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By Mithun Chakraborty on being a king-turned-poet and a show judge. KUSHALI NAG SHOULD MITHUN DO POTBOILERS? TELL t2@ABPMAIL.COM
  • Published 2.03.11

Zipping in and out of Calcutta for film and TV shoots, a very busy Mithun Chakraborty tells t2 about his new film Hason Raja and his attachment to dance shows…

You have started shooting for Ruhul Amin’s film Hason Raja in Mumbai. What drew you to this subject?

I have been in talks with Ruhul about the film for a long time. I found the story very interesting when he narrated it to me. Hason Raja is a ruthless king who undergoes a drastic change and starts looking at the world differently. The character graph is very interesting. The other interesting thing is the look I am sporting in the film, complete with moustache and long hair. Actually the film would have taken shape a long time back but Ruhul wasn’t being able to find a producer. We are shooting a few song sequences in Mumbai. The rest of the portions will be shot in Bangladesh.

Is Hason Raja going to be similar to Goutam Ghose’s Moner Manush where Prosenjit played Lalan Fakir?

I am not sure. I haven’t watched Moner Manush so I can’t say if it’s similar. Hason Raja is about a king who becomes a poet. He is a legendary figure in Bangladesh, who changes from a cruel king to a kind-hearted poet.

There’s Raima Sen opposite you in the film...

Not opposite me. Actually her character, Dilaram, brings about the change in Hason Raja. He starts thinking differently and seeing life from a different perspective after she comes into his life…. I’ve known Raima and her family for a very long time. It’s good working with her.

It’s been a long time since we saw you in Bengali commercial films like MLA Fatakesto. Why are you staying away from it?

Now this is unfair! When I used to do those films you guys would ask me why I did those potboilers. Now that I don’t do them you are asking me why I don’t do them! No, on a serious note, I don’t get time these days. I am neck-deep in TV projects both in Bombay and Calcutta. I am the judge in Dance Bangla Dance Season IV on Zee Bangla and also Dance India Dance Season IV on Zee TV. So where’s the time? Besides, I also do films in Bollywood. But there are plans to do a sequel of Minister Fatakesto. Let’s see.

What’s so special about Dance Bangla Dance and Dance India Dance that you have continued being a judge till Season IV?

Oh, I love these shows! I have been a part of these two shows from their inception… from brainstorming with the producers and directors till the shows went on air. I am emotionally attached to them. Besides, the kids in Dance Bangla Dance love me a lot; they have faith in me and respect me. They look up to me. I can’t really detach myself from the show, either physically or emotionally. DBD Season IV ends in April but we will soon launch Season V. Besides, you know I still love dancing! Dance is a part of my life.

What happened to Gaurav Pandey’s Spaghetti 24x7 starring you and son Mimoh?

It’s 90 per cent complete. We will shoot a song sequence soon but we aren’t getting the right location for it. I went to Hong Kong recently for a recce but I wasn’t happy with the locations. We will visit some other country soon. There’s still some time for the film to release.

You have started shooting for Suman Ghosh’s Nobel Chor...

Yes, I play a farmer in the film. Beyond that, I am not supposed to reveal anything.

Are you consciously picking cerebral films and leaving out the masala fare?

No. It’s just that I am getting some interesting offers now and I want to be a part of these. I was very satisfied working in Mahesh Manjrekar’s Ami Subhash Bolchhi, where I play a father of two grown-up kids (played by Barkha Bisht Sengupta and Shaheb Bhattacharya). But that doesn’t mean that I have shut myself off from commercial films. I will play to the gallery again when there are offers. Like, I am doing Sajid Khan’s Houseful 2 in Bombay, which is an out-and-out commercial film.

You are so busy these days that it’s difficult to catch you for an interview....

Yes…. Initially, I used to find it difficult to manage television and films. Now I have learnt time management. It’s not that I am working four-five shifts a day like I used to during my heydays, but there’s a lot of work to keep me busy through the day. And I do keep at least three-four days a month for your boudi (wife Yogita Bali)!