MUMBAI: Actor Saqib Saleem on Wednesday said the emergence of streaming platforms in the country has not only made him focus more on his craft but also ensured that artists go back to doing what they should have always done - just acting.
Saleem, who made his web debut in 2018 with "Rangbaaz" and followed it up with the espionage thriller "Crackdown", said the digital medium has lifted the weight of conversations surrounding the commercial prospect of a project which would always entangle actors.
"The OTT (over-the-top platform) has made me feel secure as an actor. Now with the influx of the OTT platforms, actors have gone back to doing what they should be doing - just acting. We have gone back to focusing on our characters, graphs. I don't blame actors or anyone, but when we were only reliant on theatrical films, everything was determined by the first Friday of a film's release. 'How much the film is going to open at? Is my film commercial enough? Should I do this to make it pop out more?' Somewhere in there, you forget that your basic job is to act," the actor told reporters here.
Saleem was speaking at the virtual trailer launch of his upcoming Eros Now anthology series "Aisa Waisa Pyaar", where he was joined by co-stars Nidhi Singh, Prit Kamani, Adah Sharma and Rajit Kapur.
The 33-year-old actor said the streaming space has opened up a new world for him, where he is getting the opportunity to play diverse characters.
Saleem said he feels fortunate to be at a stage in his career where he is featuring on a web series and is also awaiting the theatrical release of his big-ticket sports drama film "83", scheduled to open in cinema halls this December.
"That's what the OTT world has done to me, it has made me focus on my acting far more. Concentrate on doing characters that were out of my comfort zone and my reach. I am really enjoying this space. I also have a film like '83' which releases in theatres. I am greedy, I just want to work. Whether you see me in theatres, on your laptop or mobile screens, that is your call. I will keep pushing myself to do interesting characters," he added.
On "Aisa Waisa Pyaar", Saleem said the strength of the segment in which he features is its "relatability".
According to the makers, the anthology explores different shades of love through four separate relationship stories crisscrossing each other.
Written and directed by Ashiish Patil, all stories are set in the backdrop of romance and dramedy.
"It is about how people are, probably how I am in life with my partner. It has been made with a lot of love. I hope whenever people see it they also see the love in it and resonate with it," Saleem added.
"Aisa Waisa Pyaar" also stars Ahsaas Channa and Sheeba Chaddha.
It will premiere on October 27 on Eros Now.