He started his film career with AgniShapath which was a flop and today he is part of the much awaited adventurous film Amazon Obhijaan, which had the biggest poster launch. Well, we are talking about none other than the popular actor of Tollywood, Dev. The actor who tasted commercial success with films like Paglu, Challenge 2 and Rangbaaz , next will be seen in Chander Pahar’s sequel Amazon Obhijaan, which has been helmed by Kamaleswar Mukherjee.
In an exclusive conversation with TellyChakkar, the actor spoke about the toughest part of shooting for the film, why he wouldn’t go to the theatres to see audience’s reaction, his reaction on the trolls revolving around Bengali remake of Titanic and more.
Excerpts from the interview:
You had a humble beginning and today you are part of a movie which had the biggest poster launch. Are you in a happy space?
I don’t believe in things like humble beginnings…see, firstly, I think I have the right to be happy and secondly, I feel very proud that Bengali films are doing so well in terms of marketing and promotion. People are really putting their brains and hearts; they are thinking how to market and promote their films. I used to ask them, when the story of all the films is not same then why are the marketing strategies same for all the films? Depending on the film and content, you should market your film. And today, everyone is putting a thought on it. The music launch of Cockpit took place in a flight because that’s a flight oriented film and that’s the best thing I can give to my film. I am very happy with the marketing team you know. I liked the way they have campaigned for the film. The audience got connected. It is very important to get into the head of the audience. So, I am happy when the audience comes to theatres to watch my films.
Amazon Obhijaan is an adventurous film. Tell us what has been the most challenging part of shooting.
Surviving in Amazon itself was the toughest and challenging part. One needs physical as well as mental strength to survive in such a location. You have hurt your legs but you have to shoot the very next day again and do all the stunts yourself because you don’t want any body double to do your scenes. You are not a great swimmer but you have to do underwater shoot. The terrain is such that you feel motion sickness all the time. Even when you are sleeping you feel as if you are swimming. Riding horse in that terrain was quite challenging. My heroine fell down from the horse several times. Also, you have to be very careful about your surroundings. We were told that if we notice any water movement we should leave that place immediately as it can be any aquatic animal. Then from our hotel, we could see hundreds of crocodiles. There are lots of waterfalls in that place. You will see in the trailer that either we are crossing with the help of rope or doing water rafting. These places are not frequented in decades which is they have gathered moss and if in case you are not careful and you happen to slip, you’re gone! So, it would be difficult to mention which part has been the most difficult. We used to pray to god before shooting!
Considering the types of films you are doing now, how has your looking at a film script changed?
It’s not only about how I look at a film script. It’s also about how the audience looks at my films. Today, the audience has Amazon, YouTube, Google and also films like Dangal. So, when the audience is watching a film by buying a ticket, don’t you think we, as an industry, should give them different taste instead of repeating Paglu? I will try my level best to give something new to my audience. Yes, it is risky but I am happy taking risks and I have always done that throughout my life. I had loved portraying the character of a person who is mute in Zulfiqar as it had so many heroes and I thought that’s the only character which is not saying anything but still can say so many things.. I did Buno Haansh for the same reason and then my character, Shankar, in Amazon Obhijaan is an adventurer. All of the films are commercial and it’s not that people will not understand them. Trust me I will never do a film which I myself won’t understand because if I do not understand, how will my audience understand? I don’t like putting so much of brains while watching a film. I watch a film to get entertained. Those films are not for me where if I miss a scene I will have to use my brains to understand them.
As a producer, would you like to back women centric films with subjects of national importance like sports, dance etc?
Chaamp was a sports oriented film.
But the film was hero-centric.
I also did Cockpit and it was a woman oriented film. The film was more from Rukmini (Maitra)’s point of view, an air hostess’s point of view. Then there is Kabir. I won’t say that Kabir is a woman oriented film but I believe Rukmini is playing a very, very important role in it.
I mean to say that as a producer would you like to do films like Dangal or Secret Superstar…
Look, things cannot be changed all of a sudden. It’s not possible. First of all we need that ample amount of audience. You are talking about international audience. Be it Dangal or Secret Superstar, these films do not depend only on India. They have an international market. They have bigger audience. Even if one film does well in Bengal, we will definitely think about doing such a film. We have just started. If you talk about me, as a producer I am not even a year old. I am just six months old and within this span of time I did three different stories-Chaamp, Cockpit and Kabir (upcoming). I am trying my level best and of course I would love to do woman oriented films.
Many actors from Tollywood like Prosenjit Chatterjee, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Jisshu U Sengupta have worked in Bollywood films. Have you ever thought of trying your luck in Bollywood?
See, it’s not about whether or not I have tried my luck in Bollywood. I have got offers. It’s not that I haven’t got offers. Recently I got an offer to act in a film with Vidyut Jammwal but the dates were clashing with my other films. I am very happy with the kind of films I am doing here. Also, now I have become a producer so I can’t run away from my responsibilities saying it’s a big budget film so I have to give dates to it. And why would I run away from my responsibilities? But, (doing the film) it could not have been easy for me. I am very happy and content with the kind of work I am doing over here. I am excited about Amazon Obhijaan. So, it’s just that that I am very happy with this phase.
Your first film did not do well then gradually you tasted success with your other films. How will describe your journey in three words?
I would say I am living my dream.
So, as you mentioned earlier you are very happy with your work…
Happiness is temporary. I am happy when my film does well and then I forget it and start working hard for the next project. You cannot think that just because your last film did well your next one will also be a blockbuster. You have to start all over again from zero. Also, I don’t want my audience to say that Dev is playing the same role in every film.
Recently, you were trolled for the news that Raj Chakraborty wants to remake Titanic in Bengali where you will play Jack and Rukmini Maitra will essay Rose. What was your reaction after reading the news and trolls?
I didn’t even see it as it is happening since the last 12 years. This was nothing new for me. I have so many big things in life…if I start pondering over such silly issues how will I handle the bigger things?
Coming back to Amazon Obhijaan, how excited are you about the release?
It’s not important how excited I am. It is important how excited are those who are reading this interview, my audience and those who are going to buy the ticket for the first day first show. That matters to me the most. It’s like waiting for your Madhyamik result. No matter how good your exam was, you feel nervous until you get your result. So, I don’t know about the result, all I can say is we have worked really hard for this film and tried our level best to take it to the audience and from 22 December we will get to know about audience’s reaction…
Will you be going to the theatres to see audience’s reaction?
I am very scared to see audience’s reaction from my own eyes. I want to hear about it without being present. Also, I have a crowd phobia. I would love to hear about audience’s reaction than see it on my own.
Produced by SVF, the film is slated to hit the theatres on 22 December.