Indraneil Sengupta and wife Barkha Bisht Sengupta don’t discuss work anymore when they meet. Instead, most of their discussions these days centre on their daughter Meira. “Meira now understands that we are actors but she doesn’t like being photographed,” says Indraneil. The proud father of a three-year-old, Indraneil is living out of a suitcase as he is juggling multiple assignments in Kolkata and Mumbai. The actor, who was recently in Kolkata to promote his latest Bengali thriller, Prime Time, says that he is yet to get his due as an actor. Excerpts from a chat with Indraneil:
You play a crime reporter in the film. Did you do any research before playing this character?
I always go by the script. I think if you play a musician or a sportsman you need to adopt a different kind of a body language. But I believe journalists do not necessarily have the same kind of body language.
What made you accept Ipsita Seal’s debut Bengali film?
I have worked with a number of new directors. I like working with them because they bring certain freshness to the script. As an actor, I don’t want to get trapped in an image. Also, I don’t want to work with only a certain set of directors and producers. When a script comes to me, I look at what my character has to offer. Prime Time is a thriller and revolves around a news channel. It shows the journey of a crime reporter and to what extent he can go to gather news.
There are certain films, which you expect to shape up well but that doesn’t always happen.
There have been times when I realised that the director lacks vision after shooting for just four days. But we are professionals and since I have already committed myself, I give my 100 per cent to it.
Your films, Autograph (2010), Ar Ekti Premer Galpo (2011) and Kahaani (2012) earned you accolades. Was that a dream phase in your career?
When I started working in the Bengali film industry, I was a new entity. When a few of those films did well, I was in news. Today, I am a known face and have worked in a number of films. The cycle of life isn’t unknown. Every actor has his/her share of ups and down.
You shuttle between Mumbai and Kolkata. Do you hang out with a specific set of people whenever you are in Kolkata to shoot for a film?
I am completely disconnected and I like it that way. I feel this industry is full of freelancers. Freelancers are always selfish. You can’t always keep thinking about them. You have to think of your career too. I think it’s safer to stay away.
What have you learnt from the industry?
I haven’t experienced anything tragic till now. But it’s a shame that people have lost their morals today. Everyone is unethical and manipulative today irrespective of his or her position. I feel when I came to this industry the place was a little cleaner.
Do you think you have got your due as an actor?
No, I deserve much more than what I have got. But you don’t have a control over that.
You have done a few hardcore commercial films. Why don’t we see you in more such films?
I can’t dance. Also, there are other gimmicks such as songs, action and foreign locations to support the structure of a commercial film. I feel the scope of acting is less in commercial films. It’s not always about good looks or having a great body… it is about whether you mind is in that space. My mind doesn’t belong to that space.
I am playing an illusionist in Sekhar Ghosh’s Bengali film Morichika. I am required to attend a few workshops to understand the psyche of the character.