|Prosenjit sports dramatically different looks in Sangram. Pictures by Pradip Sanyal
Be not baffled by what you see. Tollywood's leading man doesn't have a reason yet to play an ageing father. The false teeth, wig, beard and glasses have a different purpose altogether in Haranath Chakraborty's Sangram. In between shots at Indrapuri Studios, Prosenjit chats with Reshmi Sengupta about his films and future plans.
nWith six different looks, are you trying to do a Sanjeev Kumar in Naya Din Nayee Raat'
Sanjeev Kumar had played nine different roles. I am playing one character who uses different looks as a disguise to fight against a corrupt social set-up. Sangram is totally different from the films I have done with Hara (Haranath Chakraborty). If Pratibaad is considered a benchmark in Tollywood in terms of presentation and execution, we are trying to go a step further with Sangram' Jishu (Sengupta) plays my brother in this film.
So, is Jishu your successor' What about Jeet'
Jeet has already established himself. We all need to give a little push to Jishu' He has the potential.
How many films do you have in hand'
I have signed 13 films that will drag on till October 2005. Of these, four are with Hara, two or three with Swapan Saha, one each with Ashok Dhanuka, Goutam Ghose and Buddhadeb Dasgupta, and a couple of films under Ideas, Jhamu Sugandh and my banner. Right now, three films are ready for release: Swapan Ghosh's Tyagi, Shankar Roy's Badshah and Sudeshna Roy-Abhijit Guha's Shudhu Tumi.
And you play a romantic hero in all of these'
Not at all. I play a cop, a village guy, a mastaan, a good husband, a bad boy' If you see my last 10 films, you will find I have tried to portray different kinds of characters. In Buddhada's film I am cast as a son in search of his father. The day I feel the audience doesn't want me anymore in these roles, I will quit.
But how difficult or easy is it to switch from the sensibility of a commercial film to that of a parallel one'
My passion is the same for both. In fact, I have a tougher job in commercial films, where I have to make people believe in a larger-than-life character. I have to think and improvise every minute. In parallel films, the characters are those one can identify with and my task becomes a lot easier.
And switching on and off is just a matter of practice. I remember shooting for a Swapan Saha film in the morning shift and Ritu's (Rituparno Ghosh) Utsab in the evening. I take a break when I need to work on a particular kind of look ' for instance, during Chokher Bali, when my hairstyle was not going with other films. Even in Swapner Din, when I needed to have ruffled hair and an unshaven face.
Who are the heroines working opposite you in these 13 films'
Honestly speaking, I don't know myself. Because these days heroines are often finalised a day before the shooting is slated to start. Producers don't come to me with scripts anymore. They sign me up for projects first. Later, we sit down and chalk out the script.
If it's a mature role we are thinking of then the choice is usually Rachana. Otherwise, there's Koel. Also Arunima. And I was really impressed by Swastika Mukherjee while working in Biresh Chatterjee's Tobu Bhalobashi.
What are you dishing out from your tie-up with Jhamu Sugandh'
We are through with our first project Janmadata, directed by Swapan Saha with Jishu in the lead, and are on to our next with Anindya Sarkar. In queue are Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Haranath, Swapan Saha, Sudeshna Roy, Aparna Sen and Rituparno. Ritu's will be a big project at the end of next year.
After acting, what is your next stop'
I want to be a director. I want to make films like those of Mani Ratnam, which all sections of the society can enjoy. I don't have a life beyond films. Even now, I am the first to reach the shooting spot and the last to leave. For the past 20 years, I have fought for the industry on every aspect, from exhibition to distribution, and I want to be known as an institution.