Two-film-old Sushant Singh Rajput, who has wrapped up shooting for director Dibakar Banerjee’s ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshi’, says he prefers unconventional roles and won’t do a run-of-the-mill kind even if he will get big bucks for that.
Q: How was the experience of working with Dibakar Bannerjee in ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!’?
A: We’ve wrapped up the film. And I can tell you, it was one more learning experience for me. Dibakar trusted me completely. We had done workshops before we started shooting. So, I knew exactly what he wanted me to do, and how I should go about it. We had a lot of room for experimentation and I think I’ve grown as an actor. But if you ask what I think of my performance as Byomkesh, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.
Q: Why not?
A: For the first time I didn’t check myself on the monitor after every shot. That was a conscious decision. I looked, talked and behaved very differently from the way I am in real life. If I had seen myself on the monitor, I’d have become very self-conscious and it would have been difficult for me to do the next shot. I didn’t want a visual self-reference, as that would have distracted me from performing.
Q: How difficult was it for you to transform from a 2014 dude to a 1940s’ guy?
A: It wasn’t difficult. It was interesting. Dibakar gave me lots and lots of tips and reference points. Besides I had a whole team looking after my clothes, make-up, hair etc. They made sure I looked the character.I also saw lots of films from the 1940s and 1950s. How they walked, the way they talked, the way they did this and that….these were details I had to understand on my own. I had to be convinced that I had to behave in a particular way.
Q: Why have all your film roles so far been so unconventional?
A: An actor has to remember the primary reason why he chose the profession that he did. If every role that I do doesn’t challenge me then what is the point of being an actor? Every character that I’ve chosen has made me evolve as an actor. And I am lucky that my directors have shown so much faith in my abilities. There is always that sense of exploration and excitement. I am not bothered with whether my characters are conventional or not. Because I am not in this for the designer labels and the autographs. I don’t even want to go there. I am not saying that those who crave for conventional stardom are wrong in their aspirations. But that’s not what I want.
Q: Would you be uncomfortable playing the designer hero?
A: I won’t be comfortable doing the normal. If I invest six months of my life in a role, the least I expect is to come out of the experience feeling good about myself. I won’t play the conventional role even if I get big money for it. Financial considerations are not an issue for me. If push comes to shove, I’ll make my own movies. So far I’ve got the roles I wanted. If in the future that changes then we’ll see.