Actor Kranti Prakash Jha plays Vijay Singh, a young man driven by vengeance, in upcoming MX Original series Raktanchal.
The web series is set in the 1980s Purvanchal and revolves around the power struggle in a time when development work was distributed through tenders.
In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Kranti Prakash Jha talked about Raktanchal, heartland stories, the web space and much more.
Q. What attracted you towards Raktanchal?
The show has “nau ras” (nine emotions), and I could relate with my character’s angst because I have personally experienced this. So that reference from personal life was there. Vijay is a studious guy trying to clear his UPSC. But because Waseem Khan pushed him to extremes, he got into revenge mode. How he takes that revenge is what the story is about.
Q. Raktanchal is set in the 1980s. What kind of prep went into playing a character from that era?
Loads of preparations went into it. We had around 100 locations. I knew the script by heart because I had read it 20-30 times. I cut myself from the surroundings for a few days and tried to see things from the viewpoint of Vijay. Then when I performed on the very first day, my director liked it, and that’s how I got hold of the tone of my character.
For Vijay, I had to mould myself because I have never done what he does. I am a very peaceful person in real life. I would like to dedicate my Vijay to Amitabh Bachchan’s Vijays from Trishul and Agneepath.
Q. How much did playing Vijay affect you? Vijay is a character with grey shares and violent at times too.
There are several high octane scenes which left me exhausted. But I never carried it to the next day. You live with that character, but only till you play him. I have never done such a character. In my previous project, I played Swami Ramdev. So I always inculcate the good things from a character and leave behind things which are opposite to me. Playing Vijay was challenging.
Q. It explores power struggle and politics of tenders. How important does it become for an artiste to believe in the political angle of a show?
There was nothing in this script that I would have disagreed with. It is a simple story without any unnecessary elements. It revolves around tender, politics and things of that time. It is on you how you relate with those things. We aren’t giving any political statement. It is a fictional story inspired by real events.
Q. There’s a increase in shows that take us to heartland India. How will Raktanchal be any different?
Our country has so many stories to explore. You see, today only those films are working which are simple and relatable to a common man. So that’s important. I hope people are able to relate to my character. I have done my work honestly.
Q. You were seen in films like MS Dhoni and Batla House. You think the web has been more kind to you?
OTT has definitely opened up new avenues. Films are a huge medium where a lot of factors are involved, like money, star power, and amidst things, sometimes talent gets sidelined. OTT does not have such kind of pressure. Web believes in actors like us, even writers, directors. The platform has helped showcase the talent of so many people.
Q. Do you think Raktanchal releasing during the lockdown will give it an advantage?
I am sure people will watch it in their homes.
Raktanchal begins streaming on MX Player from May 28. It also stars Nikitin Dheer, Vikram Kochhar, Soundarya Sharma, Pramod Pathak, Chitranjan Tripathi and Ronjini Chakraborty among others.
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