The year saw a major shift in the dynamics of the star-system. You no longer had to be a Khan or a Kapoor to be a national star. Tripathi aur Sharma bhi chalega. A look at the biggest male stars on the OTT platform.

Pankaj Tripathi: Of course he is a big name in cinema. But Pankaj ruled the digital kingdom in 2020 like he owned it. With Mirzapur 2 and Criminal Justice 2,not to mention his stellar performances in Ludo and Gunjan Saxena makes Pankaj one of OTT’s superstars. The actor admits he was never paid by cinema the kind of money he now gets on OTT

Pratik Gandhi: A recognizable name in Gujarati cinema and theatre, Pratik’s debut as Harshad Mehta in Hansal Mehta’s Scam 1992 wasn’t supposed to make the impact that it did. What made him such a household name? The Everyman quality! Pratik wasn’t trying to be a star. He played a character. He stayed there. The fact that he was an unknown face in Hindi gave him an immediate edge as Harshad. Pratik has gone from mob to mobbed in one swift stroke. Destiny.

Divyenndu Sharma: From Munna Bhaiyya in Mirzapur 2 to Akhil Shrivastav in Bichhoo Ka Khel, Divyenndu seems to have found stardom in this year of the Covid crisis. Till last year he was celluloid’s every Bollywood superstar’s favourite best friend. Thankfully Divyenndu didn’t end up being another Rajpal Yadav, thanks to the freedom afforded by the digital platform.

Jaideep Ahlawat: Playing the cop Hathiram Choudhary in Pataal Lok was the best thing to have happened to this talented actor. Jaideep is suddenly an OTT favourite. He says, ” It is a new audio-visual medium enabling you to tell a story on a huge platform, which is not restricted to the country but has a worldwide reach. You can showcase your work through it to a global audience and also watch the work of others from across the world. It helps you widen your horizons when you get to see such work. You get a better vision and perspective as an actor. You feel challenged to try out new things. There are immense opportunities on this medium. Apart from its phenomenal reach, you can show certain content that cannot be shown under the present Indian censorship laws. Of course, contents on the web are classified in different categories such as 13+, 16+ or 18+ depending on their suitability for diverse audiences but it is discretionary. The good thing is that you have the option to put across a certain point of view which reaches a global audience.”

Abhishek Bannerjee: After playing bit roles in movie, casting director turned actor Abhishek Bannerjee found overnight success in 2020 as the savage sociopath Hathoda Tyagi in the webseries Pataal Lok. Now Abhishek is being offered more of the same coldblooded killer roles. Typecasting has arrived on OTT.Welcome to the new-age virtual cinema.

Amit Sadh: His role in Avrodh won his accolades. His machismo and impeccable acting prowess as an army man is one of the best performances of the year. Amit has truly evolved as an actor.

Arshad Warsi: That he is a nuanced actor is public knowledge, however, his performance in Asur remains one of his finest. His expressions and grip over dialoagues are mind-blowing.

Kay Kay Menon: Special OPS is a special series of the year and the icing on the cake if some restrained yet thumping act by Kay Kay Menon. Why is he always so good? Kay Kay has given a great performance this year.

Did we miss anyone on the list? Let us know in the comments box below.