Dheeraj Dhoopar, who plays the lead in Kundali Bhagya fame Dheeraj Dhoopar talks about industry’s myopic view towards the small screen artistes

Stereotypes have always been a part of the entertainment industry. Even popular TV actors sometimes find themselves battling stereotypes if aspire to bag a movie or an OTT project. Dheeraj Dhoopar, who is known for essaying the lead in Kundali Bhagya, talks about the myopic view of industry towards the small screen artists. In an interview with BT, he shares, “It’s a known fact that TV actors work extremely hard. We shoot almost every day. Even during the pandemic, when everyone had the liberty to resume work at their convenience, those associated with the TV industry got back to work.”

Talking about the OTT space Dheeraj says, “I am trying my luck in films and OTT, but I haven’t got a single call from a good OTT platform. Why does a maker on an OTT platform only approach a film star? I agree that actors across other mediums are very talented and hard-working. But we, too, have proved our mettle time and again. Then why don’t we get equal opportunities and respect like our Bollywood counterparts?”

When asked if this is because of over-exposure through daily soaps, he replies, “I believe that every actor, irrespective of the medium, is very exposed today. Why is that a handicap? Exposure translates into more following, and that’s what I bring to the table. My fight today is to get the respect I deserve.”

He adds, “I am a part of the entertainment industry and I shouldn’t be slotted as a TV artiste. If I become a part of OTT shows or films, I won’t be addressed by the medium I am acting on, right? I will still be called an actor, and that is what I am striving for. People say that the lines are blurring. But why was there a demarcation in the first place? Casting directors appreciate our talent, but the minute they get to know that we are from television, they change their minds. We shouldn’t be treated like a pariah. I want to explore every medium simultaneously. People assume that just because we are busy doing a daily soap, we won’t be able to take up another project. What if I can strike a balance between two projects?”

Talking about the discrimination by some established designers, Dheeraj shares, “When we approach renowned designers for clothes, we are often told that they don’t give their costumes to TV actors. The message is mostly sent across subtly. We are hailed for our fashion sense and can afford the costume. This doesn’t happen with a Bollywood actor. The medium shouldn’t be a yardstick for our talent and calibre.”

 

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