OTT has extended the canvas for a lot of aspiring artists: Parikshit Joshi

The latest episodes of the hit series, ‘Date With Senior: Office Romance’, have been released by Alright, Rusk Studios’ premium entertainment vertical, on their YouTube channel. The highly loved web series dives into the intricacies of office relationships and dating policies. The episodes showcase employees trying to find a balance between their personal and professional lives and how things get complicated when the lines between the two blur.

The current season of ‘Date With Senior: Office Romance’ features talented actors – Kanikka Kapur (Ek Duje Ke Vaaste 2 fame), and YouTube personalities Tithi Raaj, Parikshit Joshi and Harshpal Singh. Directed by Aniruddha Banerjee and written by Pranjal Hooda, the story offers a refreshing take on office politics put into motion by a senior manager.

In conversation with Adgully, Parikshit Joshi speaks about the behind the scenes making of ‘Date with Senior’, the growing importance of the OTT space for artistes, storytelling and narrative in the OTT space, and more.

What is your character and how do you relate to it in your real life?

I play Shikhar in ‘Date With Senior’. He is a writer in an ad agency. He is a witty, charming, romantic guy and has the capability to crack jokes, which at times, can get him into trouble. 

All of the things I relate with, especially the ‘joking to get yourself in trouble’ part. And the charming part too, of course!

What is the first thing that crossed your mind when you read the script?

The first thing was, “Did I get the last payment on time?” Just kidding!

I remember it was a fun read and I got to know Karpoor Gaurav was directing it and I had worked with him before and he has a heart made out of Bollywood. The cast alongside was amazing. This is going to be fun, I thought, and it was. 

Any behind-the-scenes moments you would like to share?

Oh, there are so many! Harsh has the most peculiar sense of humour on set. It gets difficult keeping a straight face at times. The man has the capability to say ‘Hi’ and make you laugh. There are always one or two instances where we start laughing right before a very important scene and have to be scolded to bring us back to our senses. 

Over the period of months, Kanika and I have developed that school kids’ kind of rapport with each other, where we just crack mean jokes on each other. I am pretty sure people around the set, who don’t know us, must be looking at us and saying “Ohhhh, seems like the lead actor and the actress hate each other haaaan!” 

What are your expectations from the audience?

I don’t really expect anything from the audience. It is not wise to do that, in my opinion. You can just do your work with 100% honesty, hope for it to work and try to take the learnings and walk in as a smarter person on the next project. Expectations when not met can turn into sadness or frustration, I don’t want either. 

But you better like what I do, okay!?

What is your take on OTT?

That my friends using my subscriptions should pay me back, it’s high time!

The advent of Digital Media and Entertainment problems has come with a promise for a lot of people like me, who wanted to be storytellers but couldn’t figure a tangible path out. It has extended the canvas for a lot of aspiring artists.

Stories have become much more democratic than they used to be, in the last few years. I hope it stays away from hegemonizing as much as possible and be as democratic as possible.

I hope it also does better in terms of representation, equal opportunities and regularisation of pay scale, something that the film industry has not figured out yet. Things like these need to be regularised as the industry takes more and more solid shape. 

How do you view the storytelling narrative in OTT space?

That it doesn’t need a Censor Board. No jokes on this one. It is a space that allows an artist to be free. Don’t be a moral police in the relationship of the artist and the audience. The power of rejecting or approving of a story should be the audience’s only. 

Which do you prefer more – A realistic pinch on your character, or a made-up dish from your imagination?

The one which pays more! Yes, jokes. 

I think every character conceived by anyone always comes with a pinch of reality, there is no way for it to not happen. I have worked in the realistic space for some time though, and wouldn’t mind trying the other way round.


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