As the year 2020 comes to a close, we look at the fresh faces who gave some powerful performances. Movies or series on OTT platforms, they left an impact. These artistes have sure carved a niche for themselves in the world of entertainment.
Turning point: Pratik Gandhi
Many call him one of the undisputed stars of OTT. Primarily an actor in Gujarati theatre and cinema, Hansal Mehta’s biographical drama Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story has turned around Pratik’s career. He couldn’t agree more. “This year has been life-changing for me. My passion for acting has finally paid off.”
Good start: Alaya F
She is the new star-kind on the block. Daughter of former actress and talk show host Pooja Bedi, she played on-screen daughter of Saif Ali Khan and Tabu in Jawaani Jaaneman. After impressing with her debut act, Alaya has a three-film deal with Northern Lights Films and another one lined up with Pooja Entertainment.
Dewdrop in motion: Tanya Maniktala
The dazzling Lata of A Suitable Boy, a period drama based on Vikram Seth’s bestseller and directed by Mira Nair, Tanya owned every frame she was in. She was working as an advertising copywriter when her friend asked her to audition for a new production house and her life changed. The actress once confessed how blessed she feels to have been directed by Mira Nair. The director too is mighty proud of Tanya and describes her as ‘dewdrop in motion’.
Strong performance: Sharvari
She was due to make her film debut in Bunty Aur Babli 2 with Siddhant Chaturvedi, but Covid-19 changed the course of her career. Nonetheless, she proved her mettle in The Forgotten Army-Aazadi Ke Liye. She gave a powerful performance in the Kabir Khan-directed series.
Full justice: Ritwik Bhowmik
The lead actor of one of the most-watched Indian web series, Bandish Bandits, Ritwik Bhowmik, who essayed the role of Radhe Rathod, gave an absolutely amazing performance. Many say he beat 150 contenders to land the part of Radhe. He sure did justice to it.
First take: Shreya Chaudhry
The leading lady of Bandish Bandits, Shreya Chaudhary too was outstanding with her portrayal of Tammana Sharma, a young struggling pop singer. “The amount of love I received was overwhelming.”
Act one: Shirley Setia
YouTube singer-turned-actress Shirley Setia made her digital debut with Manisha Koirala-starrer Maska on Netflix, which has got her accolades. “I realised I loved acting once I started uploading my videos. I decided to take it up seriously and did a short course in acting at NIFA in New York. Once I moved to Mumbai, I auditioned for a lot of films. When I got selected for Maska, the director asked me to work on my dialect since I’ve lived in New Zealand mostly. It was a lot of hard work, but all that has paid off.”
Stroke of luck: Sadia Khateeb
Her maiden entry in the industry with Shikara was a stroke of luck. She was studying electrical engineering and had never auditioned for a film, but her picture with a friend brought her the opportunity. “Casting director Indu Sharma approached me for the role of Shanti Dhar. What happened after that is nothing but a fairytale. From becoming the character and living it to seeing it on the screen, it was the most magical three years of my life. I learnt so much and I feel truly blessed.”
Magical course: Aadil Khan
RJ Nasar of Naughty Nights became Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Shiv in Shikara, thanks to Aadil’s powerful voice. “It was like magic. The character I played in Shikara (Shiv) is a poet. So, Vidhu sir wanted to cast an actor with a certain kind of a voice. After a discussion about the character, Indu Sharma, the casting director, heard my show while she was driving home. Next day she called me to her office and asked me to test for this film. Indu really worked hard on me and helped me get into the skin of Shiv. After a few tests, finally Vidhu sir selected me.”