Interview of Debanjan Chatterjee

1.Do you prefer acting on stage or acting on screen?
Ans) I started my journey as an actor on television and I believe that if I am a known face today and if people know my name, it is because of that. However, I feel that when I act on stage, I get the immediate response of the audience whereas that does not happen on the screen. We have to wait until the film or the serial releases. However, the screen allows you to affect the wider audience. Hence, I will prefer the screen a little more than the stage.
2. How is your experience of working in Shongstob ?
Ans) Shongstob is the theatre group of Dwijen Bandyopadhyay. I am of the opinion that whatever I have learnt about acting, it is from this group and for the same reason, I never thought about joining any other theatre group other than this. Of course, on a professional level, I have performed for all groups but nothing more than that. Moreover, at this point, I think, Shongstob is no longer just a group for me, it is my family.
3. What will you consider as your first big break?
Ans) I think I will take the name of the mega serial Khela which used to be shown in the channel, Zee Bangla. This is because this show made me popular among thousands of people and that happened overnight. I replaced Rahul in the serial and he was a very popular face already. trusting someone who is inexperienced for such a hefty role is something that only a person like Ravi Ojha can do. I consider him and Biswajit Ganguly as my mentors and whatever I know about acting in front of the camera, is due to them.
4. Did you plan on becoming an actor from the beginning or was it sudden?
Ans) Though my parents were actors, I never really thought of becoming an actor. On the contrary, I hoped on being a cricketer. My entry into acting happened in a funny way. One day, I went to the studio to collect my mother’s script as at that time, she was acting in the serial called Swami Vivekananda and the studio at that time was in search for a bit of 16 to 17 years of age for a character. It was then that I met Manosh Dutta Gupta and he spoke to me for a long time. After that, I was offered the role and took it thereafter when my mother asked me to. That marked the beginning of my acting career. And after I got a taste of it, I decided that I would do nothing but acting.
5. In the television industry, whose work do you admire?
Ans) We have a group e friends who are also my contemporaries in the field of acting and I think all of them are doing a great job. Moreover, amongst my seniors, I admire the acting of Bhaswar Chatterjee, Ritwick Chakraborty, Saheb Chatterjee and so many and even before them, there is Kharaj Mukherjee. I not only admire their work but also learn from them a great deal.
6. Nasserudin Shah said in an interview once ” an actor observes and behaves”. What is your opinion about such a remark?
Ans) I absolutely agree with him because it is only when the actor observes that he is able to perform. This is because it gets reflected in his performance. Moreover, actors do not have a fixed syllabus to follow. It is a continuously ongoing process and therefore, observation is very important.
7.Are the differences between mainstream cinema and art house films increasing or decreasing?
Ans) Srijit Mukherjee once said that there are two types of cinema, namely, good cinema and bad cinema. I think I stick to that always rather than going into further depth because the moment people are buying tickets and going to cinema halls for seeing art house films, it gets commercialized and on the other hand, commercial films are not all that bad. There can be a debate about this but as for me, I will just stick to that one particular differentiation.
8. We know that you started your acting career when you were 16 years old and that was by playing the character of Vivekananda. After so many years, getting the opportunity to relive the same role all over again, what do you feel about such a pleasant co-incidence?
Ans) More than coincidence, I was worried and happy at the same time. I was happy because it was a nostalgic moment for me and worried because the character came with a lot of responsibilities. When I played the role of Vivekananda at 16 years of age, I did not know what acting was and in our childhood, we do a lot of things like that which have a positive impact on our lives. But after so many years of learning, I have come to know certain things and to be offered the role of Vivekananda once again, the first thought that triggered in me was I have to enact the role convincingly enough. I have a knack for reading books right from the beginning and used to read Vivekananda much before I got into acting. It was because of the fact that I was offered his role that I agreed to start acting in the first place and to be able to do that again, it is obviously a much pleasant co-incidence.
9. Gaining 10 kg for a single role, such dedication is hard to find . How was the journey?
Ans) I did not really think about anything. My sole intention was to enact the role as convincingly as possible. It is a known fact that Swamiji was not at all lean and had a stout and healthy body. I had to have that so that people can recognize me as Swami Vivekananda. It is only later that I got to know that this gaining of weight for a single role is happening for the first time in Bengali television industry. I had no idea about it whatsoever and was just doing my work.
10. In the days to come, what are your plans regarding acting?
Ans) At present, there are no plans because I intend to give all my efforts into the work I am doing at present. Yes, of course, I wish to do other projects.
11. Message for LaughaLaughi.
Ans) LaughaLaughi is doing a great job and I am always there supporting and motivating it. Thank you.

Post Author: Ahana Chatterjee

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