Kolkata/Calcutta Tube: Rittwik Chakraborty made his debut in a major role in the television serial Raat Bhor Brishti. His first major role as hero was in Pagol Premi which did not do well due to back marketing, publicity and release. He drew attention in one of the two male leads in Cross Connection. Currently, he is in the news for Sekhar Das’ film Necklace.
What character do you portray in Necklace?
I play Biswanath Roy, a happy-go-lucky, affluent, upwardly mobile young executive who has a rooted Bengali identity. When he gets a promotion, the first reaction is that he must buy a gift for his wife he is very happy with. He is an educated young man but is not a deep thinker. He is quite okay with everyday life but cannot control things when he is hassled by something that does not happen within the routine he is used to. He has no ego hassles even when the boss insults him about his slow vertical mobility on the job. I loved the role.
What kind of homework did you do for this film?
Sekhar-da as director briefed me very well before the shooting of the film. He allows a lot of space to innovate. I had to look a bit older than my real age. Working with Ritu-di (Rituparna Sengupta) was a surprise. She comes across smoothly with relative freshers like me. She does not carry the baggage of her stardom. She is never pressurized by her name and position nor does she make her co-actors feel any pressure.
How was it working with a veteran actor like Dipankar Dey who plays your boss in the film?
I consider myself very fortunate to share screen space with him. He is one of the greatest and most versatile actors Bengali cinema has produced. The polarity of his range is incredible. Can you believe that he was only 27 years old when he played the role of the zamindar in Tapan Sinha’s Banchharamer Bagan? His talent has not been evaluated properly by the industry yet. Working with him has been a great learning experience.
Which roles among your repertoire do you cherish the most?
An actor is never satisfied with his work for any film. But given that I have not done too many films so that my dream roles are yet to be done, I look back happily on my work in Bishwas Naa Korteo Paren, a short fiction film directed by my friend Prodipto where I am almost the sole actor in the film thrust by an identity crisis for no fault of mine. The film has been screened at many festivals and won awards as well.
Which director have you enjoyed working with the most?
No actor can give a definite answer because I think an actor as something different and unique to learn from every director. I have worked with some of the best such as Sudeshna-di, Rana-da, Raj Chakraborty, Sekhar-da etc. I worked under the directorial baton of Raj for Le Chakka where I play the angry and bitter brother of the heroine. Television is also very necessary for financial reasons and also to remain visible. I am right now working in a megasoap called Roilo Pherar Nimantran opposite Rimjhim Gupta.
What films are you working in right now?
Prodipto has directed Bakita Byaktigoto produced by Tara Films. I play the male lead opposite Aparajita Ghosh-Das. I play an independent documentary filmmaker who is making a personal film in this film. I am negotiating with two directors. I am not supposed to talk about them now.
Which actors do you look up to?
Irrfan Khan, Naseeruddin Shah and Dipankar Dey among the seniors and among my peers, I admire Rudranil Ghosh and Saswata Chatterjee.
Shoma A. Chatterji
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