Leena Yadav’s Parched features women in key roles. Surveen Chawla, Tannishththa Chatterjee and Radhika Apte are getting all the laurels for their powerful performances in the film. The men have also excelled in their roles. Chandan Anand, who plays Surveen’s lover and pimp in the film, is the foremost among them.
Chandan has earlier worked in Hindi plays like Court Martial, Tara, Final Solutions, Romeo Juliet, Warren Hastings Ka Saand. He has also acted in TV shows such as Anurag Basu’s adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Punishment, Bhabhi, Hatim and Dharamkshetra and Bhaage Re Mann.
In a candid chat with Hindustan Times, Chandan talks about his struggles, co-stars in parched and life.
How did you bag a role in Parched?
I was playing the protagonist Javed in a Sahitya Academy winning play Final Solutions, written by Mahesh Dattani on stage. It was a full house and everybody loved my performance. Casting director Mukesh Chhabra’s team member saw me there and requested for audition. Within a week I was signed for Parched. It was a dream come true to be working in a film being shot by Titanic cinematographer Russel Carpenter, Academy Award nominated film editor Kevin Tent, three time Academy award and BAFTA winning sound designer Paul N.J. Ottosson ( Zero Dark Thirty, Spider-Man, Hurt Locker). When a film is mounted with such geniuses, everyone associated with it is inspired. It helps that I was offered one of the most vibrant characters.
You help Surveen’s character in the film but your character is not totally devoid of male chauvinism.
Director Leena Yadav’s Parched revolves around women but the director has given the men some meaty characters too. I play a very compassionate, loving, rustic and colourful character in Parched. Raju, my character, is a pimp who is in love with the woman he’s getting business for. So it’s a very complex dynamic for him. While he loves her, he knows only one job and doesn’t even consider that it isn’t something Bijli might not be interested in. Despite his ignorance, he is supportive of her when she refuses clients or when she wants to steal a tempo and wander off with her girlfriends. I am the most loveable character after the women in the film.
In your theatre days, you have worked with veterans like Arvind Gaur. How was the experience?
Arvind Gaur of Asmita Productions and NK Sharma at Act One are the most renowned names in theatre. If you have worked with either one of them you don’t need to learn acting from anywhere else. And I had the fortune of working with both of them. They are not only my teachers but masters who inspired many Bollywood personalities like Piyush Mishra, Shoojit Sircar, Manoj Bajpayee, Huma Qureshi among others. With both these legends I learnt acting cannot to be taught. It comes with practice and being true to your craft. I learnt many life lessons of humility and perseverance from them.
How was it working with actors like Radhika Apte, Tannishtha, Surveen and Adil Hussain?
All the names you are taking are masters of their craft and there isn’t a better joy than to work with actors who have so much passion for acting and who give their all to a scene and a character they are playing. It was a high for the actor in me because that’s my approach to my work. Surveen and I have an amazing chemistry in the film and her character Bijli is aware that I am in love with her but she flirts with me and even kisses me in the scene but never says anything about her feelings.
What’s next for Chandan?
I have just finished directing a short film and am in talks with producers for future projects but until something is signed and sealed it doesn’t make sense talking about it. One thing is for sure, I love acting so that will continue in one form or another - as Irrfan says in Paan Singh Tomar - humari khabrein milti rahengi (You will keep hearing news about me).