Earlier, a web show like Abhay wasn’t being offered to me as mostly, I was doing comedy,” says Kunal Kemmu, adding that he feels lucky to have got the chance to redefine his career which wasn’t possible in the mainstream space.
Though the actor did negative roles in Kalank and Malang, he states, “OTT has given us new talent and brought a number of talented actors like Pankaj Tripathi to the fore making them ‘stars’. Shows like Scam and Paatal Lok have become so huge, yet I feel OTT is still in its nascent stage and still growing.”
Kemmu admits he didn’t have many expectations or any fears going in and also feels lucky that both seasons of the show got a lot of love from the audiences. “I like crime and investigative shows, so when Abhay came my way, I took it up, irrespective of the medium. Now, we are prepping for Season 3 and unlike films, one can delve into different layers of a character in multiple seasons. In the West, there are so many shows like Shameless and Two And A Half Men, where we see the actors literally grow up in front of us. Actors and characters establish a relationship with audiences and they know the character as a person. Similarly, for me, when I play Abhay, I know what he would and wouldn’t do. In fact, my director and I talk about him as if he is a real person (laughs),”he says.
The rise of OTT has also meant a variety of shows, and all kinds of content, including Abhay, which can be dark and gory, too, at times. Ask him about his views on censorship on the web, and he replies, “There should be age specification and certification to inform the viewers about the kind of content to expect, as kids, too, watch a lot. Even disclaimers are good but you can’t stop people from telling a story. Freedom of speech comes with a certain responsibility and it should be adhered to on both sides. Just because gaalis are allowed, doesn’t mean, every scene has a gaali, or one puts in a sex scene because you can… it has to be effective or it won’t have the desired impact.”