Saturday, May 25, 2024

In Conversation with Actor Dibyendu Bhattacharya

Edited by – Robin Bhuyan (Editor-in-Chief)

Interviewed by- Robin Tyagi (Sub-editor)

Written by- Nupur Jha 

Dibyendu Bhattacharya is a prominent figure in both Hindi and Bengali cinema, having contributed to the entertainment industry for over two decades. His journey began with Monsoon Wedding and he has since been a part of acclaimed movies such as Dev D, Maqbool, Ab Tak Chhappan, and Black Friday among others. More recently, he has made appearances in films like Mission Raniganj and web series like Ray and Undekhi.

Known for his memorable characters like Chunnilal in Dev D, Yeda Yakub in Black Friday and Layak Talukdar in the web series Criminal Justice, Bhattacharya has consistently embraced diverse roles throughout his career.

In our recent interview with Mr Bhattacharya, he shared insights into the world of cinema, his body of work, and even addressed incidents involving death threats he had received.

How would you describe yourself in real life? Our readers would love to know about the real Dibyendu Bhattacharya.

I’m just a regular individual, much like everyone else. I cherish my family, friends, and work. I engage in everyday activities, including cooking. So, in real life, I’m not much different from anybody else.

How did you handle the love and positive response after “Jamtara’s” immense success?

I was overwhelmed. People appreciated my work and supported ‘Jamtara.’ I believe it was meant to be, a connection with the audience, by the Grace of the Divine. However, the success wasn’t mine alone; numerous individuals contributed to making it a hit show. I’m grateful to everyone involved, from the casting director to those around me; it was a collective success.

How do you choose your roles? Is it based on duration or the character itself?

The primary factor is understanding the makers’ vision and their expectations from me. I consider the role’s significance and relevance—whether removing my character would impact the story. Additionally, I enjoy exploring the values of the new generation, leading me to collaborate with emerging directors and actors, injecting freshness into my character.

What was the aftermath of the success of “Criminal Justice”? Can you shed light on the threat emails you received?

While many appreciated my work, others criticized and abused me for the character I had portrayed, labelling me as a terrible person and all kinds of names . Despite the negative feedback, it was rewarding as an actor. Interestingly, those critics faded away as my subsequent projects gained success.

How did you cope with the negativity? Did you feel threatened or scared?

Being new to the digital world, I didn’t take it too seriously. The realm of social media is shallow, and I, as an actor, don’t dwell much on public opinions about me. My family and advisors suggested a social media presence for interaction, but I remain detached from people’s perceptions.

Could you share your story with your Vespa Scooter?

That’s my wife’s scooter, but I use it frequently, mainly for grocery runs. It’s currently in need of repairs, limiting its use.

How is your experience when you go out shopping in the market? Do people recognize you?

Yes, they do, but it hasn’t significantly altered any interactions. Vendors and people greet me if they spot me, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

Is there something you haven’t disclosed on public platforms until now?

I enjoy cooking. In our home, I’m the one who cooks more often than my wife. It’s a creative activity that I find fulfilling.

You’ve mentioned your reading hobbies before. Do you still engage in them?

Time is limited due to script reading commitments, but I try to read whenever possible.

Two Indian movies received the Oscars at the recent Academy Awards. How do you feel as an actor about this achievement?

It’s undoubtedly a moment of pride for us. However, I don’t view movies or entertainment as a competition. Artistic preferences vary, and what resonates with one person may not with another. Nonetheless, it’s a proud moment for Indian cinema to receive such international recognition.

Despite having talented actors, Indian films sometimes struggle for recognition at international film festivals. What, in your opinion, is the reason behind this?

The main problem lies in the dearth of compelling content. Copying content from other countries won’t help in the development of our cinema. We need stories rooted in relatable experiences, emphasizing human narratives. Depth and innovation are essential for our films, if we want them to be appreciated internationally.

How was your experience at the National School of Drama (NSD)?

Overwhelming and incredible! NSD provided everything I could have wished for, including a space to watch movies, study, and connect with people from around the world.

How does NSD operate? Do students choose specific mediums like TV, drama, or the big screen?

NSD focuses on theater training rather than other mediums like film and television. Unlike FTII, where training is geared towards film and television, NSD graduates often end up joining theaters or initiate their own projects. Some pursue further theater education as well.

What’s your preference between OTT platforms and the big screen?

Both platforms have their merits. The big screen gives you a completely different experience and it requires audiences to exclusively buy tickets for it. In contrast, OTT platforms provide accessibility from the comfort of one’s home. As an actor, I feel both platforms has its importance.

Considering the education system, it often lacks support for students interested in the film industry. What are your thoughts on this?

Acting is a part of daily life; children should learn to live as kids without undue pressure to excel in a specific field. Many schools already include acting and plays as extracurricular activities, which I believe is sufficient.

What was your biggest challenge in the entertainment industry?

I, myself, am my own biggest challenge. My habits and routines are disorganized, but thankfully I don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone.

Regarding your upcoming projects, can you share what you’re currently working on?

I’m currently shooting for the third season of “Undekhi.” While I have a few other projects in the pipeline, there is nothing special to mention at the moment.

Thank you so much for your time! It was a pleasure talking to you.

The pleasure is mine!

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