They are the most sought after pair in Tollywood. And their coming together after a break of fifteen years has been in the news ever since the film has been announced. The pair in question is Prosenjit Chatterjee and Rituparna Sengupta who has delivered many hit films together. Such has been their pairing that they have even been hailed as the second best pair of Tollywood after Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen. Sholoana Bangaliana correspondent caught up with the pair at a suite in Hyatt Regency, Kolkata. Excerpts….
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana- Your fans have a lot of expectation from both of you. And added to that is the fact that both of you have started working again after so many years. So do you feel an extra pressure working on you this time?
Prosenjit Chatterjee- We are very fortunate that our pairing is so loved and appreciated by the audience. When we were not working together, many used to cajole me to again start working with Ritu. When I heard the story, I felt that this is the perfect story to come back together. And yes there is an added pressure this time because the audience will be again seeing the two of us together after so many years.
Rituparna Sengupta- The kind of commercial films that we both used to do are no longer done by us. We have come a long way from those days. Praktan is not simply a love story. It is a story of relationships. The highs and lows of a relationship have been showcased in this film.
You mentioned that you are both doing different genres of films now. So when you are selecting a film, what are the things that you look for in the project?
Rituparna Sengupta- Since the interview is about Praktan, let me take this up as an example. When I said yes to the film, I said so because I am very comfortable working with Shibu and Nandita di (Shiboprosad and Nandita Roy). Secondly, the story is awesome and I have a challenging role. Thirdly, I will be again working with Soumitra uncle (Soumitra Chatterjee) after Belaseshe. And last but not the least, this is the perfect film to come back with Bumba da.
Prosenjit Chatterjee– Times have changed and the film making process has also undergone changes. Earlier a star actor was enough to make a film successful. Not that there were not good stories. But stars had great importance. Even now they have the same stature but stories have also gained a lot of prominence these days. Hence, when I choose films now, I see whether the character is challenging enough and the storyline is good.
Praktan has a good amount of social media like Whatsapp, Facebook usage. So how important do you feel is the social media in today’s age?
Prosenjit Chatterjee- It has become very important in today’s time. With social media, you can keep your fans updated about your films and other activities. This is a good way of keeping in touch with them and also getting feedback about your work. Social media is no longer restricted to just chatting or sharing pictures. It has become way too important now.
We have often heard that actresses are overawed or afraid when sharing screen space with you due to your aura and persona. But with Rituparna Sengupta who is an equally established actress in her own right, what is the equation like?
Prosenjit Chatterrjee- (laughs out loud) So people are afraid of me!! Jokes apart, I try and make everyone whom I act with comfortable. Otherwise the acting does not come out naturally. And with Ritu, this is so comfortable that describing it in words is very difficult. When we went to give the first day’s shot, the director duo wanted us to do easy scenes as we would be working after so long. But the moment we started acting, it did not seem like we had not shared screen space for so many years.
How did this comfort zone develop between you two?
Prosenjit Chatterjee- See, Ritu knows that when Bumba da does not like a thing, he will tell that directly. Similarly, when Ritu wants to do something better in a scene she also tells that. As a result, the result is good. And we have developed this comfortable working relationship in this way.
People change over time. So have you noticed any changes in each other?
Prosenjit Chatterjee- (laughs) This is indeed a good question. Ritu as an actress has matured very much. She has been doing great films. But on the personal front she is still the same. Why I say this? Because she still arrives late.
(Rituparna laughs out loud)
Rituparna Sengupta- He is still the same- organized as usual. The only change that I noticed is he has become leaner than before. I heard he has cut down on oil consumption and is training hard to maintain this lean figure. Otherwise, I find him still the same person.
You have acted as Uttam Kumar for the Star Jalsha show Mahanayak. How is the experience?
Prosenjit Chatterjee- This is an awesome experience. This iconic actor whom I have always looked up to in my growing up years is the person I get to enact in front of the camera. Lip syncing to his songs gave me goosebumps.
Since you have already done several Bollywood films, do we get to see you in international projects in the future as well?
Prosenjit Chatterjee- Things work differently internationally. I have my agent there who is doing whatever can be done. I went with Sankhachil to many film festivals and this was in a way getting myself acquainted with the international audience. Let’s see what happens in future!!
After Traffic, what is your next Bollywood project?
Prosenjit Chatterjee- My next Bollywood venture is “3 Dev” directed by Ankush Bhatt.
So will you be directing any film in future?
Prosenjit Chatterjee- I have two scripts ready already. I will be directing one film myself. The shooting will begin this year or else in 2017. The film I want to make will have actors and technicians from Kolkata as we have so much talent here. Some actors and technicians will be from Mumbai though.
Praktan releases on 27th May and we cannot wait to see the evergreen pair sizzle again on screen!!
Priyanka Dutta takes a keen interest in lifestyle and entertainment related news. She also enjoys interviewing celebrities and other renowned personalities. Priyanka holds a post graduate degree in English and Mass Communication. Journalism is her passion and she has reported for many a reputed international web portals.
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