream Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana’s Gulabo Sitabo and Vidya Balan’s Shakuntala, with six other big films, as cinema halls remain shut due to the coronavirus lockdown.

However, theatre owners and film exhibitors have strongly voiced their displeasure over the decision as it would add to their revenue loss.

When Nawazuddin Siddiqui was asked how he looked at the situation, he said, “When we were shooting this film, we shot it like we shoot films for theaters. In today’s time, I think OTT is the only way where people are able to watch films. So I don’t personally think that it really matters to actors. And actors shouldn’t be bothered about whether their films release on an OTT platform or in a theatre anyway. The fact that our films are able to release is a big deal in itself.”

Ghoomketu marks the reunion of Nawazuddin with his frequent collaborator Anurag Kashyap, who plays a corrupt and lazy cop in the movie. The actor said it was difficult for him to consider Kashyap a co-star because the latter has previously worked with him in the capacity of a director.

“It was very interesting because generally actors know where their co-stars will take a pause but it was a bit difficult to predict Anurag. So, while it was a lot of fun, I was never able to consider him a character. I always felt he was Anurag. I felt he might say ‘cut’ in between, and because he is a director, I also feared he would catch my mistakes,” said Nawazuddin.

The actor, who started his career with blink-and-miss roles like that of a terror suspect in Sarfarosh (1999), a pickpocket in Munnabhai MBBS (2003) and many others like Black Friday (2007) and Ek Chalis Ki Last Local (2007), has now become one of the most in-demand actors in the industry. The actor has an inspiring tale of how determination, persistence and talent never go unrewarded as it took almost 10 years of struggle for him to bag prominent roles in Bollywood.

"I started getting work 10 years ago only. The initial 10 years went in struggle (laughs). My aim is just to keep on working. It doesn't really matter whether I'll be offered small or supporting roles. I just want to keep working hard. I believe there are a lot of things that I still have to achieve in life," he said.

The actor, who is currently quarantining at his house in Budhana, Uttar Pradesh, said he has been making the most of his lockdown time by watching as many films as possible.

“I've watched over 80 films during the lockdown and I feel my acting style will change post lockdown. Because your thought process also changes when you get time to reflect. It feels like there will be a new start for me once the lockdown is over,” the actor concluded.

Ghoomketu, set in a wickedly playful backdrop, will start streaming on ZEE5 from May 22.