He may not come across as someone familiar but chances are that if you’ve heard of Chunni of ‘Dev D’ or Lottery of ‘Monsoon Wedding’, it won’t be difficult for you to picturise this multifaceted and extremely talented actor. Dibyendu Bhattacharya has his roots in theatre and says it will always be his first love. He&’s now doing a cameo in Star Plus&’s new show Badtameez dil… Excerpts from an interview:

When and how did films come your way?

After having completed my course at the National School of Drama in 1997, I joined the National Repertoire Company as a senior actor. Then, after three years, in 2000 I found out that Mira Nair was casting and auditioning for her Monsoon Wedding. But by the time it all worked out for me, I heard it was all over and that the casting had been finalised and closed. But then, it was destiny because when I returned back to the NSD the people there told me that the casting director for the movie had been on the lookout for me since he thought I was apt for the character because there was some last minute recasting happening. It was as if I was destined to be a part of this film and it worked out for me. That&’s how I bagged my first film in Bollywood. Then, after this film, I went to Mumbai with a hope of making it big in the industry and by God&’s grace I bagged all my other movies — Mangal Pandey, Ab Tak Chappan, Black Friday and Goal.

You will be seen doing a cameo in Star Plus&’s Badtameez dil… what&’s your character going to be all about?

I play Pinky bhai who is a popular legislator with a lot of respect from the people around him. He is an influencer and doesn’t take nonsense from anybody. All hell breaks loose when Abeer (Pearl V Puri) lands up in a brawl with him while saving Meher (Asmita Sood). Pinky bhai is someone who will not back down until he has the upper hand in the situation. He is an extremely powerful person and won’t leave any stone unturned for his own benefit.

What is it that you are always seen in negative roles? Is this reflective of your alter ego?

No, not at all. When people ask me about my negative characters, I often tell them about my life and they end up changing their perception about me. Acting is all about getting into the skin of your character and that&’s exactly what I do. After I am done with the project, I am back to being myself. All the good, bad, negative, positive, etc, qualities are inside you. And they come out depending on the character you’re portraying. You become what you nurture. Apart from my negative roles, I am just a simple person surrounded by the people I love; my family. I am a different person on screen and off it.

A lot had been said about when you commented on Padma Shree awards and Khan stars. Did that affect you?

Not really. I don’t believe in commenting on others’ success. I am busy doing my own thing. My work is of prime priority for me. As a matter of fact, people are in the industry because of their talent and calibre. The audience loves them for their body of work and that&’s why they’re superstars in their own right.

Are you getting back to plays and theatre?

Having trained at the National School of Drama for three years, I can proudly say that theatre is my first love and will always be. I did eventually start doing films and television roles but theatre is where I belong. As an actor, I want to be a part of all the channels there are. I want to give every character I portray 100 per cent and there&’s no two ways to it. Acting; be it plays, theatre, movies or TV, as far as I am satisfying my craft and staying true to it, I am open to whatsoever comes my way.

One actor/actress you’d like to work with?

There&’s not one but many people who I want to work with. First, Naseeruddin Shah is someone I am looking at working with for a really long time. We were together in Monsoon Wedding but we didn’t share screen space. I’d love to work with Deepika Padukone after seeing her performance in Piku. She is a phenomenal actress. And, finally, Shabana Azmi and Shah Rukh Khan for their respective body of work. It’ll be fun to work with them. I have already worked with Aamir Khan in Mangal Pandey but would definitely love to work with him again.

What&’s in the pipeline?

As of now I am focusing on theatre. I have a few films lined up later in the year. If something on TV comes up I’ll definitely be open to it. I am here to do substantial work that satisfies me as an actor.