Rohit Roy is hoping to direct a remake of ‘Shaukeen’ with Big B in the lead. In town, the actor says he was shocked at being offered the lead role in ‘Bhorer Alo’ despite his Bengali debut being a turkey.

Your Bengali debut, ” Pa Ma Ga Re Saa”, didn’t fare well. How did that impact you?
The film was highly hyped and the failure certainly disappointed me. It was my first Bengali film and I wanted it to be a huge success. But, I’ve taken failure in my stride. What’s heartwarming is that despite the debacle, I’m back to shooting another Bengali film in Kolkata within three months. That too with Prabhat Roy. Without being modest, let me admit that I was shocked when I was offered this lead role after such a flop. While I was earlier only keen on doing Bengali movies as a one-off thing, I’m now seriously thinking of doing Bengali cinema.

Why do you think you were offered this lead role despite giving a flop? Is it desperation or a search for new faces?
I have been told that it is a search for new faces that has been the deciding factor. Frankly speaking, I can rattle off a number of names of leading men in Bollywood. There are the Khans, Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt, Ajay Devgn and so many others. But in Tollywood, I will not be able to take too many names. That only indicates that there is a dearth of leading men in Tollywood. It’s good if Tollywood directors are looking at Mumbai-based Bengali actors to play the lead in Bengali cinema. We can speak the language and are eager to be associated with good Bengali cinema. I feel, it’s a win-win situation for both Tollywood and us.

So, has the recent success of Bollywood exports to Tollywood, including that of Indraneil Sengupta, influenced your decision to now concentrate in Tollywood?
It’s a fantastic time for Bengali cinema. I am not doing another Bengali film to prove a point. Of course, the commercial success or failure is important. Two years back, I didn’t enough time to come down and shoot in Kolkata. I was doing serials. I was also into production and direction. Today, Tollywood has become more organized. It’s nice to see boys from Mumbai doing well. Tollywood is also making films in a limited time-frame. The shooting doesn’t drag forever. Although I am doing Hindi films simultaneously, doing Bengali movies is also for my own sake because it is my mothertongue.

Is your wife, Mansi, interested in doing Bengali films?
She looks like a Bengali and even speaks the language fluently. She is a lot more comfortable with my cousins than I am with hers. There have been offers but right now, she is concentrating on the family front. Mansi has to first get down to doing Hindi films. Bengali might follow thereafter. I wouldn’t mind doing a Bengali film with Mansi.

Prabhat Roy’s ” Bhorer Alo” has been loosely described as a film about two sisters in love with one man. Could you elaborate on that?
I think, that’s not the right description though I am not at liberty to explain further. Both the sisters come into my life at different points in time. When I was offered this role by Prabhatda, I was a little apprehensive. I hadn’t watched any of his movies and had to Google to find out about him. That’s how I discovered his winning two National Awards and him having given Tollywood some of its biggest hits. Prabhatda is a veteran and I am a little brash and bratty. I was worried if I would get along well with him. But having worked with him, I realize that Prabhatda is even younger than all of us. There is so much of detailing in his work – that’s something which wasn’t there in my first Bengali film. As far as my co-stars are concerned, I’ve worked with Rituparna earlier. I find it interesting to work with Riya (Sen). While Ritu and I would prefer method acting, Riya is more instinctive. She is a complete natural.

Your brother, Ronit Roy, had an interesting role in “Udaan”. How about interesting acting offers for you in Bollywood now?
Ronitda and I fall in different age brackets. Since he has done so many characters on television, he suited the role of a father he played in “Udaan”. I don’t think the audience will accept me in such a role. But yes, cinema in India is now moving ahead. It is encapsulating a lot more genres than ever before. Sixty per cent Indian movies are experimental in nature. That’s why actors like me, with no filmi background, are now grabbing space for ourselves. My Bengali film finishes in January. In March, I will begin a psychological thriller.

You have also bought the rights to Basu Chatterjee’s ” Shaukeen”. Why do you want to make your feature film directorial debut with a remake?
“Shaukeen” is a classic of sorts. It’ll be a fun film to make and I want to do it with Amitabh Bachchan. Comedy always works and, I feel, Mr Bachchan hasn’t done one in the recent past. The original had Ashok Kumar and Utpal Dutt. I want Mr Bachchan to play Ashok Kumar’s role. He has in principle agreed to work with us. I’ve narrated the film to him. He will now read the script and then, decide. Hopefully, he will agree. I will not make the film without Mr Bachchan in the lead. If he doesn’t agree, I will abandon the project.

But won’t starting off with a remake put extra pressure on you since you will run the risk of being compared?
My attitude in life is such that I treat every project as my first. When I directed one of the films in “Dus Kahaniyaan”, there were nine other directors. I never worried about comparisons then. I just made my film. On hindsight, it got appreciated and some said mine was the best. But, for me, the comparisons don’t translate into pressures of any kind.


Source: Times of India