Namit Das learns shoemaking from a local cobbler for his role in A Suitable Boy
Mira Nair chose him as one of the suitors for her heroine, Lata, in her upcoming drama series, A Suitable Boy. Bagging one of the lead roles in this muchawaited project was a dream for actor Namit Das. “It was a great experience as I got to work with some of the best talent and be directed by Mira,” says the actor. Namit plays the role of Haresh Khanna, a shoemaker and businessman, who is Lata’s love interest. “I had to understand the nitty-gritties of the shoe business but more importantl y, I had to learn to make shoes as I play a cobbler who has turned into a businessman,” he says. He spent days with a cobbler, learning the craft.
“A local mochi (cobbler) used to come home and give lessons. But there were days when I would go to his shop near VT (CST station in Mumbai) and sit by the roadside to learn cutting, shaving and stitching. I also spent a day at a shoe estate in Navi Mumbai just to understand the entire shoemaking process,” reveals the actor who is all praise for Tanya Maniktala, who plays Lata. This is just her second series, yet, Tanya, says Namit, is quite a professional. “I don’t believe she is a newcomer. She is such a genuine person and brought out the Haresh in me. Our chemistry was on point,” he says.
Though this is a lead role, Namit who has mostly played supporting roles in Bollywood films says such roles are important to keep the stories alive. He gives examples of yesteryear actors like Asrani, Om Prakash and Nirupa Roy, and says, “Supporting actors have always had a significant impact on the story, like my role in Humari Adhuri Kahaani. It was a small part but it set up the story.”
Apart from acting, Namit, who is noted ghazal singer Chandan Dass’ son, also composes music and that’s why he has also worked on two tracks for A Suitable Boy. Next, he will be seen in Bahut Hua Sammaan, a film by Ashish Shukla and in Maafia, a web series on Zee5. “I am also part of Mira’s theatrical musical Monsoon Wedding and will be travelling to London for the shows,” he concludes.