Puneet Issar is a household name. Having played the role of Duryodhan in BR Chopra’s television show Mahabharat, he went on to do various shows and films. But, the actor admits it wasn’t easy to get good offers, as he got stuck in the same rut of roles.
“My first film was Coolie (1983) where the unfortunate incident happened (he accidentally inflicted a serious injury on actor Amitabh Bachchan) and thereafter, I was labelled as an action guy because of my personality, though I preferred emotionally intense characters. Then fortunately, I got to play the character of Duryodhan and was able to prove that I’m an actor of repute and substance,” he says.
Issar admits that it wasn’t easy to get good offers as he got stuck in the same rut again, despite a hit under his belt. He says, “The role became so popular and whenever people thought of a negative character, they would think of me. I got offered only negative roles which I did.”
However, Issar, last seen in the film Jayeshbhai Jordaar, believes OTT has been a game-changer. “People have become more accepting towards new thoughts. Earlier, people used to watch [and create] conventional things with the fear that the project might flop. With OTT coming in, good work is happening,” says the actor, who also wants to explore the web space. “It’s not about chasing after OTT. Agar OTT mein substantial role milega, where I can show my versatility, kyun nahin karenge? With the entry of new writers and directors, entertainment is getting better each day,” he adds.
Not wanting to stick to one type of roles, Issar says he likes to keep reinventing himself and doing roles and surprise his audience. He is excited that OTT is giving many actors a variety of roles and opportunities. “It is not a question about chasing after OTT. An actor is an actor. Agar OTT mein substantial role milega, where I can show my versatility then kyun nahin kaarenge. With the entry of new writers and directors, entertainment is getting better and better with each day as they are doing some amazing work.”
He says people will want to act in every new medium but that won’t mean that the other mediums will stop or come to an end. Adding, he says, “For an actor, whatever good role comes your way, you just pick it up. At first, we used to do films, then television came with just Doordarshan and soon private channels started as well. Now the digital platform has revolutionised entertainment.”