Actor Dibyendu Bhattacharya reveals that he wants to play all the characters by Satyajit Ray
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.