Rohit Roy, who has been missing from the small screen for some time now, was back in action in Ila Bedi Dutta’s popular show Hitler Didi. Roy was seen playing the Army officer Kabir Chowdhury.
Needless to say, his performance won him many accolades. This, however, is not new to Rohit Roy who has given several stellar performances in television shows like Swabhiman, Kkusum, Bhabhi, Sarkaar, Viraasat, Sajda Tere Pyar Mein, Jhalak Dikhla Ja and Desi Girl (as a host).
But why did he go on this inordinately long break between Desi Girl and Hitler Didi? There were rumours that he wanted to move to the big screen. Explaining the reason for his long hiatus, Rohit says, “I have always been on television, even while I was doing films.
I agree this time the gap was long, but it was because I was not getting good offers. I did not want to do a regular tear-jerker and wanted something that would push me to perform. Hitler Didi offered me that. It is a popular show and the role that I was offered was exciting.”
The audience, especially his fans, are quite happy to see him back. “I was anxious. I even enquired about the TRP of the show — something I never do. I was extremely happy when the audience accepted me. It feels great to receive positive comments about my performance in a show,” says Rohit.
He has played many characters in the big (Plan, Shootout at Lokhandwala, Delhi Heights, Dus Kahaniyan) and small screens. Which one is his favourite?
Pat comes the reply, “My favourite onscreen character is the one I played in Shootout At Lokhandwala — Fattu bhai. That was the first time I had played a roadside goon. I am grateful to the audience because in a film, which had superstars like Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt, people remembered my character. I wish I can do more roles like this in the future.”
Speaking about his characters on television, Rohit says, “When it comes to television, my favourite character would be Karan from Zee’s political drama Sarkaar. I played a character modelled on Sanjay Gandhi and just loved his inherent power. It was a very challenging role to play.” Being in the industry for more than a decade, what are the changes that he has noticed? “I think the biggest difference is in the size and reach of the television industry. Today, you can watch satellite TV across the globe.”
However, according to Rohit, there is a not-so-happy side to it as well. “The pace of shooting has become unbelievably fast. It is so fast that one does not get any time to work on the character. You get the script just a few minutes before a scene is to be shot. As a result, there is very little creativity in acting. Having said that, I must also admit that today’s directors and actors have become smarter and are capable of beating the system.”
Although people acknowledged his performance, he could not garner more commercial success. On a philosophical note, Rohit explains, “Every 10 years or so, there’s a cycle where new talent is ushered into the industry. It is largely because the earlier lot have become stars and thus recognisable faces for the audience, and hence there is a need for fresh blood.
Anybody who has been launched in the last two years is enjoying stardom almost overnight. Young actors like Siddharth, Ayushman, and Nawazuddin have suddenly become stars. Now, as we celebrate 100 years of cinema, it’s a great time to be an actor.”
Apart from his acting skills, Rohit is also a talented director and has directed a story titled Rice Plate in Dus Kahaniyan. He directed actors like Nasiruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi. “I enjoyed the experience and fell in love with cinema all over again. That brings me to the next film I am making — Shaukeen. I have a dream cast here as well — Rishi Kapoor, Danny Denzongpa and Boman Irani, along with the gorgeous Bipasha Basu. It’s a beautiful and simple film. I hope the audience likes it.”