Sohel F Fidai
Kolkata based National Award winning actor Prosenjit spoke to a houseful of audience about his journey of around 340 films. He was speaking at International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Goa.
“I am so happy to be here at IFFI. It’s a wonderful platform.” He started staring the conversation.
Talking about how he started with doing mainstream films Prosenjit said, “In 90s there were around 22 releases in one year…It was difficult I used to do three to 7 shifts a day. But those were hardcore mainstream cinema. Last few years I became more disciplined as an actor. I am doing 3 to 4 films now.”
“Though I think actors in commercials films are like Superman. Look at Shami Kapoor who was one of the finest. People enjoyed watching him on screen.”
There used to be divide between commercial, parallel… art cinema but now there is a huge change. I would thank Rituporno Ghosh for giving me an opportunity. I am so happy that entire cinema has changed.”
When did the acting bug caught you..earlier memories?
“ I was just 5 and a half year, my father was also an actor (Popular actor Biswajit). I made my debut with Hrishikesh Mukherjee but after that my parents didn’t allow me to act and that was a blessing. After sometime I realised I had to build my own standing so I started doing theatre at the age of 18-19. For actors theatres play a very important role.”
“After I did my first film it became a huge success. But for becoming a good actor …After becoming a star a lot of things…you need to do. One needs to do homework. A little learning process is important. You need to speak a lot with your eyes.”
“I realised I need to grow and I am still learning. There is so much to learn everyday. I watch a lot of films, that’s my energy.”
On being asked if it is difficult for an actor who come with lineage, the actor who is fondly called Bumbada said, “When you are a celebrity’s son, you tend to behave like your parents naturally. That’s not one’s fault. So people kept saying I look like my father. I took a pain to come out of that zone where people were comparing me with my father though I can’t change my look”, he laughed.
Talking about technique in cinema, Bumbada says, “Technology is very important part of cinema. An actor has to know technique. As a good actor I think you need to know camera, dubbing etc. I used to sit in my edit to see where I may have gone wrong because after the editing it is all the good parts that are on screen.”
Talking about the changes in cinema Bumbada said, “Slowly somewhere content is becoming main area of appreciation. Those films are even doing good on box office. I feel happy that Nawazuddin is a star…it is not just about looks, they also have to be a performer. It’s a revolution in indian cinema in short span of time. This is the best time.”
Has the process of choosing films changed? “There used to be times when I used to be bothered about box office, director, producer, the actress…a format. If those ticks were marked, I used to say yes to a film. Later on my focus absolutely changed. Now for 2 to 3 nights if a character stays to me, I say yes to a film. Srijit had convinced me in first narration that the film should have me.”
“As an actor I need to get a character that makes not only me but the audiences think too….Real characters but that are not seen often. Dosar’s character was the most challenging character.”
People have started called me Shanti Gopal of Bengali cinema. I tell them that’s not the case…it is just that I want people to remember my characters not me.”
Talking about the filmmakers he worked with, he said, “I am blessed to have worked with directors like Tapan Sinha, Tarun Majumdar, Goutam Ghose, Buddhadev Dasgupta. I have worked with almost all directors.
Ritu (Rituparno Ghosh) was more like a teacher. When I dub for any film, I give credit to him. He really taught me to dub the way that it looks natural on screen. Buddhadev da’s cinema was of different kind. He was a mastermind.
Goutam da is very simple but when he gets his camera he becomes a bull. With him you have to be always prepared.”
What keeps you going after so many films?
“I am an actor that is still hungry. A good character is what I thrive on. I try finding out a story that people haven’t seen before.” The actor concluded.