The actress who kickstarted her career as a child actor, and was a part of blockbuster films such as Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Vaastu Shastra, Phoonk, Mohit Raina-starrer TV show – Devon Ke Dev… Mahadev, and last but not the least, My Friend Ganesha, Ahsaas Channa is now a young star, who has taken the OTT space by storm with her strong and badass onscreen character, Shivangi Ranawat from one of the much-loved and talked about Indian web series, Kota Factory.
And while Ahsaas is drawing accolades from both fans and critics for her stirring performance in her recent outing in one of the successful TVF franchises, the actress has also emerged as a social media star who keeps her fans hooked with her glam quotient and behind the scenes shenanigans from the sets.
Right after winning hearts of her fans as Shivangi in Kota Factory, the actress is back with her another web series titled Clutch, where she can be seen portraying the role of an ace gamer called Prachi. Clutch, which also stars Vishal Vashishta, Saurabh Ghadge, Pratiek Pachauri, and Tirth Joisher apart from Ahsaas Channa in the key roles, is apparently India’s first-ever web series which is based on E-sports. While the Ahsaas Channa starrer E-sports web series is streaming on YouTube, and have received thumbs ups for her stint as a gamer, we caught up with Ahsaas for a chat. Excerpts:
Q: Tell us about your web-series Clutch…
Clutch is India’s first-ever web series based on E-sports. It is a unique concept and it's very special, because we are able to talk about gaming and E-sports, and tell the world, especially Indians how important it is in today’s world and how big and legit E-sports is. Most people in India when they hear about E-sports, they don’t take it seriously, and think it’s just ‘time-pass’. People think you can’t really make a career out of it, which is so wrong! They don’t really know that are so many people who have been able to make a career out of it and earn a lot of money. There are so many people jinki puri rozi roti ussi se chalti hai! So, through this show we are trying to convey that E-sports or gaming can be someone’s career choice and it’s a big thing.
Q: How does it feel to be a part of India’s first ever E-sports web series?
I am honoured to be a part of it. I spoke to Aditya Khanna (one of the writers of Clutch) and then I came to know that this is the first-ever web series made on E-sports. I feel so lucky to be a part of it. So, after few years down the line, when people will talk about the first web series made on E-sports, then people will also talk about me, that yeah, Ahsaas was also a part of it (laughs).
Q: You are playing a role of an ace gamer in the web series, how did you prep for the role? And do you play any online games in real life?
I used to play PUBG a lot. But when it got banned in India, then we developed a story around it and created this web series. Mujhe toh pata tha kaise khelte hain, and luckily, we were playing Battlegrounds (Battlegrounds Mobile India) in the show so I didn’t really have to learn a new game altogether. I knew the basics of the game, because I had played enough, so it was easy for me to understand how it went. But there are some technical things that you need to keep in mind, because like if we are shooting the gaming scenes that time we are not actually playing, we are acting on the screen. So be able to bring out the same emotions and body language that we have when we play the game, like our hand movement, our body movement, the intensity, etc, need to be that of a player. But its tough to keep up with all these nuances because we are not playing the game, we are pretending to play. So, keeping up with the ways like how professional players actually play is a bit tricky.
Q: The dominance of young males is quite high in E-sports as compared to females, is your web series a take on such gender stereotypes when it comes to gaming?
I think not talking about it on the show is itself a message. Instead of schooling others ki ladkiyan game nahi khel sakti, we have directly portrayed that girls can play games. We have not focused on the lines like, ‘girls vs boys’, or ‘girls can’t play PUBG’, in the series we have tried to show that it's very natural for even girls to play games just like boys do. It’s nothing like ladki hai toh nahi kar paayegi, and then we are trying to prove her… instead we have shown it in a different way, ki ladki hai toh kar paayegi, because she is capable, simple!
Q: Jeetendra Kumar is one of the key characters in Kota Factory. How has been your experience working with everybody’s favourite ‘Jeetu Bhaiya’?
It has been great. He is a very humble, genuine and hard-working person. We have spent a lot of time off the screen also. Woh bahut hi sweet, seedhe aur down to earth person hain. He is a great actor; he is really doing well. His two-three projects are in the pipeline, which I am excited about and looking forward to. It’s always lovely working with him.
Q: Being a popular face on social media, have you ever faced trolling? If yes, how do you handle such things?
When you have that number of followers, it’s natural to get a lot of trolls and hate messages for free, like it will come with it. Even if you don’t have millions of followers, but have around five thousand or so, there are still people, they will spill a lot of opinions and judgement. So, that is something I’ve accepted. I used to get bothered with all the trolls and negative comments about me at one point when I was younger, but now I just block them. Fortunately, 99% of comments are good most of the time. But the remaining 10% will say what they want to. And I think the best way to deal with this is to block and move on.