For Rohit Roy, his elder brother, actor Ronit Roy, is more like a father to him. He also says that Ronit comes up as a boring person and does not take interest in sports like football and cricket. So, what do the two brothers discuss when they meet? “We are both crazy about bikes and cars,” says Rohit, who impressed audiences with his performance in Swabhimaan and Des Mein Niklla Hoga Chand. The actor, Rohit, who is hosting an investigative series, Khooni Saaya, on Investigation Discovery, spoke to HT City on films, television and more:
You have hosted reality shows such as Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and The Bachelorette India in the past. What made you take up Khooni Saaya, an investigation series?
When Investigation Discovery narrated the concept to me, I found it to be really interesting. Though the series has been formatted like a fictional show, we are dealing with real-life incidents here. True investigations are carried out by detectives. I haven’t seen a shown like this in India before. Yes, I was anxious and tensed before I signed on Khooni Saaya. I’ve always had a boy-next-door image but in this show, the audience will get to see a very different side of me. I like the American show, NYPD Blue, which is an investigative series. I am like a sutradhar on Khooni Saaya, who takes you through the entire story.
Did you do any kind of research for the show?
Not really. I read the material the channel provided me with. After shooting the pilot episode, I got a feel of the show. So, from the next episode, I didn’t read the full script. Instead, I read the script as the show progressed, so that the mystery unravels in front of me too.
A large section of the Indian audiences thrive on Hindi soaps. Do you think this show will appeal to them?
Of course it will. Even though there are daily soaps on Hindi television channels, there are also shows such as CID, Crime Patrol and Savdhaan India. However, Khooni Saaya is far more realistic than the other shows.
What kind of shows do you watch on television?
Honestly, I don’t watch any show on Indian television. These days, you have the option of recording a show. I am more into shows such as Game of Thrones and House of Cards. When it comes to Indian shows, I haven’t been able to hook on to any other show after Swabhimaan.
Don’t you even watch your brother, Ronit Roy’s shows, Itna Karo Na Mujhe Pyaar and Adaalat?
Not really. When my new show goes on air in June, the entire family will sit together and watch the show. But we don’t follow each other’s shows on a regular basis. Indian television actors are more like labourers. You are working constantly and hardly have time for anything else.
Do you discuss acting with him?
If you see his graph in the last 10 years, it’s been really good. We don’t discuss acting much but at times we do discuss the projects we are doing. Two brothers are different from two sisters. Sisters can discuss anything and everything. I guess that doesn’t happen with brothers.
So, what do you two brothers discuss?
He is more like my father. I lost my father at an early age and since then he has been like a father figure. So, he talks and I listen. He is very boring. He doesn’t follow football or cricket. I am a huge cricket fan. We discuss cars and bikes. That’s our pet passion. At times, we discuss world politics.
You directed Rice Plate, one of the shorts in Dus Kahaniyaan (2007), and it was appreciated.
(Cuts in) You can’t rest on your past laurels. I’ve fished writing a script, which I will direct. It has got a big star cast and will soon go on floors. I am also playing a photographer in Madhur Bhandarkar’s, Calendar Girls. It is much like Atul Kasbekar’s character.
You have done a few Bengali films too, such as Bhorer Alo and Mrs Sen.
I’ve a love and hate relationship with Bengal. Directors in Bengal often tell me that I’ve twang in my Bengali accent. I am a probashi Bengali and hence it’s natural that I’ll have a twang in my accent. I would love to work in Kolkata. There is a plethora of talent in Bengal. I am definitely not looking at doing Bengali potboilers. I would rather do middle-of-the-road cinema. I’ve had a great time working in Bengali films.
Do you have a wishlist of director you would want to work in Bengal?
I would love to work with Srijit Mukherji and Aniruddha Roy Choudhury. We keep meeting and discuss projects too. But it’s not easy for an actor to come from Mumbai and shoot a film in Kolkata.