Udayavni Special

Need to learn and adapt with time: Rohini Hattangadi on OTT debut


PTI, Jul 15, 2021, 2:48 PM IST

Veteran actor Rohini Hattangadi, who has forayed into the digital world with Gujarati web series ”Kshadyantra”, says for her, it is all about adapting and moving with time.

The political thriller, directed by Urvish Parikh, revolves around a chief minister, played by ”Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” star Apara Mehta, and the power games around her.
As one of the most respected names in the world of theatre, films, and television, Hattangadi, 70, said the new medium has better and diverse roles for actors of her age.

”You have to learn all the time, it never stops. Like, I didn’t have a simple phone at my home before ‘Gandhi’,” Hattangadi, who rose to global prominence following her performance as Kasturba Gandhi in Richard Attenborough’s multiple award-winning films ”Gandhi”, told PTI in an interview.

”… then we installed a telephone connection and then we had TV and mobile phones. As artists, we started from radio or theatre and moved to TV, films, and now to OTT platforms, that’s the change we have witnessed. So, we need to learn and adapt to new things, everything is changing rapidly. Even in terms of acting, we all keep learning something all our life,” the National Film Award and BAFTA winner added. The actor, whose notable performances other than ”Gandhi” include ”Saaransh”, ”Arth”, ”Agneepath”, ”Damini” and ”Munnabhai MBBS”, said while one gets slotted in cinema and television, the digital medium, by its nature, is experimental.

“In films, for me, it was always (the role of) a mother. The producers always want to play safely in films primarily because of the money they invest, so they often go with what is successful.

”I don’t think OTT or web-series have that kind of fear whether it will run or not at the box office. So they want to experiment.” In ”Kshadyantra”, she plays the role of Vasanti, a wheelchair-bound media baron and sister of chief minister Pannaben Patel, played by Mehta.

Hattangadi said she joined the show because of writer Babul Bhavsar.

“The writer, Babul Bhavsar, is a very good friend of mine and he told me about this show. Since I know him and his work, I know he will not offer me anything that is substandard. Hence I took this up. Besides, in terms of shooting, it didn’t require much of my time.” The actor, a National School of Drama graduate, said the character threw up new challenges for her.

“My mother tongue is Marathi and it is my first web series in Gujarati. I was thinking of Marathi and talking in Gujarati. Another interesting thing for me was that I was in a wheelchair. I had to manoeuver it and be in control. I got the hang of it within two days, it was okay afterward. All of this was a challenge in itself.” She may have worked across mediums as an actor, but theatre remains her abiding love, Hattangadi said.

“I am more comfortable with theatre. I came to this industry with a passion for acting. Glamour and everything else is a byproduct.” “Kshadyantra” also stars Vandana Pathak, Shrenu Parikh, Deepak Gheewala, Parikshitt Tamalia, Anuraag Prapanna, Feroz Bhagat and Vishal Gandhi.

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