Actor Abir Chatterjee talks about his reasons of venturing out of the regional industry
The actor is back to woo the national audience as the lead in the second season of SonyLiv’s Avrodh
In his 13 years of acting career, actor Abir Chatterjee has carved a strong niche for himself in the Bengali film industry as Tollywood's favourite sleuth -- be it Feluda, Byomkesh or the new- age hawkshaw Sona da in Dhrubo Banerjee's Guptodhan film series. After appearing in a brief but crucial role in Kahaani in 2012 and short film Maya, the actor is back to woo the national audience as the lead in the second season of SonyLiv’s Avrodh.
We had a quick chat with the actor who speaks about genres he wishes to explore further, the lack of good scripts in Tollywood, and the feeling of donning the Indian Army uniform for Avrodh.
Your character, Pradip Bhattacharya, is a family man apart from being a man on a mission. Which shades of the role resonate with you in real life?
I believe charity begins at home. A successful person at work is someone who is simultaneously aware of the responsibilities towards his family and knows how to keep his family happy and secure. The sense of satisfaction that comes from loving and being loved at home, reflects on work and helps one to stay focussed. On the other hand, having been a student of commerce, the jargon used by Pradip as an Income Tax Officer seemed somewhat familiar. These aspects helped me get into Pradip’s psyche to a great extent.
How was it donning the army uniform for Avrodh?
I remember sitting in the serene valleys of Kashmir, wearing the uniform ahead of a shot when I suddenly realised the sacrifice, unimaginable hardships and immense amount of risk the soldiers go through while protecting our country. We should be indebted to them as they are real life superheroes, and I feel proud that I got to live their lives in this series.
There have been talks lately that audiences no longer want to watch Bengali movies. Is that what's pushing regional stars like you towards national platforms?
Well the pandemic definitely did push the audience towards OTT platforms, but that is because they did not have any other options of entertainment. Moreover, OTTs do not have a language barrier, and audiences get to choose content. Even though they are returning to theatres again, the onus is on us to provide them with a steady flow of good films.
For me, there’s no sense of discouragement from the Bengali industry and I still put my commitments towards the home audience above others. As actors, we have to continuously explore ourselves to bring new things to the plate and that's why I am working on national projects as well.
Is there any genre that you wish to explore more, apart from thrillers and action?
I would definitely like to do more comedies and take up more romantic roles while I still can.
What has been the most challenging part of working in a Hindi project?
Even if I know and understand Hindi well owing to all the Bollywood films we have grown up watching, I am not used to speaking Hindi all the time. This was one challenge that I had to overcome and definitely pushed me to work harder.
What else are you working on currently?
Zee Bangla’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa shooting is in full swing and Arindam Sil’s Byomkesh Hatyamancha will release this August. There are also three other films that I have shot including Suman Mukhopadhyay’s Putul Nacher Itikotha, Aritra Mukherjee’s Fatafati and Dhrubo Banerjee's Karna Subarner Guptodhon, the third film from the Guptodhon franchise.