SPECIAL INTERVIEW JOY SENGUPTA – “It is necessary to negotiate new challenges every time you set out to tackle a different character, whether it is a play, a film or TV serial”
In this exclusive interview for Mayapuri and bollyy.com, the versatile actor Joy Sengupta tells JYOTHI VENKATESH that over the last 30 years since he had made his debut in Hindi films with Govind Nihalani’s film Ek Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa, he is thankfully at a level which is higher than that of the director because not only is he able to grasp what his director tells him to do but also is able to visualise what exactly his director wants him to do
What is the best lesson that you have learnt as an actor?
The most important thing that I learnt as far as an actor is concerned in this industry is how I will be able to negotiate new challenges every time I set out to tackle a particular character.
Can you explain?
How I perceive the world is different from what my directors perceive, when they set out to narrate my character. I always make it a point to completely understand what the perspective of my director is and then accordingly set out to interpret the characters according to the vision that they have nurtured.
With your vast experience, have you ever thought of taking up direction too?
I did in the early stage of my career as an actor but decided to give up the thought since some of my friends have wasted their precious youth pursuing direction. I decided not to get stuck choosing the stars and the corporates who back my film and concentrate only on acting
Which is more important-talent or technique?
Talent is the most basic thing that you ought to have in abundance. Then you need the proper technique to hone your latent talent. Once you have the talent and the technique, I think you also should get the right opportunity to showcase your talent at the right time as well as the right place. I feel that as and when you set out to do whatever you do, you should be able to make a big difference.
Do you think as an actor you need to have an image?
I’d say that work is more important than your image because your work should withstand the time. Don’t you think people still continue to talk about films like Jaagte Raho, Teesri Kasam etc even when they set out to talk about Raj Kapoor who had acted in those films? In the same manner, in the years to come, a film like Tridev will not be talked about, but films like Chirutha and Thiruda Thiruda will be talked about in glowing terms.
Can you talk about your journey on TV?
I have been a part and parcel of not only films but also plays as well as TV serials. I began my tryst on TV with Vivek Agnihotri’s Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum with Ronit Roy and Pallavi Joshi as my co-actors. It was Anupam Kher who had selected me to be a part of that play way back in 1997
Why did you decide to stop acting in TV serials?
To be frank, I did not at all want to be a part of saas-bahu dramas because it is against my basic sensitive nature. I’d rather be a part of some sensitive content or finite serials which give food to thought than get stuck in an inane serial week after week
You were part of the UTV serial Bhabhi too!
Yes. Way back in 2002, I was a part of not only Asha Parekh’s serial, Rishtey series, Saturday Suspense series, The Best Seller series, the X Zone series and telefilms and feature films, but also the serial Bhabhi which was produced by Ashok Shekhar for UTV. Though I was only an actor, I decided to give up acting because I could not handle it any more with the channel interfering all the time.
Who are the directors you admired on TV?
Anurag Basu, Imtiaz Ali, Ravi Rai and Anurag Kashyap are the directors who I admired when they were making serials for TV at a time when films were just films and TV was similar to parallel cinema and I used to feel like an artiste at a time when all the actors were mere puppets who were on a monthly contract for production houses like say for example Balaji. Even when I dabbled in TV and films, I made it a point never to give up my acting stint on the stage and continued to act in plays
Which are your personal five favourite films?
Besides my debut film Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa, I also like Deham, Hate Story 1 and Ananth Mahadevan’s Rough Book and also a film made on the Bhopal Tragedy
You have also acted in web series!
Yes. I had acted in web series like Made in Heaven, Sacred Games Part 2, Arya, Hello Mini and a Bengali serial called Hello with Raima Sen
Tell me which have been your five favourite plays till date?
Three Sisters, Motiram Ka Satyagrah, Dance Like A Man, Dinner with Friends, Taj Express and last but not the least Devika Rani are the six plays that are my favourites till date.