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Rahul Bose is anything but his usual self on the sets of Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s Antaheen. With Sharmila Tagore and Aparna Sen as co-actors, the rugby stud is playing the quiet, good boy at work. Rahul tells t2 about working with the two ladies and why he chose to act in another Tollywood film for a pittance...

What is your role in Antaheen?

I play Avik. He is a cop with the Calcutta Police and heads the detective department. He is single and lives with his Pishimoni (aunt, Sharmila Tagore). Avik is a very quiet kind of a guy, doesn’t socialise much. He isn’t romantic and cannot strike up a conversation with people he doesn’t know. But Avik is sensitive. He is what he is because of something that had occurred in the past. He is a good cop with integrity. But he isn’t a cynic, he is a realist.

What drew you to this script?

Well, of course, my character Avik. Antaheen explores how technicalities help harmonise relationships. My character Avik connects with a girl on the Net. Two people who chat on the Net for hours don’t even know that they live in the same city, and they never meet. Something happens before they can meet. I found that very interesting. The other thing that drew me to the film is that I like Tony (Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury) as a person. I did Anuranan only for Tony. I would never do another film for such little money.

Two people bonding on the Net but not meeting — how believable is that?

I don’t believe in chatting on the Net and never getting to meet each other. I believe it’s a waste of time. Had it been in real life I would have just called her up. The greatest impediment when we like a person and cannot say it is the fear of rejection. But in the film it is believable because Avik doesn’t know that the girl lives in the same city. Neither do they ever ask each other.

What is your relationship with the other actors in Antaheen?

Aparna (Sen) plays my Boudi and Kalyan (Ray) is my cousin brother. They play an estranged couple. Boudi confides in Avik and he tries to bring them together.

Aparna Sen, who has directed you in three films, is now your co-actor...

It’s a little odd. I share a very professional director-actor relationship with Aparna. As a director she is all-powerful on the sets. Why I say it’s a bit odd is because on the sets of Antaheen we are both subservient to a third person. We are all actors here.

Is working with two senior actresses a learning experience?

Well, the equation is very different. On this set, I am not the way I normally am. I keep quiet most of the time and do my work. Actually you don’t feel equal enough to say something to senior actors. There’s no contribution that way. It’s a drawback when you feel you want to contribute but cannot. But Aparna and Sharmila have shown no ego or temper so far and it’s great working with them.

What’s next?

Well, Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam with Mallika Sherawat will release in August. There’s Mumbai Chakachak with Cyrus Broacha, Mandira Bedi and Suniel Shetty, which releases in September. Dil Kabaddi with Soha (Ali Khan), Konkona (Sensharma) and Irrfan Khan will release in October. Rajeev Virani’s The Whisperers and Santosh Sivan’s Before The Rains will release too. Then there’s The Japanese Wife. I am also doing Ghost Ghost Na Raha with Esha Deol and Milte Hai to be directed by Meghna Gulzar. In November, I will start shooting my next directorial venture Moth Smoke.

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