Sid Makkar, who plays the antagonist in Hina Khan’s debut Vikram Bhatt film Hacked, is more kicked about the web space than films.
After doing a few digital projects (Spotlight and Rain), he has two more up his sleeve.
“First is ZEE 5’s The Siege: 26/11, where I play an important news channel anchor. Even the media back then made major bloopers, when terrorists had held the Maximum City to ransom back in 2008.”
“Then, there is one more project for a major OTT, for which I will start shooting later in the year.”
“The best thing about the web is that it frees you of the box-office demons; many times, we don’t know why a film tanked on the first weekend?”
“While on the digital platform, your content remains available indefinitely, which audiences can later enjoy on as well,” he states.
“Agreed while there is no desi third-party validation of web content yet, the fact that most shows do go on to have sequels should seal the viewership debate.”
“Had my well-received international show Sense 8 got the third season, I would have been in a different place, for my character was just about taking shape when season 2 ended. But Netflix junked the third season idea as revenues did not add up to the cost of production. So they wrapped up the story in 2 hours special.”
Shifting gears to Hacked, he says, “My character takes advantage of Hina’s character’s obsession with him along the line of MeToo movement, while male lead character (Rohan Shah) desires her.”
As the film is a tech thriller, we ask him about his views on technology? “Like every other invention, it too has a flipside. The problem is that we have become too dependent on gadgets and gizmos. And manipulation of tech-enabled social media can destroy lives.”
Here Sid laments at the fact that today tech has even seeped into casting. “Actors are chosen on the number of their Instagram following and not acting prowess.”
“I also have lost a few projects due to the same. Luckily though, this malaise is not all over, good production houses still use the good old method.”
“Sid over the years has done several films, but most of them belong to the English or niche bracket (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Turning 30 and Dus Tola etc). “It is not that I don’t want mainstream scripts, just that better off-beaters came my way.”
In closing, we ask, can Hacked work sans big stars? “Today if the budgets are in control and you have a studio backing, you are home safe and dry. You don’t require humongous numbers of screens, plus you also have the digital rights to bolster the bottom line. The fact that our trailer is trending is a major plus point for us.”
Best of luck, Sid!!