In India, actors traditionally graduated to the movies from TV. With the popularity of OTT platforms that offer high quality content, Bollywood actors, who might consider conventional television a step down, are embracing web series work.

Saif Ali Khan was among the first big-ticket Bollywood stars to venture into web series with Netflix’s acclaimed show Sacred Games. Khan is now gearing up for his second series, Amazon’s Dilli, scheduled to be released later this year. Besides Khan, the likes of Vivek Oberoi, R Madhavan, Manoj Bajpayee and Emraan Hashmi have also been seen in web series. We take a look at five Bollywood stars that made the leap from films to web series in 2020.

Arshad Warsi (‘Asur: Welcome To Your Dark Side’)

Arshad Warsi made a name for himself in Bollywood with his impeccable comic timing. However, with his first web-series Asur (pictured above), he shows us that there is more in his acting repertoire than just being a funnyman. The psychological crime drama on Voot has received rave reviews. Warsi plays a senior forensic officer with the CBI who holds a dark secret from his past.
Streaming on: Voot

Karisma Kapoor (‘Mentalhood’)

Apart from a few TV commercials, Karisma Kapoor hadn’t been seen on the screen since 2012. This year though, she made her acting comeback with ALT Balaji’s Mentalhood, a modern-day parenting drama that follows five moms and a single dad juggling kids, spouses, work and more while trying to keep their sanity intact. Kapoor plays the starry-eyed and naive Meira Sharma who has just moved to the big city from a small town. Read our review of Mentalhood here.
Streaming on: ALT Balaji and Zee5

Lara Dutta (‘Hundred’)

Hundred isn’t exactly Lara Dutta‘s web series debut. She did a fleeting role in Gurinder Chadha’s period drama Beecham House (2019). Hundred, though, is her first Indian web series and the first in which she plays the lead role. The show is about two women dealing with life in a male-dominated world. Dutta is impressive as a no-nonsense, tough-as-nails cop who strikes an unlikely friendship with an ordinary girl next door. Read our review of Hundred here.
Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar

Sushmita Sen (‘Aarya’)

Aarya is one of the best series to have come out this year, and Sushmita Sen‘s performance must get a considerable chunk of the credit for the show’s high approval ratings. Sen is brilliant as a doting wife and mother whose world turns upside down when her husband is assassinated. She must now take over the reigns of her husband’s drug empire in order to keep her family safe. Read our review of Aarya here.
Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar

Abhishek Bachchan (‘Breathe: Into The Shadows’)

Abhishek Bachchan is the latest entrant from Bollywood into the web series world with Breathe: Into The Shadows, the second instalment to Amazon’s hit show Breathe. Bachchan plays a psychiatrist whose young daughter is kidnapped. Instead of a ransom, the kidnapper demands that he commit murders in exchange for his daughter’s safety. Breathe: Into The Shadows releases on Friday, July 10.
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video