Actor Anirban Bhattacharya is currently seen as Aniruddha Chatterjee opposite Rani Mukerji in Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway. The Free Press Journal caught up with him for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
How did you get the role? Who approached you first?
I got a call from a casting agency. A boy named Akash called me at night and he told me, ‘Ashima Chibber (director) wants to talk to you’. Next day she called and arranged a Zoom meeting for me and told me that they were casting me for the role of Mr Chatterjee. This is the way it happened. She mentioned that Rani Mukerji suggested my name.
This is your first Hindi film. What difference do you see in terms of working in the Bengali and Hindi film industries?
Both industries are historically very old. The Hindi film industry is the biggest. A majority of people in this country watch Hindi Cinema and Bengali and South are the regional film industries. The Bengali cinema audience isn’t very big and we operate with a small amount of money. A Rs 5-6 cr film in Kolkata is called a very big budget film. In comparison to Hindi, Tamil, Telugu cinema, our infrastructure is small. We have less rigs, equipment and modern lights. We still work with some old equipment on set but our technicians, actors and writers are fantastic. They have the ability to pull off any kind of content that the other industry does.
Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway is based on a true story. How did you get into the skin of the character?
The script was so detailed and Ashima was very clear about this character and she explained it to me so many times with so much clarity. I think there is no chance to fail because she was always after me. I thank Ashima, the script and her ability to explain it to the actor.
How was it working with Rani Mukerji?
It was fantastic. It was like a dream come true. It was beyond dreams and I never thought of working with such a big star. After the star-struck part and the nervousness, standing next to her and giving my apt performance, I needed to focus on my character, the delivery and that was my job.
After the trailer itself there was a huge response. How did it feel?
My WhatsApp was flooded with texts and that was heart wrenching. It was not only from the film fraternity but every corner of the society like my childhood friends, their parents, a very old friend from Nagpur, New Jersey and everyone. There are some with whom I haven’t been in touch for eight years but suddenly they texted me after watching the trailer.
When you saw the trailer, how did you react?
Though I have started directing films I have gone through the things that make a trailer look good, but this trailer is just fantastic. A trailer has a different pacing because it’s the first glimpse of the film. The film has been received so well by critics and the audience. It feels great and it’s like a lifetime experience.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)