"Nomoshkar. Ek minute." It was with this one line and minimum screenspace Bengali actor Saswata Chatterjee secured a position for himself in Sujoy Ghosh's directorial, Kahaani starring Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chatterjee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
It didn't take Saswata Chatterjee any heavy monologue or dialogue to establish himself prominently in Kahaani. With stoop shoulders and wide-eyes, he calmly greeted his victim, who had no knowledge that they were standing face-to-face with their perpetrator. The result? Almost eight years later this character got a film of his own, except the role here, was being filled up by Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan, who despite his series of non-hits is believed to be more bankable than Saswata Chatterjee.
During an exclusive conversation with Saswata Chatterjee who was promoting his film Rahashamay, we asked if he ahs any hard feelings about Abhishek Bachchan taking over his role. "No no no no because I have already made it. The reason Bob Biswas is getting a sequel and an individual film of his own is that Kahaani was a hit then. So, as an actor my job there is done. About helming the lead role, that is the decision of the director."
It was in Jagga Jasoos again where Saswata had delivered a memorable performance as Jagga's father. While talking about Bollywood he shared that Rajkumar Santoshi who once enthralled us with films such as Andaaz Apna Apna, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani, will be back with another film again.
"My two Bollywood films are yet to release; this time I have worked with Mukesh Chhabra in his directorial debut Dil Bechara and another film with Rajkumar Santoshi's Bad Boy," he said.
"Rajkumar Santoshi is a damn good actor. He has a very good sense of comic timing. While shooting he used to show us what to do, act out the characters," he added.
While commenting on the marketing structure in the Hindi film industry and the Bengali film industry the actor said, "Bollywood's plus point is that they are continuously increasing their market, the same thing is not happening in Bengal and we who are involved in this industry must think about it. When a big banner Bollywood film releases on a certain Friday, usually on that day there's no clash…with another blockbuster I mean.
In Bollywood actors, producers they leave space for one another and allow each other to co-exist harmoniously and we in the Bengali film industry with our limited Fridays and theatres, we are not ready to give up your space to someone else. This is a bit problematic. We are also trying right now, but we must learn something from Bollywood, how to give space to one another. Afterall cinema isn't a game of survival of the fittest. The faster they learn the better."