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If the story is interesting, I don’t think the genre: Ankush Hazra

The film ‘Ogo Bideshini’ Directed by Anshuman Pratyush tells the story of a boy who falls in love with a foreign girl.

Payel Roy | kolkata |

He has managed to dig into a role that challenges the actor in him. By stepping into production with the ultimate action thriller Mirza, actor Ankush Hazra is currently on an experimental mode. But the actor still roots for romcoms and is gearing up for his upcoming comedy drama ‘Ogo Bideshini’. Directed by Anshuman Pratyush, the film tells the story of a boy who falls in love with a foreign girl.

Ahead of its release, actor Ankush Hazra opens up about the new film on an exclusive conversation with The Statesman.

What made you fall in love with a Bideshini? Or rather I would ask what made you fall in love with the script of Ogo Bideshini?

Basically when I enjoy listening to the script, I no longer think this and that and whether I should do the film or not. This is the kind of films I have done and I enjoy doing. It has all the mainstream elements, foot tapping songs, dance, comedy and it’s a total entertainment package. I liked the story and if I would be the audience I would definitely watch it. That’s what made me say yes to the film.

In contrast to your rough and tough avatar in Mirza, this film features you yet again as a lover boy. What to watch out for?

Unlike the so called heroes, this boy is the quintessential boy next door. He is stuck between his mother and girlfriend. He is trying hard to please his mother but again he can’t leave his lady love. His problems are very true to life, I think that’s where people will connect.

How was it pairing up with Alexandra Taylor? Was it difficult to build up the chemistry?

For the first time I am pairing up with a foreign girl and when I was shown her picture I literally had butterflies in stomach (quipped). But unfortunately committed guys like us don’t get a chance to flirt you can understand. So I tried to act very descend in the first meet. If it would have been 10 years back then I would have tried to impress her (jokes).

So you pretended to act descend in the first meet? Then how things went on?  

No, keeping jokes apart, we really had a great time working with Alexandra. She is a very sweet girl. And honestly speaking we think that there’s a huge cultural difference between us and the foreigners, but after getting to know her we realised there’s basically no difference. Her way of thoughts, the way she chats with us, her lifestyle everything is quite similar to ours. So in a very short time we developed a strong bonding and working with her became easy. You know without that comfort zone we wouldn’t have been able to deliver scenes so smoothly and credit goes to her. The way she adjusted with us is really commandable.

But there are so many talented actors in Bengal. What was the need to travel to London to find a heroine?

Our story demanded a foreign heroine. We wanted to make the character look real and actors from Kolkata won’t be able to get the foreign accent so apt. It was a difficult tusk to find such an actor and amongst many who were auditioned we selected Alexandra. Then she was given workshops there and she is a really good actor.

How was the shooting experience in London? Any anecdote..

Oh we had an amazing experience shooting in London. Anshuman Pratyush is very easy to work with and he’s like a friend. Manasi di though senior to us can very easily join us and get into things. Shanti da (Shantilal Mukherjee), I have worked with him in many films. So we all share a great equation and when you work with close people you definitely enjoy the working process.

The film has multiple fun moments. Was it tough to build up those scenes?

Actually it wasn’t tough. To deliver the comedy scenes it needs equal efforts from both the actors, one who’s delivering the punch line and the one processing the reaction. If the other person fails to react then your comedy will appear unreal. So it is kind of a double-side game. The actors I worked with like Kanchan da or Manasi di, they all are expert in this genre and I really didn’t had to do anything extra to build up the fun moments. With them it came out effortlessly.

Your films mostly include romantic comedies and those were the movies that did best business. So don’t you think this genre is your strong suit?

People love watching movies of this flavour and entertainment is all that matters. If I find the story interesting I say yes to it, I really don’t think much about the genre. Romcom is something that I have been doing for a very long time, but again when you are an actor you need to explore and change the taste of audience. That’s why I am bringing Mirza.

To give yourself that space you thought of coming into production with Mirza?

I wanted to tell stories and didn’t always want to depend on others for a good screenplay. I think it’s high time to do something on my own and that’s why thought of taking this step.

Mirza seems to be a larger-than-life attempt. Isn’t it so?

Yes I always wanted to make a larger-than-life film, the ones we get to see in South. Mirza will give a different taste to the Bengal audience and we are really looking forward.