I was a little snobbish for my web series ‘Rangbaaz’: Saqib Saleem

SHIKHA JAIN presents key observations from the roundtable discussion ‘Farewell 2018, Hello 2019: The new buzz in entertainment’ organised by The Free Press Journal, powered by Indian Oil

It has been a very interesting year for me. I did a big ticket film called Race 3 and I had never worked before in a big film before this. It was an experience for somebody who comes from Delhi and I was a fan boy on the set. I had Mr India (Anil Kapoor) and Prem Bhai (Salman Khan) in front of me and I had Soldier (Bobby Deol) next, so I was like what was happening? Please, pinch me! People gave a lot of love but I got equal criticism for the first time.

I had done smaller films — whether or not they worked — I was never criticised as an actor. So, I went into a space where I didn’t know what to do next. And then these web series came my way. I took it extremely lightly. I was also a little snobbish because I was unsure about it. But then I started seeing all the other actors starting work on the web and look where the web has reached now. I thought it’s better to be open to all the ideas and I have really enjoyed it. As a medium it’s the best way to express till the time the Censor Board doesn’t come in the way.

Budgets are really good for web series. My guard who was watching Bhojpuri films on his mobile is now watching Mirzapur — we have reached there. There is an audience which definitely wants to consume that content and before we weren’t reaching out to them because they didn’t have the money to go to the theatres to buy even a Rs 50 ticket. My father doesn’t have an attention span to watch a complete film and the last film he saw completely was Mughal-E-Azam.

He has not even seen my films entirely because he sits for 30 minutes and then falls asleep. He called me the other day and said, ‘Beta, tu web series hi kar’ because the episodes are short and hence he can see my work. I have done eight films but the amount of calls I have got for my web series Rangbaaz is incomparable.

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