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    Pratik Gandhi: Rare show where every department was excellent

    As Scam 1992 sweeps the mid-day and Radio City Hitlist OTT Awards with five wins, breakout star of 2020 Pratik Gandhi on the series that changed it all for him

    Pratik Gandhi won the top acting honours

    Let’s take a moment and flash back to 2020: When we weren’t talking about the surging COVID-19 cases or the vaccine, we were discussing how we devoured Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story in one sitting. Or dissecting the plot twist in Aarya. With all of us confined to our homes for the better part of last year, web series and OTT films became our only source of entertainment, the calm to the chaotic reality.  

    Naturally, when mid-day and Radio City Hitlist OTT Awards returned with its second edition, fans from across the country voted to make their favourites known, loud and clear. Hansal Mehta’s Scam 1992 was the big winner with five trophies under its belt. If Pratik Gandhi and Shreya Dhanwanthary won the top acting honours in the Series category, the SonyLIV offering also walked away with gongs for Best Series, Best Series (Drama) and Best Ensemble Cast.

    Janhvi Kapoor, Shreya Dhanwanthary and Kunal KemmuJanhvi Kapoor, Shreya Dhanwanthary and Kunal Kemmu

    Gandhi was arguably the breakout talent of 2020, mesmerising everyone with his Harshad Mehta act in the drama. Thrilled to have bagged the Best Actor (Series) award, he acknowledges that the raging success of the show is a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. “This is a rare show where each and every department of the show was excellent. Tomorrow, if we collaborate again, I don’t know whether we will be able to recreate the magic.” 

    With roots in theatre, Gandhi had graduated to Gujarati cinema before landing bit roles in Hindi movies. Now, as all eyes are on him, he says he is only getting started — Bollywood has already come knocking at his door. “I have been offered mainstream Bollywood films. I am a greedy actor, and I am looking forward to exploring different formats of entertainment. I will try to strike a balance between Bollywood, regional films and web series,” he says, before adding that he won’t forget his first love. “Theatre helps me hone my craft. Nothing gives me the amount of satisfaction that theatre does. So, I will never give up on that.”

    Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is based on the eponymous Indian Air Force officer, counted among the first female officers in the ForceGunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is based on the eponymous Indian Air Force officer, counted among the first female officers in the Force

    The other winners include Kunal Kemmu, who was adjudged the Best Actor: Film (Male) for Lootcase, and Janhvi Kapoor, who bagged the trophy for her act in Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl. “Just to see my name in the nomination list was a big deal to me. I would like to thank everyone for voting for me. It means that you guys enjoyed my film,” Kapoor, who played the nuanced role of an  Indian Air Force officer in the film, tells mid-day. The film awards rounded up with Serious Men being adjudged the Best Direct-to-web film. Netflix’s Mismatched and Voot Select’s Asur won the Best Series: Comedy and Thriller respectively. 

    Meanwhile, on Gandhi’s plate is the big-ticket venture, Woh Ladki Hain Kahaan? opposite Taapsee Pannu. “I am also planning to open a play. I will have to prioritise things — earlier, I could do three regional films, but now I will probably be able to do only one.”

    Number of titles that Scam 1992 bagged

    And the award goes to…

    Best Series: Scam 1992 (SonyLIV)

    Best Series (Romance/Comedy): Mismatched (Netflix)

    Best Series (Drama): Scam 1992 (SonyLIV)

    Best Series (Thriller): Asur (Voot Select)