MUMBAI: Actor Maanvi Gagroo says getting typecast as the best friend of the lead star or "bubbly Punjabi girl" in big-budget films led her to move towards the digital medium, which is a more character-driven space.
While working in a prominent movie helps the artiste showcase their work, it may also lead to more offers to play similar characters, she said.
Best known for her work on the web in series like "TVF Pitchers'', "TVF Tripling" and Amazon's "Four More Shots Please!", Gagroo's film credits include "No One Killed Jessica", "PK", and "Tu Hai Mera Sunday", among others.
"On the big screen, the kind of roles that I was getting were the heroine's best friend or the hero's sister or a bubbly Punjabi girl. So, there would be all these trappings and that I was not really enjoying. With big films there is a lot of footfall, a lot more people see your work. But the problem is you are much more liable to get stereotyped," the 35-year-old actor told PTI in an interview.
Citing the example of "No One Killed Jessica", in which she essayed a journalist, Gagroo said she was flooded with many offers to play related roles thereafter. Starring Vidya Balan and Rani Mukerji, the 2011 true crime drama was based on the Jessica Lal murder and was directed by Rajkumar Gupta.
"Like after 'No One Killed Jessica', I got so many offers to play a journalist. Though I picked something in that zone in 'PK' but I did so because I was getting the opportunity to be directed by Rajkumar Hirani. Post that 'Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan' and 'Ujda Chaman' happened. And by then, I knew what I wanted to do," she added.
Today, the Delhi-born actor said that she is happy to be part of the OTT (over-the-top) platform as she is getting the opportunity to play wholesome characters here.
"I don't know what it would have been like, had OTT not come in. Like in 'Pitchers' I have less screen time, but it was a fleshed-out character, it was a significant part and hence it became popular. I started getting more work after that. OTT is a character-driven (medium). It's not just about the lead, every character is well fleshed out. The roles that I'm getting now are far meatier than I got in films back in the day," he added.
She said that OTT has opened a lot of doors not only for her, but also for a lot of creative people including talented writers, directors, and technicians who weren't getting work. "The sheer volume of work is so high, everybody is working now," she said.
The actor's latest digital release is Amazon miniTV's "Kaali Peeli Tales", a collection of six stories by Adeeb Rais that examines modern day relationships with Mumbai as the backdrop. She features in the "Marriage 2.0" segment with Hussain Dalal.
"I really liked the story and my character. The character that I play is Malini. She is far more mature, wiser and confident of herself, her opinions," Gagroo said. Also starring Vinay Pathak, Gauahar Khan, Sayani Gupta, Soni Razdan, Sharib Hashmi, Priyanshu Painyuli, Sadia Siddiqui, and Tanmay Dhananya, "Kaali Peeli Tales" premiered on August 20.