Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

All formats are going to survive, but OTT is definitely the future: Anil Kapoor

Gearing up to host the upcoming season of Bigg Boss OTT, the actor-producer talks about what drew him to the new role, the world of streaming, his motivation and more

Samidha Jain
Published: Jun 20, 2024 01:42:56 PM IST
Updated: Jun 20, 2024 01:52:27 PM IST

Anil Kapoor, actor. Image: Courtesy JioCinemaAnil Kapoor, actor. Image: Courtesy JioCinema

Anil Kapoor is a film industry veteran, having starred in over 100 movies. The actor is now gearing up for a new role—he is set to host the third season of Bigg Boss OTT, a spin-off of the popular television series, from June 21. The previous season, hosted by superstar Salman Khan, broke all records, garnering over 30 billion watch time minutes and drawing in over 100 million viewers. The upcoming season will see changes in the interaction between viewers and participants—such as audience takeovers—in addition to a 24-hour live feed. In an interview with Forbes India, Kapoor talks about his stint on a new platform, traditional cinema versus OTT, what keeps him going, and more. Edited excerpts:

Q. What drew you to host a non-fiction OTT series? And what is it that you are looking forward to the most?
It's a great format. It's a show that is hugely successful. It was a no-brainer for me. I've never done something like this—OTT, non-fiction—so I said, ‘let me do it’. Shows like Bigg Boss have been a huge success in the country for so many years. This was something new for me to try… and I think when an opportunity comes, and you feel that you're right for it, when the makers feel you're right for it, when you come to an understanding, and you see how it works, then you say yes. I'm looking forward to everything.

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Q. Do you approach your roles differently when the content is for OTT versus the big screen?
It's the same process. For me, it's all about the story, the content, the screenplay and the team. If I feel all of these criteria are fitting, then I simply say yes. It might be any format—television, OTT or films. That's what I've done so far.

Q. What are some key differences you've noticed between working on OTT platforms and traditional cinema?
Feature films obviously have a shorter duration, and the biggest advantage with shows is that there is so much more scope for deeper and layered storytelling. Some shows which I’ve been a part of, like 24 and The Night Manager, are all long-format, seasonal and episodic, so we got more time to tell the story. For films, you have two or three hours to tell a story, and, of course, that's for the big screen, and this is either for television or iPad, or, to a certain extent, for the phones. I think people are consuming OTT more and more… all the formats are going to survive, but OTT is definitely the future.

Also read: Vijay Sethupathi: Living his dream, his way

Q. What keeps you motivated and passionate about your work after so many years in the industry?
I just love my work. That keeps me motivated.
Q. If you could give one piece of advice to young actors trying to navigate both OTT and cinema, what would it be?
I don’t give advice. I take advice from youngsters. I’m going to give a little bit of advice when I host this show. I’ll share my experiences and the mistakes I've made. This is one opportunity where I can not only give advice but also be true to myself.