Rahul Bose has commercial hits like Jhankaar Beats and Pyar Ke Side Effects to his credit, but the immensely talented actor prefers offbeat films because he feels he doesn't have the sex appeal to be a mainstream actor.
"I am seen less in out and out commercial films because my preference has always been world cinema. Whether it is Split Wide Open or English, August, my inclination has been offbeat cinema," Rahul, 42, told IANS in an interview.
"Another fact is that I don't get offered commercial films too often. Simply because I don't have the kind of looks, sex appeal, dancing skills, etc, needed to be a mainstream actor. So I don't want to push myself in roles that don't suit me and make a fool of myself. I know about a few actors who would have done extremely well in art house cinema, but, in search of a career in commercial cinema and recognition there, they made a fool of themselves," added the actor.
So how does he decide on a particular role?
"For me, a director doesn't matter, what matters is the script and the vision of the film. Also it depends on what kind of film I want to do that time," he said.
Rahul started his film career with Dev Benegal's 1994film English, August. Even though he has acted in mainstream Bollywood films like Thakshak and Silsilay, among others, he is known for his portrayals in art house films like Bombay Boys, Mr. and Mrs. Iyer and 15 Park Avenue among others. In fact, Time Asia magazine named him the superstar of Indian arthouse cinema.
His love for offbeat movies continues with his next film The Japanese Wife. Directed by Aparna Sen, the film revolves around a young village school teacher (Rahul) marrying his Japanese pen friend (Chigusa Takaku) over letters and remaining true and loyal to her throughout his life, while actually never meeting her.
While the actor is working on two films at the moment, one on terrorism and the other a love story, he is also in the process of arranging finances for his directorial venture Moth Smoke.
"I'm hoping to start my film at the end of this year. It is based on a book called Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid. I need to raise money for it, then everything else will be decided," said the actor.
The film was slated to go on the floors in the beginning of this year, but the project was postponed after financiers pulled out.
In the past, Rahul had directed a film called Everybody Says I'm Fine! that released in 2001. It starred Koel Purie, Pooja Bhatt and Boman Irani.