Bollywood actor Vishal Malhotra is known for his stint in shows like Hip Hip Hurray and films like Ishq Vishq and recently he became the first Indian actor to release an NFT in collaboration with an artist. As Vishal explains, NFT or Non Fungible Token is any entity, tangible or intangible, that is one of a kind and cannot be duplicated. The non-physical NFTs are tradeable in the block chain world and one can acquire ownership of it.
In an interaction with news portal shares, “About a month ago, I wanted to diversify my portfolio. So, I made a little room on Clubhouse to talk about Cryptocurrency and about 1500-2000 people joined in from all over the world. They told me so much about it and I was enamoured. After I understood it wasn’t that difficult, I immersed myself in its research. There I chanced upon NFT and saw that Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey, sold his first tweet as a NFT at 2.5 million dollars. That intrigued me, so, instead of buying cryptocurrency I decided to make an NFT and release it. If it sells, good, if it doesn’t then also no issue.” Vishal’s first NFT was sold at 2.5 ETH, that is equivalent to 5000 dollars.
Vishal shares that he will be releasing a series of NFTs and a part of his earnings from them would go towards children’s charity. These NFT artworks celebrate Vishal’s journey in showbiz, and he admits that it was a humbling experience to relive his journey through these art pieces. “I haven’t been as involved in the social media world for the past two years and that’s a big mistake that I made. But now I have caught on a little bit and from what I learnt about people’s perception towards me, one line that kept coming up was ‘Thank You for making our childhood beautiful’. I have kind of grown up with a lot of people in this country through my work,” he insists.
Vishal informs that it was the idea put forward by the artists to explore his journey through the art work. “Nostalgia became a very big part of my brand. So, a lot of artists came up with this idea that they wanted to interpret my characters over the years as an art piece. My only condition was that I wanted to collaborate with an Indian artist, even though I got offers from artists all across the world,” he says, adding that his entry into this field has led to the establishment of a consultancy agency where he helps other celebrities come up with their NFTs. “But I am the first and nobody can take that away from me,” he smiles.
Meanwhile, on the work front, Vishal hasn’t been as active on screen in the past few years, His last prominent role was in the 2017 release Tu Hai Mera Sunday. Ask him why and he responds, “I have never taken a break; I just haven’t got the kind of work that I want to do. Every work I have done so far has been successful but after a certain time, actors get typecast. Nobody was ready to award me for the work that I had done, but they wanted to punish me by giving me more money for the same kind of work. As artists, we all want to diversify. So, I took a clear stand that I will restart as a fresh actor. I started going to filmmakers and giving auditions. I even asked them to give me smaller but different roles but to convince people has been a difficult process. At the end of the day, I understand that it is a business and people don’t want to take risks. However, opportunities are coming very far and few. The kind of work that I want to do is not readily available, but I am trying. I am not giving up and I know I will succeed.”
Vishal recently returned to his home turf of Disney with the show, Imagine That Season 2, and he shares the reason why. “My daughter is seven years old and during this lockdown especially, she kept hearing people talk about Disney and Hip Hip Hurray to me, and she was confused. Disney has approached me several times for a lot of projects but it never worked out. But I said yes to this show because it is for my daughter and coming back to Disney was like homecoming,” he reveals.
A lot of actors are finding a new lease of life on OTT. Ask Vishal if he intends to do the same and pat comes the reply, “I can’t wait to be on OTT, but the opportunity hasn’t emerged yet. But I am very hopeful and optimistic that before this year ends, I will have a good show with a good character on either Amazon Prime Video, Netflix or Hotstar. It’s not a question of ‘if’ it will happen, but ‘when’ it will happen. And I promise that whenever it happens, I will rock it,” he smiles.