There are two types of actors in the industry — the first one says ‘look, I’m here’, and for the second one, people say ‘look, he’s here’. I’ve always liked the second one more," says Mithun Chakraborty, responding to why he’d never go up to any popular director for work. In the Capital for the premiere of his Bangla film Shukno Lanka (Dry Red Chilli), the superstar indulged in a tête-à-tête with HT City.
From a National Award in his very first film for playing a tribal boy in Mrigaya in 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 flow. Else, how could you think of a Disco Dancer playing Ramakrishna Paramhans (in Swami Vivekanda)?” says the actor, who plays a struggling junior artist in his latest film — a role that’s being touted as his claim to a fourth national award. “It’d be hypocritical to say I don’t want awards. Everyone loves them,” says Chakraborty. “But, I work for the love of acting, not for the awards,” he points out.
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 like most Bollywood stars. “All the best to people who have time and 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, but wants to give it some time. “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 says, before sharing some fond memories of the Capital. “I was shooting in Chandni Chowk, and I gorged on the food there,” he recollects fondly. “I just love Delhi’s food.”