Hina Khan opens up about her journey from television to the OTT

2020 has been good to Hina Khan. After making Bollywood debut with Hacked earlier this year, the actor also got into the OTT space with Unlock and Damage 2. Next, she will be seen in Wishlist, a web movie that she has started shooting post her 2019 red carpet outing at Cannes.

Termed as a romantic film, the movie that sees Hina play Shalini, released on MXplayer last week, and is so far getting good reviews. Talking about the same Hina says, “At some places Shalini is a clear reflection of who I’m as a person. I’ve emerged as a strength and an inspiration to my family in many ways. There is a really strapping dialogue from the film, which has become a take-away for me personally as well. The lines are, ‘Log khushi khushi jeena to jante hai, par khushi khushi marna nahi jante.’ As an individual, I’ve learnt that one should live every moment to the fullest, and spend as much time as they can with their loved ones.”

After spending eight long years playing the lovable adarsh Indian bahu, Akshara’ in Star Plus’s famed family drama, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Hina had become a household name. She then went on to play a diametrically opposite character, from that of the perfect bahu to the perfect villain in Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2!

The Kasautii Zindagii Kay redux saw her step into the shoes of Urvashi Dholakia to play one of the most favourite villains of Indian television, Komolika Basu, with equal ease. She then went on to participate in reality shows like Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi (season 8) and Bigg Boss (season 11), and in both she proved to be a tough fighter and emerged as the first runner up. Earlier this year, she also made her Bollywood debut with Hacked.

According to Hina, it is the lure for the new that keeps her going. “As an actress, I would like to be part of every genre, and play an array of roles during the course of my career,” She says.

Speaking of her departure from television she adds, “Change is only constant, and growth is quite essential. I’ve enjoyed playing Akshara, but by playing Shalini in the web film Wishlist has not only helped me cross a milestone in my acting career, but I’ve also lived my Wishlist!” quips Hina.

It is important that the industry and the audience step out of their comfort zones, and view things from an open perspective sans the horse blinders

She goes on to explain that television stars are often boxed and bracketed in a certain category. Hence they often find themselves playing a similar role on a loop; and breaking out of the loop seems exceedingly difficult. Also as a medium, television is a very family-oriented space. The content on OTT caters to the likes of a particular individual, and cannot be coined as a family-centric medium of entertainment.

“In the OTT space, TV stars are given an opportunity to dabble with an array of roles, and genres. The narratives are far more layered, giving us as actors a chance to experiment with a variety of characters and style (of acting). Yes, indeed, one has to work really hard to enjoy the fruits that the medium can deliver you to. Moreover, one receives validation almost as immediately as the web film/series is released.”

She goes on to add that it is not only the actors, but also the audience that needs to drag themselves out of their comfort zones if they want to watch better content. “Perhaps a lot of the audience overlooks the kind of skill set we are actually armed with. Our ability to perform is unmatched, but we often get boxed or categorised for playing that part that we once played. It is important that the industry and the audience step out of their comfort zones, and view things from an open perspective sans the horse blinders,” she concludes.

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