Director-actor Anjan Dutta has described himself as a “failure” who is only getting recognition from the present generation of directors despite having made his mark in the works of art house filmmakers in the 1980s.

“I consider myself a failed actor. I had never been offered roles of my choice since the ’90s and could not realise the dream of exploring my full acting repertoire,” he said at the premier of his film, Hemanta, inspired by Shakespeare&’s Hamlet, on 16 August.

The self-styled actor-director-balladeer of Bengali songs also referred to the situation in an ’80s film where, as a newcomer, he was never given free space by a leading light of those times but had to keep mum.

“I had great expectations when I was brought by Mrinalda into the world of cinema from being a journalist in the early ’80s. My first film was Chalchitra in 1981 and afterwards I was getting roles I wanted. But slowly I ended up in becoming a failed actor, an incomplete actor during the ’90s and early 2000,” he rued.

“However, the new generation of directors, from Param (actor Parambrata Chatterjee) to Pratim and Aniket (Chatterjee) are again giving me experimental roles I had always wanted,” said Dutta, suggesting it may be too late.

About Hemanta (Hamlet), he said, “Had I been a little younger I could have portrayed Hemanta. But again, I think being a failed actor I should not have gone for such a role. At least I think I can be a better judge of actors if not being a good actor myself.”

About his upcoming Byomkesh Bakshi thriller Chiriakhana, Dutta said, “It is not a remake of Ray&’s Chiriakhana, which I don’t think was an ideal adaptation of the literary work by Saradindu. My work will adhere more to fiction with Jisshu Sengupta in the sleuth&’s role and Saswata Chatterjee as Ajit.

“I believe at this stage of my career, when I am 60-plus, I don’t have much time left,” he signed off.