Angshuman as the Invisible Man in Rajdrohi Bengali Cinema
Talented actor Angshuman who debuted in Trishna with Rituparna Sengupta talks about his upcoming film Rajdrohi, his career, future plans and more. Please read the exclusive interview at Calcutta Tube.
Calcutta Tube: Please tell us something about the character Deep you are playing in the upcoming Bengali movie ‘Rajdrohi’.
Angshuman: When director Tapan Banerjee depicted the role of Deep, I hardly realized the depth of the character. Deep is a very amiable kind hearted young man who has lost his father at a very tender age. Somewhere deep in his heart he could not accept the tragic fate of his father, who was a scientist. Then one day he comes to know about his dad’s half accomplished invention. He wants the invention to be a success and there comes in the incident of becoming invisible which becomes a turning point of his life. As we proceeded with the film, I realized the details of the character and things became increasingly challenging. The shooting was itself very difficult as far as the invisible parts were concerned, and I think it was a big challenge for the whole team.
Calcutta Tube: We have not had much films like this in Bengali, and Indian cinema before. What are your expectations from the audience?
Angshuman: I have very high expectations from the audience, since the film has a very unique theme. We are trying to present the audience with something very singular that no one else has come up with yet.We have not seen anything like this in movies from the South or in the Bollywood. The invisible man has always been a Hollywood concept so far. We are amazed by what we have done in this film.
The invisible man of ‘Rajdrohi’ resembles the concept of Hollowman, though the storyline is totally different. I am so happy that the Bengali films industry has come up with something like this and Debjit Das has done a marvelous job with the computer graphics. I believe that the audience will totally love this film because we are presenting them with something that has not been done before in Indian cinema.
Calcutta Tube: The actresses Manali and Swati both are debutante. Please share your experience working with them.
Angshuman: To be very honest, I am not a much experienced actor either. This is my third movie. So I know what problems an actor faces in his/her debut film. I have helped them as much as I could. That made things easier. I received the same support from my seniors when I first entered the industry. It was actually very nice working with them.
Calcutta Tube: How did it feel working with senior actors like Rituparna Sengupta, Rajatabha Dutta?
Angshuman: I was very uneasy in my first film Trishna with Rituparna Sengupta. It was a very bold film and getting started was so hard for me. Once I got over that phase things became much easier. I got help in every step from Rituparna; the same with Rajatabha. They are great actors and at the same time the friendliest people one can ever see. Even as a newcomer, I never felt left out when working with stars of their stature. It was a learning experience for me.
I have worked in Mumbai for two years. Things are very different over there. They have more professional attitude towards time, money, competition. But in Kolkata, the relationships among the industry people are more intimate and warm. People are more understanding here and have a less formal approach.
Calcutta Tube: How did think of taking up acting as your career?
Angshuman: I started my career with the Grasim Mr. India contest held in Kolkata in 2006. Then I moved to Mumbai and worked there for two years as a model. Modeling is a profession that does not last for very long and I wanted to be in a place where I can stay longer. That is how I started thinking about acting. I tried to seek the actor within myself. I started observing theatre closely, though I have never directly worked in plays.
Personally I preferred not to join an acting school. I think most of the time they are more of profit making organizations and learning institutes. Anyway, theatre gave a broader concept of what acting is.
Since I worked in Trishna, I have settled in Kolkata. But I would like to go back to Mumbai once again to try my luck there. If I get good recognition for my works here, things would be easier for me in Bollywood.
Calcutta Tube: How else would you have been, if not an actor?
Angshuman: Most probably, I would have joined my father in his business. My dad would still love to have me with him. I have asked him for some more time to concentrate in acting.
Calcutta Tube: With many new faces streaming in the Bengali film industry, how much competition do you have to face as an actor?
Angshuman: I am sure there is some competition. But I do not give much thinking to that. And if I would like to compete with somebody, it would be nice to do so with my favorite actor Brad Pitt, if possible. In real life here, I do not really care about competition.
Calcutta Tube: Do you believe in the ratings or rankings?
Angshuman: I think the audience and fans assign rankings to their favorite actors. It is however more important for an actor to have talent than anything else. I personally would like to prove myself in versatile roles, work with filmmakers like Rituparno Ghosh, Gautam Ghosh and prove my talent as an actor. That is more important to me than just being called a number 1 actor.
Calcutta Tube: What kind of roles do you like to do? Is there anything special kind of role that you would like to do?
Angshuman: I would love to work in a comedy role. It would be a rewarding experience for me if I can make the audience laugh and smile, esp. when there is so much stress in our daily lives.
Calcutta Tube: Are you working in any such comedy movies right now?
Angshuman: No, not right now. But I am working in a movie titled ‘Script No. 36’ which is directed and produced by Sanjay Dutta with Sabyasachi Chakrabarty. The movie also has a debutante actor.
Calcutta Tube: You have worked both in Mumbai and Kolkata. What is the relative position of Bengali movies compared to the Indian cinema?
Angshuman: Compared to the standard of Bengali movies made till late 70’s or early 80’s, movies made in the later years suffered from deterioration in quality. Even though films were made, the audience somehow stayed away from the movie halls. But right now, there is an rising trend again. Many filmmakers and actors including the newcomers are trying to come up with something good and new. I am trying to be a part of it, too. We need to develop a niche of urban audience. The Bengali cinema is more popular in the rural sectors, but the urban folks for some time have not been much concerned about Bengali films. That is exactly what we need to achieve and I am very hopeful about it.
Calcutta Tube: Do you yourself watch Bengali movies?
Angshuman: Yes, I do. I often try to watch the oldies and learn from them.
Calcutta Tube: Please name some of your favorite actors who inspire you as an actor?
Angshuman: In Bengali movies, it is obviously Uttam Kumar, and in Bollywood it is Amitabh Bachchan. There are many others too. I get a lot of inspiration from Hollywood actors Robert DeNiro, Brad Pitt. I would like to follow their way as an actor.
Calcutta Tube: What do you do for physical fitness? You have a very good built.
Angshuman: I work out regularly, maintain a healthy diet and eat home cooked meals. I stay away from oily food and do not eat out. I also keep more bread in my diet. I work out for two hours. It is not much fun, but worth it.
Calcutta Tube: Please say something for your fans.
Angshuman: I would like them to watch Rajdrohi, which I am sure they would enjoy. Their positive response from the film would inspire me to try more and more new things in future.
Interview and Write-up : Shrabanti Basu