Tolly star Ankush believes that potboilers will never go out of fashion
It has been a smooth ride to fame for small-town boy Ankush Hazra, though he seems to remain largely unaffected so far. Hailing from Burdwan district with no connections in the film industry, this unpretentious actor — who debuted in Kellafate in 2010 — has romanced almost all the big names in Tollywood, including Nusrat Jahan, Mimi Chakraborty, Shubhashree and Srabanti onscreen, and commands a huge female following. With films like Jamai 420, Bolo Dugga Mai Ki, Kelor Kirti and Villain to his credit, the actor is back this year with Birsa Dasgupta’s rural commercial flick, Bibaho Obhijaan, which releases today. The 30-year-old, who shares screen space in this movie with the actors Anirban Bhattacharya, Rudranil Ghosh, Sohini Sarkar, Priyanka Sarkar and Nusrat Faria, believes that larger-than-life commercial movies are here to stay for good, despite the steady rise of content-driven films. Ahead of the film’s release, we had a chat with the starlet, as she looked dapper in a fitted tee, and a pair of ripped jeans. Excerpts:
How different will Bibaho Obhijaan be from your other films?
Well, I play a very henpecked husband in this movie, for the first time. It’s a comic caper with very funny lines that will keep you entertained till the end. I am doing something so funny like this after Jamai 420, which was a huge hit, and this will be my second movie with Nusrat, after Ashiqui. I hope the audience has a great time watching the movie — it’s a stress-reliever for sure.
You started off at a time when only South remakes and commercial heroes were ruling the roost, but the scenario has changed since then, with the rise of actors and a reign of good content. Where would you say you fit into all of this?
It’s true that content is now very important, but why do we always think that good content and commercial movies can’t go hand in hand? Also, stars or commercial heroes will never fade out or become irrelevant. The society, and the audience needs heroes who will bash up bad men, and young girls still drool over good-looking heroes on screen. Why do you think a Rohit Shetty movie or even a Baahubali, for that matter, works so well? Just as we need movies that make us ponder, we also need movies that will take us away from harsh realities, and give us pure entertainment for three hours. I love doing commercial movies, and I am a diehard fan of Rohit Shetty, but I would definitely love to experiment, if given a chance.
You recently tweeted praising Jeet’s Eid release, Sesh Theke Shuru, which actually bombed at the box office. So did Dev’s Kidnap. Both were big budget commercials. What do you think went wrong?
I watched both the movies, and I personally loved them both. I think sometimes people judge a movie even before they watch it, especially if it happens to be a remake, and that’s unfortunate. But I feel the primary reason for the films not doing well is the fact that the number of standalone theatres across Bengal is dwindling. If that could be fixed, it would do a lot of good for regional cinema.
What other projects are you a part of this year?
I’m in Raj Chakraborty’s next commercial thriller, and also locking a few more scripts. I will also go to Mumbai to explore digital platforms. I am still raving about Mirzapur... how I wish I was a part of such a show. I also loved watching Abhay Deol in Chopsticks. Besides, in the next few years, I plan to produce films too.
And, is marriage on the cards?
Not for the next two to three years, not until we take Bengali film revenues to the scale of `40-50 crore (smiles).