After the thumping box office success of ‘Autograph’ and ‘Baishe Srabon’, Tollywood actor-filmmaker Srijit Mukherjee is on a roll. IBNS correspondent Priyam Mallick catches up with the busy filmmaker, whose next is a film on how to commit suicide, on the sets of ‘Dutta vs Dutta’ directed by National Award winning filmmaker Anjan Dutta.
You are a director much in demand. Since when have you started acting?
I am acting for quite sometime now as I had assisted Anjan Dutta in ‘Madly Bangalee’ and acted there, then I assisted Rina Di (Aparna Sen) in ‘Iti Mrinalini’ and did a small role there also. Then I acted in the film ‘Chaplin’ which was released few months back. Apart from films, I appeared in a small screen serial ‘Gaaner Opare’. I always try to do a small cameo in my own films also. Moreover I am presently acting in Anjan Dutta’s upcoming film ‘Dutta vs Dutta’. So I always keep a continuous touch with acting.
Being youself a filmmaker, how is it working with another filmmaker, Anjan Dutta?
Anjan Da is not only a filmmaker to me, he is my mentor. I have learnt work from him before doing my directorial debut. And moreover, its a honour for me to work with a director of the calibre of Anjan Dutta.
What role are you playing in ‘Dutta vs Dutta’?
I am playing the character of Tony Mukherjee, who is an intellectual of the seventies Kolkata. He mainly stays with poetry and high music. Basically he is the product of his time.
Acting along with directing, so can we call you Farhan Akhtar of Tollywood?
(Smile) No, I will be most happy if I am called Srijit Mukherjee only.
After the success of ‘Autograph’ and ‘Baishe Srabon’, what is your next directorial venture?
My next venture is ‘Hemlock Society’, which is in the post-production stage. I am planning to release it by end of May.
Whom have you cast in the film?
In ‘Hemlock Society’ the lead cast is Parambrata Chatterjee and Koel Mullick.
You have cast Bumba-da (Prosenjit Chatterjee) in your first two films, is he there in this film too?
No, he is not acting in this film but definitely he will work in the next project.
What is ‘Hemlock Society’ all about?
It is a dark romantic comedy.The nature of humour is black. It is about a school, where they teach how to commit suicides. My research on the Internet called up a site called Hemlock Society in Santa Monica, USA where they help people to die in dignity. (According to Wikipedia, the Hemlock Society USA is a national right-to-die organization founded in Santa Monica, California by Derek Humphry in 1980. Its primary missions included providing information to dying persons and supporting legislation permitting physician-assisted suicide.)
Which are the places where you shot the film?
The film is entierly shot in Kolkata.
Who is your inspiration in creative life?
There are many people who inspire me, depending upon the field. One of them in Kabir Suman.
Do you have plan to cast any Bollywood actor in your films?
No, I dont have any such plans to cast Bollywood actors. Casting is based on what the script demands.
IMAGES: Somnath Roy Chowdhury