Bengali actor, TV personality Mir talks about Bengali movie Chaplin. Read the interview at Calcutta Tube.
MIR – EXPLORING FRESH PASTURES
Mir is one of the most popular faces in Bengali television and the most popular voice on the radio channels. He has extended the borders of his performance by taking on some choice assignments in feature films. These portrayals are few and far between but they do leave a strong impression on the minds of the audience. He talks about his role of Zafar in Anindo Banerjee’s Chaplin which has recently been chosen for screening at the River-to-River Film Festival. Chaplin has been acquired for distribution, exhibition, DVD sales, streaming and telecasting by Databazaar Media Ventures.
When a director approaches you with a role in his film, what criteria do you apply while accepting the assignment?
The footage is not important. I do not care to find out how many times I am visible in the screen space or how many lines I have to deliver compared to this or that actor. What is significant to me is – how important is the character within the framework of the story. It should not be so insignificant that one does not notice it or forgets it as soon as the film is over.
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You have done three important feature films so far – Bong Connection, Chaplin and the soon-to-be-released Nondini. What is your comment on this oeuvre vis-à-vis your role in them?
There is a common thread in all the three films so far as I am concerned. The first question I asked each of my three directors – Anjan Dutt, Anindo Banerjee and Subrata Sen is “why me?” because I am a bit diffident about my capabilities as an actor in films or in television. But the diffidence began to wane away a little after the first film, then a bit more in the second film and even more in Nondini though by no means do I consider myself an actor of a rank occupying the top rungs of the acting ladder. I have also done a very interesting role in Anik Dutta’s Bhooter Bhabishyat which is yet to release.
Let us hear about your experience of working in Chaplin.
It was a kind of challenge for me and the name of the character – Zafar, added to my own real name – Mir, had historical ramifications. Jokes apart, the best experience was the chance the role gave me to act with Rudraneel Ghosh who I consider to be one of the best actors in the industry today. I left everything to Anindo because I believe it is the director who is the captain of the ship.
What other experiences did you take home with you while working in Chaplin?
We had to shoot in a real slum at a Majerhat Colony in Kolkata under extreme climatic conditions – the heat versus the cold in different seasons. I had never experienced life in a slum before and this was one way of learning to share a single toilet used by 84 people in the slum. We had no choice; we had to use the same toilet. It was gruelling and painstaking but it is also an experience I will remember all my life.
Did you put in any extra homework for the role in Chaplin?
No, I did not. Anindo gave me a special look, with stubble on my chin and a constant disgruntled and frustrated look with little dialogue to speak of. The rest fell into place and I look back on the film and the role with a sense of having done something significant.
– Shoma A. Chatterji