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It’s quite a close-knit environment here: Actor Chandan Roy Sanyal

Actor Chandan Roy Sanyal speaks about the Bengali film he is currently shooting in Kolkata, differences between the Hindi and Bengali industries and doing his best with the characters he gets to play.

Madhurima Dey | Kolkata |

Chandan Roy Sanyal is an actor who is well known for memorable parts in Kaminey, Aparajita Tumi, Jab Harry Met Sejal and Manto among several others. He made his acting debut in 2006 with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti. Now Sanyal is busy shooting for Deep6 and Jabariya Jodi.

The actor is on a career high after being nominated in the Best Actor category at the New York Indian Film Festival for his film, Flight. Roy Sanyal spoke about his latest releases, what keeps him going and much more. Excerpts from an interview:

Q) You have been working in Kolkata for the last few days for a Bengali film. Could you tell us something it?

The film is called Deep6. It is directed by Madhuja Mukherjee and shot by Abhik Mukherjee, who recently shot Hindi films like Badlaand October. It also stars Tillotama Shome. I basically play the role of a loser, a fallen hero; someone who was really bright and successful in his college but once out of college, he could never go anywhere. Then his wife or girlfriend, whatsoever you say, left him. Throughout the film I am following her and trying to make peace with her. She doesn’t want me back so I am kind of frustrated, lost and sad.

Q) You were nominated in the Best Actor category at the New York Indian Film Festival for Flight. Could you please reveal something about your role?

The film is called Flight or Urojahaj in Bangla. It is a story of a mechanic who finds an aeroplane in a jungle and dreams of flying it. How he fights the system to get that plane in the air forms the plot. It’s a story of a dreamer and is directed by Buddhadev Dasgupta.

Q) You have been working for both the Bengali and Hindi film industries,which do you prefer and why?

I can’t really say because I work constantly between these two industries. I like both in the same way but for different reasons. The Hindi industry is where I started and it gave me all the recognition and money. And that’s where I live, in Bombay. Bengali is my mother tongue and I keep coming back here because of the pull of the soil and culture. Being a probashi Bangali, I try to contribute in my own little way to this Bengali film culture. That’s why I do different kinds of cinema in Bengal.

Q) How are the work cultures and environments different?

First, the budget is a big differential point —the budget share in Bengali films is very less compared to Bollywood films. Second, there are too many people on set in a Hindi film. Third, the food served here is far better than what I get there! I also like the fact that since this is a small industry, everybody tends to know each other; everybody addresses each other as didi or dada. So, it’s quite a close knit environment here. On the other hand, Bombay is like a world city, a lot of people come there from all over the world. Now, with the advent of Netflix, Amazonand other websites, a lot of international talents are also coming to work in the Hindi industry.

Q) There is often uniqueness in your roles. So how do you pick them?

For me, first is the script, what do I play and then obviously, there is the director. I might be working with famous names like Nandita Das, Imtaz Ali or Vishal Bhardwaj but I also want to work with first time directors, people who are completely new. First and foremost, I read the script and see what difference I can make to the role and what excites me as an artist about that particular character.

Q) Viewers at times forget the contribution of the non-leading actors involved in a particular film. Isn’t that painful for you?

It is painful in the sense that you get a smaller part of the pie as an actor but now I am used to it. I am aware of the fact that they are the lead actors of the film and would obviously get more attention. So I try to ignore it and give my best in whatever role I play. I, sort of, keep myself motivated everyday by striving to do an even better job, so that people remember me for the little time I have on screen.

Q) Your next release is Jabariya Jodi where you are cast alongside Siddharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra. So how was your experience working for the film?

It is a film based in Bihar. It’s about a tradition there where the grooms gets abducted and has to forcefully get married to the bride, especially when they happen to be from a rich family or the educated class. Siddharth and I run a gang in Bihar, which abducts grooms and get them forcefully married to women! It’s a rom-com and I have tried my hand at some crazy Bhojpuri comedy.