Monday, June 17, 2024

CELEB TALK:‘Now is the time to be an actor’

Must read

Actor-writer Chinmay Mandlekar has created his own mark in the industry with his films and varied characters. Over an exclusive chat with The Pioneer’s K. Ramya Sree, the actor, who recently played the protagonist in Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh, opened up about playing an array of characters and how he chooses them, and the process of getting into the skin of Godse in the film and more.

As seen in The Kashmir Files, where he plays the central antagonist, Bitta, actor-writer Chinmay Mandlekar has created a niche for himself in the industry, especially for doing artistic films. A major in the Marathi film industry, Chinmay was recently spotted as the protagonist Godse, in Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh, which was released on January 26.

The actor has over two decades of work experience across industries. A graduate of the National School of Drama, Mandlekar has written, directed, or acted in successful plays such as Bechaki and Sukhanshi Bhandto Aamhi.

If we look at the filmography of Chinmay Mandlekar, it is very evident that the actor has played an array of characters that are all different from one another.Speaking to The Pioneer about his journey, the actor shared that he feels extremely lucky to be offered such a wide spectrum of roles, and continued, “Be it Bitta in The Kashmir Files or Godse, what every actor fears the most is being type-cast. When you get such varied roles, you will feel extremely lucky about the kind of films I have done. My first film was Tere Bin Laden, which was a complete comedy. Later, I did a cult classic film. It is a dream come true for any actor.”

Asked how he chooses his characters, he said, “My only preference is that my current role should be different from my previous one. I am getting different kinds of films, and I am very happy about it. However, I am never satisfied with whatever I have done. After watching any film of mine, I always leave feeling ‘I could’ve done better’.”

The film is out now, and the film was very well received. Chinmay shared that Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh is a very different film in Hindi cinema, and this genre (parallel history) has never been attempted in Indian cinema, and his character in the film has also been widely appreciated.

To play Godse, the actor had to do his share of homework, and taking us through the process of getting into the skin of Godse, the Shanghai actor revealed, “My basic homework was to understand why Godse did what he did. In those terms, there is a lot of written material that is available. There is Nathuram Godse’s deposition in the quote that he made during his trial. That is one big reference point.

It really gives insight into what he was thinking and his understanding of the political and social context of that time. I have been an ardent student of history. I have been reading and learning about things, so this is not new to me. But my biggest reference point was my script and my director, Raj Kumar Santoshi.”

As we mentioned earlier, Chinmay is also an effective writer. We asked him if his writings influence his story selection and acting process, to which, he said, “Being a writer, you do not look at the character, but you also tend to look at what the overall script is trying to say. Many times, actors lose sight of the totality of the project as they are only concerned about their character and look for more screen time.

In my case, for example, in The Kashmir Files, my character did not have much screen time. However, the film starts with Bitta and ends with Bitta, and whatever scenes I had, all of them were very powerful. You need to trust the vision of the writer and the director because I have been on the other side of the table, I feel I have a better understanding of how to go ahead with my role.”

Any role that leaves an impact on the audience is one of his go-to roles. “My basic urge is to reach more people. I am here to stay, and I am here to work with everybody who thinks I can work with them,” he said.

Narrating an incident on how the image of even the legendary actors is fading away these days and what he would be remembered for, Chinmay asserted, “I have been writing, acting, directing, and I also have a small production company. My only aim when doing any work is that it should be liked by people. In today’s day and age, the shelf life of anything and everything is very minimal.

A few years ago, I was at a college function, and I asked the students how many of them watched Sanjeev Kumar films. From the audience of 100 or so students, only two knew who Sanjeev Kumar was. Those individuals ranged in age from 16 to 20 years. A great actor like Sanjeev Kumar is slowly fading from memory. Who are we? My point is that people who are with me right now should remember me and know me as someone who does his job well.”

Furthermore, he feels this is a good time to be an actor. “The concept of a protagonist has evolved a lot. The protagonist is no longer one of your young men in their twenties. Even the antagonists and protagonists come from various strata of society and various age groups. A lot of good work is happening across all platforms, and I think it’s a very good time to be an actor.”

On a personal note, the actor feels extremely lucky to have his wife in his life. The reason? Let’s hear it from him: “Whenever I do any work, the first audience I want to show it to is my wife. She will never say I have done a good job when I haven’t. I am very lucky.

I have seen many good actors falter in their performances over the years because they stop listening to people who are close to them, or people who are close to them may stop telling them the truth. But my wife never falters in doing that. She always tells me what is good and what is not. I am very lucky to have a critic who is always with me.”

As far as his upcoming projects are concerned, there is a lot lined up in Marathi films for Chinmay, including the 8th film franchise on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and has also finished the 5th franchise of Subedhari, which will release in June this year. Aside from that, he worked on a Netflix show called Kaala Paani, which will be released later this year.

There’s another film titled Happy Teachers Day slated to release in September. He’s also got a few more projects that will take off soon. It seems like the actor has his hands full for the years to come.

- Advertisement -spot_img

More articles

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article