Written by Priyanka Sharma
| Mumbai |Printed: July 28, 2020 7:47:21 am

Jisshu Sengupta Jisshu Sengupta’s Shakuntala Devi will stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Jisshu Sengupta hates watching himself on display screen. In his profession spanning greater than 20 years, the Bengali star has seen just a few of his movies. “I watch myself throughout dubbing and that’s it. I study my performances from household and mates and I’m okay with that. I’m by no means happy.”

The actor maybe channels this dissatisfaction into his pursuit for work throughout mediums and languages. It made him threat stardom on tv for an enormous display screen stint, and later turned him in direction of Bollywood and movies in South. Jisshu shifted to Mumbai virtually three years in the past and now has three Hindi movies in his slate, starting with the Shakuntala Devi biopic.

Forward of Shakuntala Devi’s launch, Jisshu Sengupta speaks to indianexpress.com in regards to the movie releasing on-line, taking part in Paritosh Banerjee and the Bengali character stereotype that’s turn out to be a continuing in Hindi movies.

As an actor, does it matter to you which ones medium your movie is releasing on?

As an actor, I’d positively need my movie to launch on the large display screen. You wish to see your self bigger than life, however that is additionally nice as a result of in a single go, it’ll launch in 200 international locations which is big. There are execs and cons. You possibly can’t actually evaluate each of them. So, I assume, you need to float.

When Gulabo Sitabo was up for launch, Ayushmann Khurrana had stated it took him a while to get satisfied about its digital premiere. Had been you up for the digital launch of Shakuntala Devi in a single go?

I used to be up for it immediately after I acquired the information. Actually, Vikram Malhotra referred to as me up and stated that we’re planning to do that on Amazon Prime. We actually don’t know when the lockdown will get over. Lockdown is over in just a few states however going again to the theaters, I don’t know when persons are going to do this.

It’s a time when every part is unsure, so it’s nice that folks will get to see the movie. They may watch the film each time they wish to.

What about Shakuntala Devi’s story or maybe about your character, Paritosh Banerji, made you wish to be part of the movie?

It’s completely the story. It’s an interesting journey of this lady. We don’t understand how she was. We don’t know what was her relationship together with her husband and daughter. Once you see the movie, you’ll know why I’m saying this. Individuals are going to know the human facet of Shakuntala Devi.

Lots of instances what occurs with biopics is that they become hogwash. There was constant criticism that biopics solely brush over the features of the celebrated personalities with out actually delving into who they’re. Did you will have these issues if you joined Shakuntala Devi?

I knew little or no of her. So, after I learn the script, I discovered it very fascinating. She was a girl forward of her time. She was daring, courageous and every part a girl could be. That was fascinating. Then the best way she has dealt together with her relationships. Individuals ought to find out about her. Individuals, who’re into Arithmetic, ought to know what she was all about.

Additionally, working with Vidya was on my thoughts. I’m an enormous fan of Vidya so this was an amazing alternative for me to work together with her.

In keeping with my restricted information, Paritosh and Shakuntala Devi’s relationship was past the worldly understanding a minimum of at the moment. Shakuntala Devi wrote a e-book, The World of Homosexuals. How did you method Paritosh’s sexuality and his dynamics together with her?

If I’ve to speak about Paritosh, this side of his life and his equation with Shakuntala Devi, then I’ve to say numerous issues that I can’t, and I don’t wish to as a result of then I’ll give away the crux of the connection. That’s the story of Paritosh and Shakuntala Devi.

However, I’ve carried out a movie earlier, the place I performed a bisexual. It’s Rituparno Ghosh’s Chitrangada. It was additionally a movie forward of its time. And it was based mostly on Rabindranath Tagore’s novel. Everybody ought to come out with their preferences. That is one thing pure. It shouldn’t be a taboo. I knew Ritu da intently, and I do know it’s painful for individuals. All of us want to speak about it. It can’t be a taboo.

How was the actor-to-actor equation with Vidya Balan?

She is a prankster! We used to have numerous enjoyable. There have been two Bengalis on the set, our affiliate director and myself. And Vidya speaks Bengali rather well. So, more often than not, we’d have a look at director Anu Menon and speak in Bengali. She would suppose we had been speaking about her. We’d speak very significantly. It was Vidya’s name to play a prank on Anu. We used to chortle a lot.

I don’t have phrases to explain working with Vidya. She is a beautiful soul. I’ve carried out a movie together with her earlier, however we didn’t have a lot interplay then. So, on my first day on the Shakuntala Devi set, I used to be just a little shaky. It’s ‘The Vidya Balan’. However the best way she began it off, it felt like we knew one another for a minimum of 100 years and carried out 200 movies collectively! She made me really feel snug. Actually, the day I wrapped up the movie, I didn’t even realise, and I used to be like, ‘The movie is completed? Are we not going to satisfy anymore?’ The time simply flew.

