Akshay Oberoi has had a strange acting career, one marked by a few great outings and a slew of unrealized ideas. His trajectory began with Rajshri Productions’ romantic comedy Isi Life Mein, which paved the way for stars like Salman Khan and Shahid Kapoor to become household names. Things, on the other hand, did not go as planned for Akshay. In contrast to his peers, Akshay grew closer to recognition the farther he strayed from Bollywood’s typical pattern.

Following roles in streaming dramas such as High, Selection Day, Illegal, and Flesh, he began to acquire a footing after portraying the grey and unpleasant Nikki in Gurgaon. “Without OTT, I wouldn’t be here,” Akshay says straight away. “I can’t tell you how lucky I am… since it has allowed me to portray such interesting roles.” We’ve never seen someone as black as Taj from Flesh before in popular Hindi entertainment, and it was only feasible due of streaming.”

The actor from Selection Day adds to his list of reasons why OTT is a good thing. “It has set me free from the ‘race.'” In Bollywood, a dispute over who is the primo has always reigned supreme, much like a horse race. The competition’s discourse has now distilled down to merely ‘actors’ who are working, and the greatest actors receive the best parts; OTT did an excellent job of altering this narrative.”

Dil Bekaraar, Akshay’s most recent production, is noteworthy for several reasons: first, he collaborated with Habib Faisal, a filmmaker with whom he has long awaited; second, it’s his first film geared at a family audience; and third, he is not portraying a gloomy role. But, he says, “the opportunity to exhibit my range as an actor” is what drew him to the programme, not “the opportunity to reach a broader audience.” He’s also made a calculated decision to play oddball characters.

“I’m drawn to unique roles that other well-known actors might not be able to play.” I know that the only way I’ll improve as an actor is if I strive to go beneath the skin of a variety of characters. I feel that playing an idealistic young man in a light-hearted love tale will help me grow as an actor when I go on to play a sinister character in a dark picture.”

From Madam Chief Minister earlier this year to this week’s Inside Edge Season 3, Akshay has participated in nearly a half-dozen films and series in the previous two years, and he is clearly enjoying the increased number of offers. “It’s a good moment to be an actress right now.” I’m having a great time. With a bright smile, Akshay concludes, “This is the point of my career where the strain is finally gone, and I’m enjoying my work.”

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