Recently actress Kajol announced that she is making her web series debut with an upcoming project that will stream on Disney+ Hotstar. She is just the latest in a long and star-studded list of 90s heroines who have moved to OTT for their proverbial second innings.
From Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla to Raveena Tandon and Sushmita Sen, the OTT space currently is replete with successful female actors from the 1990s who are not just appearing but headlining shows here.
Karisma Kapoor was the first leading actor from the 90s to headline her own web series when she appeared in ‘Mentalhood’ two years ago. Since then, the streaming has become more populated with 90s heroines. Sushmita Sen debuted with ‘Arya’ (Hotstar), Raveena Tandon with ‘Aranyak’ (Netflix), Madhuri Dixit with ‘The Fame Game’ (Netflix), and most recently Sonali Bendre with ‘Broken News’ (Zee5).
Many argue that the switch has a lot to do with the fact that on streaming shows, the concept of shelf-life for an actress does not exist. On the other hand, in films, leading actresses are still hardly ever over 40. As a line from Madhuri’s OTT debut, ‘The Fame Game’ aptly puts, “Hero kabr mein paaon latkaaye hai par heroine 20 saal ki chahiye (Hero is on the verge of death but wants a 20-year-old heroine).”
For some actors, it’s the challenge and thrill of doing something new and different on a new medium that draws them to the streaming space. Madhuri Dixit says, “It’s great that even after 35 years, I am debuting with something. It’s wonderful because I am a student of cinema. I love learning. Every day, I wake up and feel I am going to learn something new today. For me, it’s a different language for making films. It’s a different system in the way it operates. It’s quite different to be on OTT”. (Hindustan Times)