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“Content is the only thing which matters today” – Aashiesh Sharma

As an actor, Aashiesh Sharma has explored a variety of mediums. He started his journey as an actor with a film, moved to television, did some of the biggest TV shows and then, explored the web space as well. Under Rachayita Films, he and his wife Archana Taide are producing content for all mediums.

In this interview, Ashiesh talks about his journey in the entertainment industry, upcoming web show, why TV does not excite him as an actor anymore, plans as a producer and more.  A while back, you stated in an interview that you have been offered to participate in ‘Bigg Boss’ multiple times but you always turn the offer down. Why?In the past, I participated in ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ and won it as well. The show was celebrating an art form like dance and gave me a platform to showcase my skills as a dancer. I had a great time participating in that show. However, a show like ‘Bigg Boss’ is not my cup of tea. I am not too comfortable with the thought of putting my private life on a public platform. It takes a lot of courage to do that. All of us left homes and came to Mumbai to act. I would rather invest my time in doing that. A web show, which you have produced and act in, is expected to come out soon. What can you tell us about it?The show is in the final stages of edit. It will be out on a streaming platform soon. Along with me, the show also features Gulshan Grover and Sonarika Bhadoria. It has shaped up very well. In 2010, you made your debut in films with Dibakar Banerjee’s ‘Love Sex Aur Dhokha’. Your journey in television started around the same time. ‘Hindutva’ (2022) was your first film as a leading man. What is the kind of journey you plan to have in cinema now?The world has changed drastically. When I started out, things were very different and the options were limited as well. Now, there is no major difference between different mediums. In a way, the different mediums are inter-connected with each other. Films release in theatres and then, come on OTT platforms and TV. Every medium has its space. I am enjoying the process of exploring different characters on multiple mediums. Now, we have more options to choose from. I have never given much importance to labels like lead actor, supporting actor, protagonist, antagonist etcetera. I like playing characters that make me push my boundaries as an actor. Cinema, of course, has a larger impact on the audience than any other medium. One has to be careful while choosing stories for cinema as the impact lasts for a longer period of time. I would want to choose films a little carefully. Are you open to working across all mediums at the moment?In terms of stories, TV is exhausted. Right now, TV does not excite me very much as an actor. I want to explore OTT and films at the moment. A lot of actors, who have worked in television, have spoken about the bias they face while auditioning for films. Does it continue to exist?Yes, it very much exists. Filmmakers and casting directors are still reluctant to cast popular TV actors as they feel they have an image. They also feel that TV actors are not as talented as film actors. The audience, however, does not care about these things. The kind of success somebody like Sushant Singh Rajput achieved serves as a testimony to that. Today, no actor can guarantee you an opening at the box-office. Content is the only thing that matters today. This is one of the most positive changes that has taken place. There is still a lot of stigma and reluctance when it comes to casting actors who are on television. Actors from television are seldom offered leading roles in films. Rudra Pratap Ranawat from ‘Rangrasiya’ remains one of your most popular characters. Last year, in December, the show completes ten years of it being aired  ‘Rangrasiya’ will always be a landmark show in my career. It did a lot of good things to my career. The show was mounted on a huge scale and had a cinematic feel to it. It will always be very close to my heart. There is a lot of emotional history behind the show. In the year 2018, you and your wife Archana produced ‘Khejdi’ under the banner Desi Fillum Compani. What is the kind of content you plan to produce under your production house in the near future?Desi Fillum Compani is a part of our main company Rachayita Films. While we produce TV shows and regional content under Desi Fillum Compani, feature films and web shows are produced under Rachayita Films. The web show we have produced will come out soon. We are producing a featuring film called ‘Pachhattar Ka Chhora’ which has Randeep Hooda and Neena Gupta in the lead roles. We have a couple of other projects lined up as well. Through our platform Manch, we are trying to bring Indian stories to the forefront. We want to introduce the new generation to our folklore. We want to create an ecosystem where people stop putting labels on not just actors but those who are working behind the camera as well. We want to break stereotypes and give everybody an opportunity to express themselves as artists in the most honest manner.   

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