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The more the merrier!

Dev tells t2 how he has tried to be different from his other lover-boy characters in the May release Paglu, directed by Rajib Kumar.

Paglu is your 12th film. How different is your role here from the other 11 films?

Basically, it’s a love story and all love stories are the same. How the director treats the story is what makes it different. In Paglu, I play Dev, who is an orphan and lives in a bustee. He goes to college and falls in love with Rimi (Koel), who studies in another college. For Dev it’s love at first sight but not so for Rimi. She is a no-nonsense girl from a rich family in America. Her father is a politician there. Yet Dev is head over heels in love and tries to convince her till one day she leaves for America. Her father (Rajatava Dutta) tells Dev to stay away from her but Dev swears that he would marry Rimi some day.

Sounds familiar. Wasn’t there a similar chain of events in Challenge?

Yes, you can say that it has some resemblance with Challenge. But only the father-lover face-off, the rest is different.... I learnt Nunchaku martial art for the film. This form needs you to fight with two sticks tied with a chain. I had hired two experts from Dunlop who taught me Nunchaku. There are two fight sequences in the film where I do Nunchaku. I have tried to do my best.

Of your 12 films, which character do you identify with the most?

I loved my role in Dui Prithibi — Shibu, the thief. It was different and performance-oriented. I am also emotionally attached to my role in my first film I Love You, where I played loverboy Rahul. But the closest to me is the one I have in Sujit Mondal’s untitled film opposite Subhashree.

What’s your role there?

I play Jitu, a Casanova. He is wild but he changes for the better in the last 10-20 minutes of the film. I can identify with the changed Jitu. The way he behaves with his mother and his father is very close to what I am in real life.

Do you think things would have been better if you had done most of your films with only one heroine and established yourself as a pair?

To be honest, I don’t think so. Being a pair limits you as an actor. After a point you start becoming a bore on screen. Suppose I work with X in all my films, then when I do a film with Y it won’t work because the audience are used to watching me with X. It’s a limitation. Working with various actresses helps you grow and learn more.

Shree Venkatesh Films is launching Mithun Chakraborty’s son, Mahaakshay, soon. Does that make you feel insecure?

Just a few days back I got a call from someone who said, ‘Dev why don’t you do more films? So many theatres are closing down’. See, if this industry has to run then we need more actors and actresses. Bumbada, Jeetda and I alone cannot do the number of films needed to let the industry thrive. Besides, what’s the point of being the number one among three or four? The more, the merrier! The level of competition will go up then and we will all push ourselves to do better.

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