“I have turned a director with the short film Azaad on Sony Liv”
The versatile actor Chandan Roy Sanyal talks about his role in the latest web series Hawa Badle Hassu and his approach to films and his next release Jabariya Jodi as an actor and how he has turned a director with the short film Azaad
How important has the OTT platform become today in this age?
Today, whether we like it or not, every watchman or a maid has a phone in the pocket. Cinema will continue to co-exist with the OTT platforms which beam web series of all kinds. Like people had forecast when TV came that no one will go all the way to a theatre to see Cinema, [people may say that web series will spell the death knell of Cinema and TV but it is far from truth, though it is very difficult to ignore this potent medium
How did you start your web innings as an actor?
I started my web innings as an actor with the film The Sholay Girl directed by Aditya Sarpotdar with Bidita Bag as the protagonist as the duplicate for Hema Malini in the film Sholay. The web film was produced by Shrabani Deodhar and her daughter Sai Deodhar. I played the mentor of the Sholay girl, the stunt woman Reshma Pathan.
What is the latest web series Hawa Badle Hassu all about?
Hawa Badle Hassu is a series on environment. Besides setting out to entertain the viewers, the web series can also reach out to a lot more people and educate them on environment.
What is your role in the series Hawa Badle Hassu?
I play the role of Hasmukh Pandey, an undercover cop who is basically a professor who rides an auto rickshaw and meets different kinds of customers in his day to day life.
How challenging was it for you to get into the skin of your character in Hassu Badle Hassu?
More than acting, it was a big challenge to drive the auto rickshaw and act at the same time jest looking at the rear mirror while talking to the customers and also constantly change the gear. I had to sit in the seat of the auto rickshaw and enact my scenes and it was quite tough.
How did you prepare for your part?
I learnt how to drive an auto rickshaw for almost a week in a secluded part of Versova where I live. The best part of my training is that neither did I apply and get a driver’s license nor did I end up with an accident. I also made it a point to talk to as many trees as I could. I love talking to trees and preserve water as part of my effort to preserve environment.
To what extent, did you depend on your director duo Saptaraj Chakraborty and Shiva Varma as far as far Hassu is concerned?
The directors Saptaraj Chakraborty and Shiva Verma, who is basically engineers, are amazing and they have a very good vision and I just set out to translate their vision in front of the camera as an actor.
With which film did you make your debut in films?
It was way back in 2003 that I made my debut in films as an actor with Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti. I shot for a month and a half for the film but sadly most of my scenes were cut off. The bonus of working in the film was that I could see Aamir Khan, Waheeda Rehman and R. Madhavan everyday on the sets and learn by observing them at close quarters at work and also earn a salary. Rang De Basanti was followed by Kamiay for Vishal Bharadwaj in 2009. Unfortunately I have not been offered yet another film aftrwer Kamiya by a filmmaker like Vishal Bharadwaj
How happy are you with the way your career has progressed over the years as an actor?
I feel very sad when I look back and realize that though I have acted in many films, some did not run at all. I am trying to do work in my own way and get somewhere. It is taking hell of a lot of time but I am sure that I will reach somewhere before I die.
What is your approach to acting?
I keep in mind what my gurus Alec Padamsee and Habib Tanveer have taught me. I should be honest towards my work and believe in the scene that I set out to do when I face the camera. That is my approach towards acting.
Which according to you are your five best films as an actor trill date?
I’d say Vishal Bharadwaj’s Kaminay, Nikhil Advani’s D Day, Nandita Das’ Monto, Sanjay Gupta’s Jazbaa and Ashish R Shukla’s Prague are my best films as an actor till date.
What is your plus point as an actor?
I think my plus point as an actor is that I can easily carry off different costumes.
How would you describe yourself as an actor in the industry today?
I’d say that I am like a tortoise and believe that slow and steady wins the race. I am a staunch bachelor and I select out of only what I get as far as films and web series are concerned. I consider my body to be my instrument. I feel that if I start blowing my own trumpet as an actor, I will only end up vanishing from the scene. I’d rather be like Amitabh Bachchan. Look at his amazing body of work and experience.
Which are the films which you would love to see as a viewer?
I enjoy watching crime thrillers. I liked watching Scar Face, God Father etc.
Who are the directors in your wish list as an actor?
Vishjal Bharadwaj, Nikhil Advani, Imtiaz Ali, Buddhadeb Dasgupta and last but not the least A Raja Krishna Menon with whom I had worked with Saif Ali Khan in Chef.
What is your next project?
My next project is a film called Jabariya Jodi starring Siddharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra in which I play the role a Bihari goonda who forcibly abducts marriageable young boys and marries them off.
I have always loved writing and recently I turned a director with a short film of mine called Azaad for Sony Live. With the film, I ask whether our ancestors fought and gave up their lives for us to forget all about it, after we attained the Independence of our nation in my short film Azaad.
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Tags: Bollywood, Bollywood News, Bollywood Updates, Television, Telly News, Jabariya Jodi, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Azaad, Short Film, OTT Platforms