By Shoma A. Chatterji
You made a mark with your debut in Rituparno Ghosh’s serial Gaaner Oparey. How did films happen?
Film-makers like Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha and many others who had seen the serial, Gaaner… liked my work and received offers from several big production houses. Roy and Guha gave me a break in Bapi Bari Jaa in which I played the title role of Bapi who is trying to cope with his sexuality and the trauma he undergoes. Though the film was not a great box- office hit, I got noticed and roles slowly but steadily began to trickle in.
Your family comprising your father, veteran actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty, mother Mithu Chakraborty, elder brother Gaurav (an FTII graduate) and grandmother are actors. Don’t you find it a bit intimidating to be the only one without any training and experience?
On the contrary, I feel that having parents who are also actors is a big advantage. They do not cramp my style. Nor do they dictate my choice of films. I approach them when I feel I need to. Audience expectations might be high because my parents are very successful. They have taught me to go with the flow, which I try to follow.
You worked with Sudeshna and Abhijit for the second time in Jodi Love Dile Na Praane. What was the experience like?
I was a bit nervous to begin with, what with veteran actors like Koushik Ganguly, Abir Chatterjee, Ananya Chatterjee and Sujan Mukherjee in the film. But once homework began, everything fell in place. Sudeshnadi and Abhijitda are organised and their planning is almost perfect. They place you in a comfort zone that helps you perform well. I play the assistant of a noted film-maker but our bonding in the film reaches much beyond work. My character is too mature for his age but is a very likeable personality.
What kind of actor would you describe yourself as?
I am a director’s actor who likes to give inputs if the director is receptive to them, and if they fit into the larger framework of the script. My homework consists in visiting the locations of a film even when I am not needed for the shoot. I often work with my family members and this makes things quite easy. In Jodi Love Dile Na Prane, my mother plays my screen mother as well and we find ourselves enacting some slices of real life in front of the camera. For Bapi Bari Jaa, there was a workshop before the shooting which gave me the confidence to open out in front of the camera.
Are you in a position to reject roles now?
(Smiles shyly) Not really, but I do reject when I find that script is weak and the story will not hold. This is subjective and instinctive, of course. For example, of the seven offers that came to me after Jodi Love Dile Na Prane, I have accepted only three. And I have voluntarily opted out of television completely.
What are these projects?
The three films that I have are all very exciting. One is Aaschhe Bochor Abar Hobe directed by Susanta Das, Chirodini Tumi Je Amar 2 directed by Shounak Chatterjee and Anindabikash Dutta’s Bonkubabu in which Saswata Chatterjee plays the title role and is my grandfather. The first film is a love story where Rittika plays my romantic interest and it is shot against the backdrop of the Durga pooja in Durgapur. The second is also a love story where I am cast opposite Urmila Mohanta and the third is an action-cum-love story with Arunima Ghosh as my love interest.
What is your dream role?
Any James Bond kind of action hero is my dream. I have a holistic approach towards fitness. I played a lot of cricket and football earlier and once had dreams of joining the army. But destiny had different plans, but I have no regrets.
HC upholds single judge’s order; dismisses appeal
Madras High Court recently dismissed an appeal filed by film producer S Thanu against the order of a single judge declining injunction to restrain elected members of the Tamil Film Producers Council from taking charge to their respective posts. Alleging various malpractices, Thanu had filed a civil suit to declare the election null and void and also sought an injunction restraining the members from taking charge of various posts.
The Court had ordered to conduct the elections and had appointed former judges, Justice S Jagadeesan and Justice K Venkataraman as Judge-Commissioners. Elections were held in Sepember 7 last year.
Odia stars join politics
Veteran Odia film actor Bijay Mohanty joined Congress recently and is likely to contest the ensuing general elections. This was announced by Odisha PCC president Jaydev Jena at Bhubaneswar when Mohanty joined the party at Congress Bhavan there.
Mohanty, who has worked in over 70 Odia films, joined Congress barely some days after another veteran actress Aparajita Mohanty joined the party. She is likely to contest from Cuttack Lok Sabha seat. Meanwhile, Odia film actors Sritam Das and Pinky Pradhan have joined BJP. Earlier, Odia film actor Anubhav Mohanty and noted comedian Papu had joined the ruling BJD.