Taking the web by storm
Actor Ayush Mehra and Barkha Singh are back together for the second season of ‘Please Find Attached’ - a web series about two young millennials who are trying to find the right balance between their work and personal lives in suburban Mumbai
Actor Ayush Mehra and Barkha Singh create magic on the screen every time they come together. And this time, it's for the second season of Dice Media's 'Please Find Attached'. The web series is about two young millennials who are trying to find the right balance between their work and personal lives in suburban Mumbai.
After the tremendous success of season one, the two actors (and the makers) were under great pressure to live up to their audience's expectations. And the response season 2 has received so far shows that they have succeeded with flying colours. From sizzling chemistry to a compelling narrative, this Dice Media series has it all.
We interacted with this star (on-screen) couple to know how happy they are to be caught in the web world, their struggle for survival in this super-competitive industry, and of course, about the new show.
Tell us how different is 'Please Find Attached 2' from season 1?
Ayush (A): The first season, which was a mini-series with three 10-minute episodes, was experimental. It gave a brief overview of the problems faced by two young people (Sanya and Shaurya), trying to create a work-life balance. It was all fun but in the second season, the audience expected a certain kind of narrative. It was no longer about being experimental, but giving the audience what they want. So, we tried to give them a mix of love, relationship, problems and ambitions of the two characters. Both of us (Ayush and Barkha) are delving deeper into our personalities in season 2. It's not just another hunky-dory love story. It's about finding our way out of problems and spending some happy moments together. It's not just about finding balance in our lives but in each other's life as well.
Both of you have been associated with the web world since the very starting. What have you learned on this journey?
A: I am eternally grateful to Youtube for whatever I have achieved so far.
Initially in my career, I did several television commercials, and the next goal in my life was to get into films. But destiny had different plans and FilterCopy happened. I began doing mini-videos for them as well as other similar platforms. To my surprise, people started connecting with me. They began appreciating my work, and that turned out to be helpful.
As an actor, you look for validation that whatever you are doing is good and you are on the right track. These platforms gave me backing and a sense of confidence that my audience is happy with me. Today, when I look back, I feel all the work that I did…all the mini videos that I shot, helped me improve as a performer. It polished my skills and made me a stronger person.
Is Bollywood still your priority?
A: Initially there was nothing called web. Digital platforms were not popular among the masses, and so, films were on everybody's priority list. However, the emergence of web space changed the entire scene. Now, you have a chance to play characters that are diverse and interesting. There are so many stories that are being told through web shows like 'Mirzapur', 'Scam 1992', 'Stranger Things'. Why we wanted to go into films was because these stories were only being told over there.
Today, we genuinely have no problem in sticking to web and going greater stuff on this platform. Platforms really don't matter anymore. What matters is a good script.
Barkha (B): Even for me, the ultimate goal is to work on projects where I can showcase my strength and vulnerabilities as an actor. OTT has given each one of us a platform, which is as big as any Bollywood film.
Since so many big stars are moving towards the webspace, do you think it will affect the working of OTT? Do you feel insecure about losing the opportunities/projects?
B: There is a very high possibility of that happening but we can't compare it with Bollywood. The reason is, Bollywood is pre-dominantly power-based. People watch films in theatres because they want to watch the established stars like Shah Rukh, Salman or for that matter any of their favourite actors. But OTT is for people who prioritize content over stars. People are now willing to watch new shows, irrespective of who the main lead is, and OTT caters to their needs.
As far as getting the projects is concerned, we as actors have no control over that. The makers will sign whoever they want to. The Bollywood actors might indeed get some of the best projects, but we (Ayush and Barkha) have also worked on web for years and have a very huge following, which can't be discounted. I don't think there is any threat. Moreover, the web offers a level playing field.
A: I feel that A-listers coming on the web platform is a blessing in disguise. As soon as the big stars will start shifting to the web, makers will begin investing in more projects. The stars will also bring with them their audience, thereby increasing the viewership of the platform. This will generate more profit, not only for the makers but also for the actors like us.
We have mostly seen the two of you in light-hearted web shows. Apart from that, what kind of projects are you willing to do?
B: Our job as an actor is to show different emotions, whether it's happiness, anger, love, pain or fear. So, if you ask me, it does not matter what kind of a project it is (Light-hearted or heavy-hearted). My only goal is to show my performance. The ability and opportunity to show range is what's important to me.
According to you, what's the best way to survive in the industry that works on contacts and relations?
A: Do not get into this rut and just focus on yourself. Your hard work, persistence and perseverance will make you successful. Having contacts undoubtedly makes things easier but that's not everything. You as a person need to embrace yourself.
B: If you have talent, you will survive. Sometimes you have an end number of contacts but that doesn't guarantee work in the long run.