Amartya Ray will be making his debut with director Abhishek Saha’s debut Bengali film Uronchondi. Son of eminent Bengali actress Chaiti Ray Ghoshal, the young actor is also passionate about music. Sholoana Bangaliana correspondent caught up with the young actor just before the release of his debut film Uronchondi. Excerpts..
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana- How did you bag the role of Chotu in Uronchondi?
Amartya Ray- This is actually a funny incident. For the character of Chotu, Abhishek da was looking for someone with a prominent jaw line and with a little bit of innocence. But he was not getting someone who suited the role. The search was on for three months. Sudipta masi (Sudipta Chakraborty) saw my profile on Facebook and then suggested my name. Abhishek da saw my pictures and then he selected me.
Your mother is an extremely talented actress. Did she give you any suggestions on how to pick a film or any acting tips?
Amartya Ray- Well, she did not give that directly. We have discussions about films regularly. My favourite place in the house is beside the window and it is the same for my mother too. It is then that we discuss films and theatre. She is critical about my work. She appreciates my work and also points out my mistakes. In this way she helps and guides me.
So tell us about Chotu..
Amartya Ray- Chotu is a helper of a lorry-driver. He does not get the chance to drive the lorry. He gets the chance one day and he runs away with it. What happens next? Chotu is a Bihari character and so I had to pick up the accent. He is a character with many shades and he may remind you of the Angry Young Man. There is a certain amount of innocence and people will also find an emotional connect too.
I took Bumba uncle’s (Prosenjit Chatterjee) makeup and drove it in Indrapuri studio. I had to get that driving style right and so I practised a lot.
Since this is a travelogue, how was the shooting experience?
Amartya Ray- The shooting experience was awesome. This film is very close to my heart. We shot for 14 days continuously at Purulia at the end of February. According to Abhishek da, the film is like the open skies. I had a fun time with Rajnandini too. Abhishek da shot at different locations. At some places there were lots of stones. We literally got cut and bruised. You can tell that we toiled a lot for the film.
During the shoot of the film, it was very hot in Purulia. So whenever someone from the crew came forward to give us the umbrella, Abhishek da used to say “Chata out” (Umbrella out). He wanted the tanned look for us. And so he did that.
We gorged on great food during the shoot too. I live in Pune so I miss Bengali food.
How was the experience of shooting with Sudipta Chakraborty?
Amartya Ray- I have always considered Sudipta masi a great actor. And now after working with her, I have understood that she is a powerful actor too. I started working with her from the workshop stage. After I practised driving in the morning, I used to her place in the afternoon. We used to sit in the roof and practise on our accents. We did not have the completely learn the language but we had to learn the subtle nuances of the language. This film has led to a great bonding between me and Sudipta masi.
Abhishek da is a man of few words. He only used to say the essential words. He knew what he wanted from the scene and also from the actors.
I told Sudipta masi that when she was looking through the monitor, I felt like I was giving an exam and I had to perform well at any cost.
How was the experience of working with Rajnandini?
Amartya Ray- Since we are of the same age, we bonded over films, music, Netflix and so on. We always had “tu tu main main” during the shoots. It was great fun shooting with her.
What is your favourite travel film?
Amartya Ray- Almost Famous is a film about a band which travels on a tour. The film shows great places. Life is elsewhere and A good road are the other films which I like.
You have done a Hindi film too. Tell us something about it.
Amartya Ray- The film I did is 22 Yards (directed by Mitali Ghoshal). The film is a about a sports agent and a cricketer. How they make their comeback from bad situations is the main crux of the film. Rajesh Sharma, my mother (Chaiti Ghoshal) has also acted in the film.
You have joined FTII Pune to study direction. How will you balance shooting for films and studies in future?
Amartya Ray- Bumba uncle’s production house has been very helpful and I have shot during holidays. In future, I will have to make time for films and also balance my studies too.
This is your debut film-what are your expectations from the film?
Amartya Ray- I am slowly grasping the feeling of “Opening Friday”. The film is made for the people. We have worked really hard for it. If the people come to the halls and watch it, it will be a huge boost for me.
We hope Uronchondi becomes a huge hit and we wish Amartya all the best for his career in films.
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.