Superstar Dev talks about movies, politics and more before the Eid release of his film, Kidnap
He's an actor, politician, producer and restaurateur, but all that the two-time Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament Dev wants to be remembered for is his goodness and, of course, his acting skills. “Even my party knows that I would like to be recalled as an actor,” says the humble 36- year-old star MP with a smile. After being re-elected for the second time from Ghatal constituency, the MP is back in his actor avatar, with his movie Kidnap set to release this Eid. The actor, looking cool in a pair of camouflage trousers and an olive T-shirt, sat down for a chat with Indulge at his South Kolkata office, days before the release of Kidnap, on June 5. Excerpts:
This will be your second term as an MP. Tell us a little about how it feels...
I am humbled by the love and blessings showered upon me by the people. The relentless campaigns and all the hard work is tiring, but that fatigue vanishes when you see that so many people love you, and have so much expectations from you. I hope to continue the good work that I have been trying to do in Ghatal... there are so many things that are always left to be done. Things like women’s safety, education, building more bridges, roads and schools... It’s so easy to give an interview and say big things, but one needs to be on the ground to solve these problems.
Has the actor Dev been compromised along the way, given your involvement in politics?
I have been hearing this for the past five years. But if you look at the Box Office hits, three of the biggest hits are mine — Zulfiqar, Sudhu Tomari Jonyo and Amazon Obhijaan. In fact, as an actor, I have taken more risks than the others by experimenting with different genres. If you rate me in Box Office terms — I’m there; in terms of content — I was always there; and my fan base is intact too. You take any name from Tollywood and compare them with me in all these categories, and you will get your answer.
Don’t you feel, in terms of Box Office numbers, actors like Jisshu Sengupta, Abir Chatterjee and even Ritwik Chakraborty have far surpassed you?
I am happy if it’s so because they are taking Bengali cinema ahead, and that’s important. But I also feel that franchises like Byomkesh or Feluda are not enough to keep Bengali movies going. Hence, I created a production house to make cinema that earns respect on a global platform. I can do a Byomkesh given a chance, but few actors can do the kind of roles that I do.
Tell us about your upcoming movie, Kidnap.
This is a masala movie with great content. The storyline of Kidnap is built around women trafficking, and is inspired by two true incidents in Bengal and Goa. Keeping the plot and the locations very realistic, we made the movie larger than life. No matter what genre of movie you are doing, people will reject a movie if it lacks content. The movie was extensively shot in Dubai, Thailand and borders near Nepal and other places, which cover the route of international trafficking. I play a bar singer in the movie and it’s different in the sense that I’ve not played something like this in the last few years.
And, what movies will you be producing this year?
We’re going to release Kamaleswar Mukherjee’s Password, based on cyber crime, this Puja. Then there is Hobuchandra Raja Gobuchandra Mantri. As an actor, I will be seen in Password and shooting will start for Leena Ganguly’s Sanjhbati and Aniket Chatterjee’s Subhashini. I am reading two more scripts, which will be finalised soon.
Both Kidnap and Jeet’s Shesh Theke Shuru are set to release on Eid. Will the competition be strong?
Jeet was supposed to do the role in Password that Parambrata Chatterjee is finally reprising. We had agreed on the terms that he will release on Eid, and I will release during the Pujas. But if he wants to release his films on Eid, Puja, Christmas, and even Independence Day, when will I release my films? Hence, I decided to go on screen simultaneously. And, in a way, it’s good, as after a long time, people will be discussing purely commercial cinema (smiles).
Any particular filmmaker you wish to work with?
I would love to work with everyone. But I really wished I could work with Rituparno Ghosh. I was supposed to do Krishna Leela along with Jisshu and Raima Sen. But Rituparno passed away before things could materialise. I will always have this regret.
Love yourself with what you wear
“I have a pathetic sense of fashion, as I don’t believe in fashion. Some people love dressing up before stepping out. In today’s age and time, your style should be carefree and casual, and people appreciate that. You can’t fake it anymore. So, be comfortable in whatever you wear, and love yourself.”