Whether it’s films, right from the days of Plan till Kaabil, TV shows like Swabhimaan, theatre or web series, Rohit Roy has always managed to impress the audiences with his power-packed performances. And now, this versatile actor, who is a “pakku Amdavadi” by heart, is all set to debut in Gujarati films with IMA Gujju, which is written and directed by Sunny Pancholi, another Amdavadi. Rohit, who was in town recently (it was shot in Ahmedabad), spoke to us about shooting at St. Xavier’s college, regional cinema, why he is reluctant to talk about #MeToo at this point and more.
After having been away from Ahmedabad for long, how was it to go back to the campus and shooting at your alma mater?
I have been away from Ahmedabad for 25 years and the moment I stepped into the college, all those fond memories came rushing back. We sat at the canteen for a very long time and had a good chat with the students. This was the same place where we couldn’t afford to buy two cups of tea earlier! For coffee, we had to save or borrow some amount. I met all the faculties and all of them have changed, except the professor who taught us Physics. The college looks the same, except for some minor changes. I never thought that I will be coming to the same college that I graduated from after all these years, and will be shooting and clicking pictures with the students.
After having worked with some of the biggest names in Bollywood, are you looking at experimenting with regional cinema now?
A lot of people have asked me this question after watching me in Kaabil. I really liked the script of IMA Gujju and my role is a complicated one, where an army person feels frustrated due to unfair treatment. I loved the idea, and the fact that Sunny is very clear and sorted. He made no changes in the script while shooting the film. I feel art has no language so, I want to try different roles in different regional industries if the script is good.
What were the challenges while shooting for a Gujarati film?
There were several challenges, including managing my time and shoot schedules. But I liked the arrangements while shooting at a live location. The producers really took care of us. Everything is good about the Gujarati film industry- right from their passion to clarity of thoughts. It’s just that people need to be more professional during shooting and do things more systematically. That will make a big difference.
Have you watched any recent Gujarati films, to get an idea about the kind of content that the industry is coming up with?
I have only watched Chhello Divas till now. We just got done with the shooting of our film sometime back. Now, it might be a good idea to watch a few Gujarati films. I am thinking of making a Gujarati film soon and for that, I have to understand that pulse of the audience. Many people told me that elements of comedy and good music are must while making a Gujarati film.
On which medium will we get to watch you more in the coming days?
Since the last two years, I have wanted to take a break from acting and make a film. But as soon as I thought of taking a break, Kaabil, a web series with Vikram Bhatt and IMA Gujju happened. Vikram Bhatt and I have wanted to work with each other since the last 20 years, but it finally happened at a time when I wanted to take a two-year break from acting! I don’t plan things and for now, I am clear about making a film in 2019. It may be in Hindi, Bengali or Gujarati.
What are your thoughts on the #MeToo campaign in India?
No one knows what really happened, but people are taking a stand and that’s a big thing.