Actor Dibyendu Bhattacharya reveals that he wants to play all the characters by Satyajit Ray
Actor Dibyendu Bhattacharya shares that he even telephoned Satyajit Ray when he was in college, but couldn't muster the courage to speak to him
Actor Dibyendu Bhattacharya’s long-cherished dream of reprising a character sketched by award-winning filmmaker Satyajit Ray finally became a reality with Srijit Mukherji directed Bahurupi, which is part of the anthology Ray. A seasoned actor, Dibyendu plays the role of a soothsayer in the short film that also stars Kay Kay Menon in the lead. He enjoyed playing the short but highly significant role thoroughly and in a candid chat, he tells us more about his telephone conversation with Ray and his desire to play all characters from the maestro’s stories. Excerpts:
Q: Your role as the seer in Ray gave us goosebumps. Tell us about your experience of playing it.
It’s great to know that I have connected with the audience with the short but impactful role. And it’s always exciting to work with a new unit. The location (Kolkata) added to the excitement further because I got to stay with my family. Also, it’s the legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s story, something that I have grown up listening to and reading. And though Srijit is a popular director in Kolkata, I never got a chance to work with him. It was amazing to be in his team. Further, the dargah where my shots were taken was also a big draw for me because though I grew up in Kolkata and passed by the dargah many times, I never got a chance to visit it. So, that wish also came true with this film. It was an ethereal experience.
Q: It was your long-cherished dream to be a part of Satyajit Ray’s work. How does it feel now?
I feel blessed. I have harboured this desire to work with Satyajit Ray ever since I got into theatre in Kolkata. I even telephoned him once and hearing his baritone voice, I hung up immediately. I was a budding theatre artiste, in my first year of college, and he was a legend, that gave me cold feet and I thought to myself how silly I am! That desire remained unfulfilled with his demise. But to act in his story is also rewarding. It feels good that in some way my name is associated with his work.
Q: Are there any other characters from Ray’s stories that you would like to reprise?
There are so many characters that I would like to play. From Feluda to professor Shonku and to every big and small character that he has sketched, I want to do it all! Since I am not a genre-specific actor I want to play all kinds of roles.
Q: OTT platforms have opened up a floodgate of opportunities for actors and directors. How has your experience been so far?
Overwhelming and outstanding, I should say. It is a content-driven and not a star-driven industry that has archival value. Also, the hegemony of mainstream cinema broke with the OTT platform. It is giving actors, directors, writers and everyone related to filmmaking a strong platform to showcase their talent, uninhibited. The audience is also open to a variety of content.
Q: How was it working with Kay Kay Menon in the show?
I know Kay Kay from Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi. We also did Black Friday though our track wasn’t together. Moreover, it’s always an enriching experience to work with a good actor as there’s always a healthy exchange of knowledge. Also, he is a very good human being.
Q: What’s next?
New seasons of a few series that I have been part of is my first priority. So Undekhi, Gone Game and Jamtara will have their second seasons. After that, I will concentrate on new projects.