Anshuman Jha: No difference between cinema, television today
Having been a part of the entertainment industry for eight years, Anshuman Jha who started his career in films with Dibakar Bannerjees LOVE SEX AUR DHOKA and went on to well-received roles in CHAURANGA and YEH HAI BAKRAPUR, is stepping into the web series world. He is ready to do television shows too as he feels the medium is no bar.
BABBAR KA TABBAR -- a new web series -- is part of the original content bouquet offered by new digital platform Zee5, from the ZEEL stable. Set in Delhi, the show will have 24 episodes.
"The show is set in east Delhi where a tenant called Jamiya -- that's my character -- has taken over the Babbar family's Parchatti (terrace room). And how they let him be because he solves their day to day problems in his own quirky way," he said.
So why did Anushuman wait this long to work on the medium?
"I'd say there is no difference between cinema and television in today's times. Even Meryl Streep is doing 'Big Little Lies' for HBO. I would love to do TV as well, if the quality of script offered to me challenges me. Unfortunately, whatever has been offered to me hasn't. And the script is sacrosanct to me."
Anshuman has earlier rejected TV opportunities.
"I have refused two web shows before this, but this one instinctively hooked me. It's the only show on the new channel Zee5's launch program with two seasons... That is a total of 24 episodes. Everything else is only one season as of now with 12 episodes or less.
"Having stayed away from TV all these years and having refused to get on the digital bandwagon till now, this was a script and a character which I couldn't refuse."
Anshuman will also be seen playing his most violent role ever in his next feature film.
"It's a dark Indie film titled MIDNIGHT DELHI, directed by Rakesh Rawat. It's my most violent role to date. It's about one night in Delhi and if I may say so, it is damn gory. The film is very dark, aggressive and my character is extremely violent."
Other feature films on Anshuman's card include Harish Vyas' ANGREZI MEIN KEHTE HAIN.
"It releases this summer. It's got Sanjay Mishra, me and the actress Shivani Raghuvanshi from Kanu Behl's TITLI opposite me. In addition, I will be seen in Academy Award Nominee Ashvin Kumar's Kashmir-based 'Noor' which will be out post June 2018. I am also shooting for a 'Romeo & Juliet' adaptation 'Ishwar', directed by Imtiaz Ali's Associate Pradeep."
It looks like a busy year for Anshuman.
"Yes," he said, adding: "It's a struggle to do quality work only when you are an outsider in the Mumbai film industry with no powerful connections. But I am determined to slog it out. I am convinced hard work always pays."
[By Subhash K. Jha]