If you find yourself taking part in a real-life individual, is the sense of duty far more than whereas bringing a fictional character on display screen?

Completely. For me, the script is the bible as a result of the director has seen the movie earlier than we go on the flooring. So, she or he is aware of precisely what they need out of the character. What I must know are the traits of that individual. How he used to speak, stroll, and so on.

In Paritosh Banerjee’s case, we haven’t seen him. That was a plus for me as a result of I might do no matter I wished to do with the character. All the things else I acquired to know from Anu and Vidya as that they had met Shakuntala Devi’s daughter Anupama Banerjee in London. They acquired to find out about Paritosh. Anu spoke to me at size about him. So, I learnt about his mannerism and added my very own issues to it.

Does that sense of duty ever prohibit you as an artiste, contemplating there’s little room to experiment or take artistic liberties whereas taking part in a real-life individual?

That’s why I’m an actor. That’s what my duties are. That’s the problem that now we have to take when I’m a part of a biopic. When I’m being chosen for such a personality, I’m positive the makers have seen one thing in me. That’s the one thought all the time in my thoughts, that I’ve been taken for a cause. They should have seen one thing in me, which is like that character. It provides me that liberty to experiment and in addition determine how I can present that additional edge to that character. That is how I have a look at it.

In your physique of labor in Hindi movies, you will have largely performed Bengali characters and numerous these movies have been helmed by Bengali administrators. Do you consider that when a personality is performed by an actor, who speaks that language and belongs to that area, the illustration is extra genuine?

In case you are taking a Bengali actor for a Bengali character, she or he could be understanding extra nuances a couple of Bengali individual. It’s simpler for the director to movie that character. The director can, in actual fact, ask the actor what a Bengali would say or how she or he would react in a sure scenario. So, yeah, most likely that helps.

However on the finish of the day, we’re all actors and I consider I can play completely different form of characters. Like, after I first did a Telugu movie – NTR: Kathanayakudu – I used to be shocked that Krish (the director) might solid me in a Telugu movie and in a personality who speaks that language. I requested him, ‘Sir, how will I do that? I don’t perceive the language.’ He informed me, ‘That’s as much as me. You don’t fear. Overlook about it.’ I did it.

After that, I did two extra Telugu movies and doubtless, I will likely be doing yet another on the finish of this 12 months. So, on the finish of the day, it’s the director’s imaginative and prescient. If I match their visualisation, I needs to be there.

However do you are feeling there’s a Bengali character stereotype in Hindi movies and does that hassle you?

Sure, there’s. It doesn’t hassle me as a result of if the movie and character works, it really works for everybody. So it doesn’t matter how I really feel. What issues is, if I just like the movie or not. Phrases like ‘Aami tomaay bhalobashi’ (I like you) or ‘Aami roshogolla khete bhalobashi’ (I like consuming roshogolla) – these are some things {that a} Bengali in a Hindi movie will speak about. They may say this in a lot of the movies. However there are such a lot of different issues on the market as a Bengali you are able to do. However on the finish of the day, the way you place it, the way you recreate that on display screen and the way your director is showcasing the character issues.

It has modified lots now as a result of there are actors from Punjab, South and North East. Every kind of actors are coming and dealing in numerous languages. Because of OTT platforms, it has opened up for different state actors to return in and work in nationwide and worldwide areas. So, it’s nice {that a} crossover is occurring now.

It’s been a profession of 22 years, in various mediums and completely different languages. Once you look again, what would you depend as the most important takeaway out of your journey?

That may be a really quick query or a very heavy one! On the finish, I’ve to ask myself, ‘Am I pleased?’ If I’m, then happiness is the takeaway. Or if I ask, ‘Am I not happy but?’ As a result of that additionally occurs. As actors, we’re by no means happy. Particularly me. I don’t like to look at my movies as a result of I will likely be depressed on the finish of it, considering I might have carried out higher. I haven’t seen 80 per cent of my Bengali movies. I hate myself on display screen.

So, I wish to do extra good work. I’m pleased with the final 22 years of my life. The best way individuals have beloved me. From main in tv, beginning my movie profession as a fourth lead then slowly turning into the primary lead, doing back-to-back six movies with Rituparno Ghosh. And now for the final two and a half years shifted to Bombay, working in Hindi movies after which doing Telugu movies. I couldn’t have requested for extra.

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