Madhuri Dixit calls OTT a democratic platform: It gives you the flexibility & the freedom to write different characters
In conversation with the ‘dhak dhak’ girl, Madhuri Dixit on her film ‘Maja Ma’, the changing phase of women’s roles which are layered and the freedom of working on the OTT platform.
Actor Madhuri Dixit says that the story line of Maja Ma is engaging, but not preachy. Madhuri believes that OTT is changing the roles for women and the best part is there is no need to look young. Former leading lady of Bollywood had a memorable journey in the entertainment industry, she talks about how OTT has changed the entire journey of the entertainment industry. She says that the freedom that you get by not looking at the commercial aspect of it is extremely liberating. Scripts are being written for different characters of different ages. For Madhuri working for Maja Ma, every day was a maja (fun) day for her
Edited excerpts from the interview:
Majama means fun, so how much did you have while shooting for Maja Ma?
Lots of fun because we have these bright young stars and Gajraj Rao. Very talented young actors. With all of us on the sets it was like a riot. We actually became like a family. Every day was a Maja Ma day for us. We were working as a family and it was very important to feel like a family on screen.
Playing a married woman with kids…what is the extra flavour that you bring into the role of Pallavi?
I play the perfect wife, the doting mother, someone the whole society respects. She is a big part of the community that we live in. But of course, Pallavi being Pallavi she is very different and that is what people will find out when they see the film. She is a very multi-layered kind of a character. When you peel off the layers, you will see more of her.
You made a comeback with OTT, but how is the working structure different in OTT?
Our craft is the same only the screen changes. Whether it is a 70mm cinema screen, a laptop or a mobile phone. What we do as actors is the same whether I am playing a role in OTT, big screen or television. The experience changes from the audience point of view, not the craft. Our method of acting remains the same whether it’s films or a series.
We are going to approach the roles in a similar manner like Fame Games is a series, but Maja Ma is a movie. So, that doesn’t mean my acting is going to change, but the way it is going to be presented on screen changes.
Whatever the format, we will work sincerely and be as true to the characters for any kind of role. For me, playing Pallavi was a wonderful experience because I am also a mother and a wife and everything else. But Pallavi tells her daughter in the show, that ‘Ek Paatni or Ek Ma hona ki alava, aur bhi mera kuch Wajoot hai’. That is what Pallavi is striving for. It is a very sensitive character and a very deep kind of a subject. But the delivery is done very beautifully, it is not preachy. It doesn’t really matter which platform you are working for because my craft remains the same.
OTT doesn’t box you. It gives you an option to explore. What do you have to say about that?
For cinema there are many constraints, it needs to appeal to all kinds of audiences. Again for theatrical releases, the money part is a big thing because every Friday it has to be a hit. Those kinds of constraints you don’t find on OTT platforms. So, you can make films from your heart and the way you want to. You can talk about subjects and characters the way you want to. It is much more democratic. The whole storyline and the language can be very different. For writers, directors and actors it’s a booming time. That is the whole advantage of OTT. The audience is huge and global because at one time it goes to 240 countries.
On playing your age
OTT gives you the flexibility and the freedom to write different characters. The freedom that you get by not looking at the commercial aspect of it is extremely liberating. You can reach out to the maximum number of people. There are female centric characters where the female actor is carrying the whole series on her shoulders. You don’t need to be a certain age to do that. Scripts are being written for different characters of different ages. There are so many actors and actresses who have done wonderful performances whether it is Sushmita Sen, Juhi Chawla and they carried the whole series on their shoulders. It is wonderful that we are now getting an option to showcase our talent to the world. A show drops globally, not just in India or some pockets. It is a wonderful time for women to be in this industry.
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