There are two types of actors in the industry — one says; ‘Look, I’m here’, and for the second, people say; ‘Look, he’s here’. I’ve always liked the second more," admits Mithun Chakraborty, responding to why he’d never go up to any popular director for work.
Just before the premiere of his Bangla film Shukno Lanka (Dry Red Chilli), the superstar indulged in a tête-à-tête. From a National Award for playing a tribal boy in his first ever film, Mrigaya, 1976, to his comic timing in the yet-to-release Golmaal 3, Chakraborty’s practically living the dream. But, the 60-year-old still doesn’t want to ‘wake up’ halfway through.
“I just let myself go with the flow. Else, how could you think of a Disco Dancer playing a saintly Ramakrishna Paramhans (in Swami Vivekanda)?” says the actor, who plays a struggling junior artist in his latest film — a role that’s touted to win him a fourth National Award.
“It would be hypocritical to say I don’t want awards. Everyone loves them,” says Chakraborty. “But, I work for the love of acting,” he says. For someone who has a fan base not only in India — his popularity in Russia is next only to Raj Kapoor’s — Mithunda isn’t game for Twitter yet. “All the best to people who enjoy it, but I’m happy being this way,” he says. “The only connect with my fans is through my films.”
The actor wants to direct eventually. “I think people still want to see me onscreen. When that reaches a saturation point, I’ll turn elsewhere,” says the veteran.
Does it hurt to see his son Mimoh not shine like him as an actor? “When you are a superstar’s son, good living is your only blessing, every other thing is a curse,” he says, referring to the high level of expectation. “As a father, I’ll do everything to groom him, but he has to fight his own battle,” he concludes.