Special feature: Five trailblazing actors who popularised web shows early on

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Prior to OTT platforms becoming a rage in India, films were our only source of entertainment and escapade. It was in 2014 that the Indian audience was treated to a new concept, an episodic series with a limited runtime put together on a digital platform which over the years became a major source of entertainment. While the next few months will see many film actors foraying into the web space, there have been a handful of actors who introduced and familiarised us with web series and have now become credible names in films too.

Let us take a look at some of these actors who have set new trends, changed the game in the Indian content scene and popularised the concept of web shows which has now emerged as a sub-culture

Sumeet Vyas
In 2014, Sumeet Vyas changed the face of Indian content when he appeared in Permanent Roommates which is touted to be India’s first web series. He headlined the romcom series which revolves around a young couple. Soon, Vyas became a success in the digital world. He went on to star in ‘Tripling’, ‘Official Chukyagiri’, ‘The Verdict – State vs Nanavati’ and the recently released ‘1962: The War In the Hills’, among others. He can rightly be called a trailblazer who popularised web shows and brought about a shift in the way the Indian audience consumed and watched content.

Jitendra Kumar
‘Permanent Roommates’ also marked the debut of Jitendra Kumar. Over the next few years, he became of the most sought-after names in the digital space. With shows like ‘TVF Pitchers’, ‘TVF Bachelors season 2’, ‘F.A.T.H.E.R.S.’ and ‘Kota Factory’, he became a household name and popular as Jeetu. He is one of the first actors to become a part of the web series trend and continues to dabble in films and web with aplomb.

Ali Fazal
Years after starting his career as a film actor, Ali Fazal took a plunge into the digital world with ‘Bang Baaja Baaraat’. The romcom mini web series saw him as a young boy about to get married to the love of his life. The show was one of the first digital projects to be backed by a big banner production house. It won him appreciation and he went on to appear in other web shows like ‘Mirzapur’ which proved to be a game-changer for him.

Amol Parashar
Amol Parashar entered the world of web with ‘Tripling’. The show which revolved around the lives of three siblings earned him raving reviews. His character, Chitvan, made him an internet sensation. It is not every day that an actor becomes known by the name of the characters he plays but with Tripling, he earned a strong fan following and to this day, he remains popular as Chitvan.

Dhruv Sehgal
Dhruv Sehgal shot to fame with ‘Filter Copy’ videos. In 2016, it was ‘Little Things’ that made him a favourite among millennials. A story about a young couple living together, it was also created by Sehgal. The show became a big success and he emerged as one of the most credible names in the web world with a massive fan base.

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