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It is quite disappointing how Bollywood fails to value talent. In recent times, many have called out Bollywood for giving endless opportunities to many undeserving star kids. And, that’s the reason why many talented actors have found themselves being side-lined or ignored by Bollywood.

While Bollywood may have failed to value these talented actors, we are extremely happy that OTT honored their talent and offered them hard-hitting roles. Here are some such talented actors whom Bollywood failed but OTT gave them the recognition that they deserved:

Actors OTT Made Popular Bollywood Failed

1. Manoj Bajpayee 

Even after being such a talented actor, it is heartbreaking how Bollywood never gave him the chance that Manoj Bajpayee deserved. Even though Manoj Bajpayee has been part of great films like Aligarh and Bhonsle, it is sad how Bollywood couldn’t value his talent the way OTT did. The immense success of The Family Man shows how talented Manoj Bajpayee is. His hard-hitting portrayal of Srikant Tiwari won so many hearts and awards across the world.

Image Courtesy: Amazon Prime Video

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2. Rasika Dugal

It is quite disappointing how Bollywood has ignored talented Rasika for so long. While Bollywood may haven’t valued her talent, OTT did. After her hard-hitting performances in web series like Mirzapur and Delhi Crime, Rasika rose to new heights of fame.

Rasika DUGAL Performances

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3. Pankaj Tripathi

Though Pankaj Tripathi made his Bollywood debut with the film Run in 2004, it was Mirzapur that made people recognize his talent. He himself shared how he is indebted to OTT platforms for his success. In one of his interviews with ToI, he mentioned “The contribution of OTT is huge for my career. In terms of reach, it’s huge. Even the people in my village watch my shows. The cinema hall is 26 kilometers away from my village and it was not possible for them to catch all my films. But thanks to OTT, people are watching in my village. OTT ka nahut yogdaan hai mere career mein,”

Source: Disney+Hotstar

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4. Divyendu Sharma

Thanks to Mirzapur, Divyendu Sharma received the recognition that he deserved. Though he debuted with Kartik Aaryan in Pyaar Ka Punchnama, it is sad how he didn’t get similar opportunities as that of Kartik Aaryan. But, thanks to Mirzapur, people realized his talent and he rose to fame.

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5. Shefali Shah

Shefali Shah, who has worked in Bollywood for more than two decades now, got the recognition that she deserved due to OTT’s series like Delhi Crime or Human. She delivered such a hard-hitting performance as DCP Vartika, a powerful cop, that many hailed her as one of the finest actors of our time. Even Shefali Shah called the Richie Mehta-directed show “the turning point of her life.” “OTT platforms have opened gates for all creative actors where they have broken out of the box of hero and heroine. OTT is all about characters and good stories. They do feel that women above 45 have someplace in it besides playing grandmothers. Would you have thought of a Shefali Shah playing the lead earlier? Probably you would, but you’d never cast her. So here she is in the lead and she’s proved herself,” said Shefali about how OTT helped the audience rediscover her talent.

Image: Source

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6. Kirti Kulhari

Even after working in the movies like Mission Mangal, Uri: The Surgical Strike, and Pink, Kriti Kulhari received recognition after her OTT shows. With power-packed performances in web shows like Human, Four more shots please, Criminal Justice

While appreciating the power of OTT shows, Kriti said, “Working for the web is different because one can experiment with different subjects. It also helps makers, directors, writers, and actors explore a subject in greater detail. That freedom is most encouraging. Besides, work for OTT platforms reaches all over the world. They also motivate an actor to do one’s work with utmost sincerity and honesty because there is no burden of box-office numbers. That is the true space for any artist.”


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7. Radhika Apte

Radhika Apte’s repeated appearance on OTT platforms won her the title – ‘Netflix’s favorite girl’. And, not even a single time, she has disappointed her audience. With her power-packed performances in shows like Lust Stories or Ghoul, she has proved her talent.

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8. Pratik Gandhi

40-year-old Pratik struggled to be perceived as a lead actor until the makers reached out to him to play Harshad Mehta in Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story. The huge success of the OTT show changed Pratik’s life forever. While talking to Indiatimes about how the OTT show changed his life, he said, “I didn’t realize it’d become this huge. It was so overwhelming. And when Shabana Azmi ma’am told me it was the best performance she’d seen in 20 years, I was in tears. It’s been 5 months since Scam’s release & my life has taken a 180-degree turn. People see me as a ‘lead actor’ now.” 


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9. Sobhita Dhulipala

Though Sobhita made her debut in the movie Raman Raghav 2.0, it is sad how she was limited to small roles in Bollywood movies. It was Netflix’s Made In Heaven, that her performance as tara Khanna made her an overnight sensation.

Screengrab: Made In Heaven

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10. Nawazuddin Siddiqui

With Netflix’s The Sacred Games, Nawazuddin received the recognition that he always deserved. No one can deny that Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s portrayal of Ganesh Gaitonde, a Mumbai don was path-breaking. While Bollywood is obsessed with making senseless and meaningless 100 Crore+ movies, OTT is changing the rules of content space with meaningful and hard-hitting content.

Image: Source

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11. Jaideep Ahlawat

Thanks to the web series Paatal Lok, Jaideep Ahlawat received the recognition that he always deserved. In more than a decade-long career, it is sad how he hardly received credit for his work. Thanks to OTT many recognize how he is a powerhouse of talent.


Do let us know more actors who were failed by Bollywood but received recognition due to OTT shows or web series.  

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