Sushant Singh Rajput was the biggest TV to film success story in recent times. And his death has indeed brought a pall of gloom in the TV industry, especially to many who looked up to the actor’s phenomenal journey.
Actor Radhika Madan recalled how, when she was transitioning from television to films, people always said,’Don’t do it’. “And I remember always giving them Sushant’s example. He made it look possible..achievable. He inspired many actors like me,” the English Medium actor had recently posted on social media.
Not just Madan, actors such as Mohit Raina and Karan Kundrra, too, shared how Rajput’s career graph inspired many small screen actors eyeing the big screen.
But, his death has raised questions on whether TV actors are wholeheartedly accepted in the film industry, despite the precedent of a certain Shah Rukh Khan. Or are there prejudices when it comes to TV stars?
Actor Hiten Tejwani, who has dabbled in both TV and films, with his last big screen appearance in Kalank (2019), says in Bollywood, unlike the West, some still believe in the demarcation of a TV actor and film actor.
“Here there are labels like that. But, it is slowly going away. I agree that casting of TV actors do get a bit difficult because people have the whole thing of TV actors being over exposed,” he says.
TV actor Manasi Parekh, who made her Bollywood debut with Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019), feels the stigmas which existed about TV actors are long gone and speculating about the whole situation with Rajput is rather distasteful.
“Whatever struggles he [Rajput] had, what he could or could not do, is his journey. We all loved him as an actor, he was extremely talented. It is unfortunate what happened. But, we should just let it be We don’t know what he was going through, we should not speculate anything on it,” she asserts.
However, actor Ragini Khanna, the star of several hit TV projects and films such as Teen Thay Bhai (2011) and Gurgaon (2017), feels it is difficult into make a mark in every industry. we cannot pin point any particular industry.
“There are hurdles everywhere. Films are not a step up and TV is not a step down. We should not look at it like that. While I would not like to comment on Sushant, as I am grieving, I will say one thing — as an actor, when you are out there, who are you seeking acceptance from? The only acceptance that an actor needs is from the audience,” she shares.
Film trade analyst Atul Mohan feels that talent is what matters at the end of the day, and in the recent past, there has been “a healthy influx of actors from the television world in films”.
Actor Rohan Mehra, who has starred in TV shows Bade Achhe Lagte Hain and Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, besides a few films, says that since Rajput was the one and only example in recent times to have graduated from TV and become a star in Bollywood, his death has made many like him question their own ambitions.
“He was an inspiration; his death is a demotivation for sure. If we can get motivated by his success then we can also be demotivated when we see when we such see such a drastic step being taken. If your inspiration does this then after achieving so much then what are we going to do? May be we should he happy with what we have at present,” he says.