Be it theatre, TV, films or web series, she has left no medium untouched to test her acting skills. However, when it comes to paying the bills, actress Aahana Kumra says it is the small screen that keep her afloat in an expensive city like Mumbai.
Listing the pros and cons of working in a web series — a popular platform gaining momentum — and TV, which is an evergreen medium of entertainment, Aahana told IANS: “Web series don’t bore people.”
“As an actor, you enjoy the medium, the experience, and it also also gives you the opportunities to work with the actors you want to work with. There is no restriction in terms of scripts… It is a very liberating space. But, of course, the longevity is not so much. “It is not like TV. TV really pays your bills, makes sure you have a house in Mumbai. It gives you the kind of sustainability that you need in Mumbai,” she said.
Aahana made her small screen debut with megastar Amitabh Bachchan in the TV show Yudh. She then essayed agent Trisha Dewan in the TV series Agent Raghav with actor Sharad Kelkar in 2015. She then went on to work in web series like Inside Edge and It Happened In Hong Kong, apart from a film appearance in Lipstick Under My Burkha.
Asked if a web series is better for actors when it comes to breaking the monotony of seeing the same people every day as these are not so time consuming, Aahana said: “It depends on who you are working with.”
“If you are working with an interesting bunch of actors and people, then I don’t think any medium is boring. If you think like that, then films take more than a year to complete, but you don’t get bored… If your co-actor and director are fun, then working is fun.”
Working in TV, Aahana said, has changed her attitude toward artistes who work on long-running shows.
“After ‘Agent Raghav’, there was a newfound respect for TV people, because I realised the kind of restrictions they have in terms of time.
“It is insane and the kind of work the people put into TV shows is absurd. It is too much work. I felt bad that for so long I thought that ‘TV serial actors don’t put in so much work and not do hard work’. They really do a lot. Some come from small towns and rise to fame because of that one TV show that they have done,” she said.
As for shows which, at times, have stretched for more than a year to a decade or more on the small screen in India, Aahana wondered how some actors lived one role for long. “I think the only thing they get to work on is that there are no retakes and there is no fumbling. But they do a lot of work in terms of time management. That is why they get compensated as well in terms of money.
“After a point, working for one serial for so many years… I don’t know how they live their normal life… They are living that role for so long,” Aahana said.