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October 26, 2020

‘There should be a #MenToo movement’

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‘There’s another side, where men have become victims of some women’s evil plans.’

Photograph: Kind courtesy Chandan Roy Sanyal/Instagram

The sci-fi series Hawa Badle Hassu gets ready to show off some thrills — of a different kind! — on Sony Liv, and Chandan Roy Sanyal will be ‘driving’ straight into it.

The actor, probably best remembered for his role in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kaminey, plays an autorickshaw driver in this environmental thriller.

He tries to change the mindsets of all his passengers towards the environment as he believes global warming is knocking on the door.

“There are so many shows on the OTT platform which have comedy, drama, sex… This is one of a kind, which talks about the environment and what should be done to save it,” Chandan tells KhabriBaba.com Contributor Divya Solgama.

Did the environmental issue attract you to this series?

There are so many shows on the OTT platform which have comedy, drama, sex…

This is one of a kind, which talks about the environment and what should be done to save it.

It’s not a peachy show and has some comedy and entertainment in it.

IMAGE: A scene from Hawa Badle Hassu.

You graduated in mathematics. How did you land up in the film industry?

While studying mathematics, I did theatre on the side.

By the time I finished my graduation, my interest in theatre had increased and I wanted to become an actor.

So after graduation, I moved towards acting.

Your first appearance on the big screen was a small role in Rang De Basanti in 2006. How tough was your struggle?

I came to Bombay in 2004, and Rang De Basanti was my first film.

I learned a lot from that film by working with exceptional actors like Aamir Khan, Waheeda Rehman and Soha Ali Khan.

I learned how to act in front of the camera because I was just a theatre actor.

I got a big break after five years in 2009 with Kaminey.

Those five years were not easy for me, but that’s the journey.


IMAGE: Chandan’s Mikhail in Kaminey.

How did Kaminey happen?

I was doing several shows and plays during that time, and somebody suggested my name to the casting director of the film.

He called me for a screen test and I made a lot of rounds. The makers were looking for a new actor. Eventually, I bagged the role.

How did things change after Kaminey?

Things certainly changed and I became a movie actor from there on.

I was happy doing theatre before that, and did not have any ambition to be in front of the camera. I did not want to play a friend’s friend role.

But Kaminey changed everything for me.

I did not expect such a huge welcome in the industry.

But 10 years after Kaminey, I have only done 15 films.

My filmography is not very big yet, but I am working on it.

IMAGE: A scene from the film Chippa. Photograph: Kind courtesy Chandan Roy Sanyal/Instagram

Did you expect your Kaminey character Mikhail to become so popular?

While doing the film and after it came out, I never imagined that such a thing would happen.

But when it happened, I made sure it did not go to my head.

I still feel I haven’t done anything big in my career, and Kaminey was just a chance success for me.

The Dark Knight had released at that time, and a lot of people compared Joker’s madness with my character in Kaminey.

Your film Prague received a lot of love at film festivals. How was that experience?

I am really proud of Prague.

It came out in 2013.

This is a really good time for a film like that. With OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon, people are opening to new content.

The film is now on Netflix and people are watching and loving it.

This is a great time for artistes. It’s time for everyone to explore their talent.

We are getting new writers, new directors, new actors…

It’s the beginning of a golden age of Indian cinema.

IMAGE: Chandan takes the #10YearChallenge. Photograph: Kind courtesy Chandan Roy Sanyal/Instagram

What is your opinion about the #MeToo movement?

I have always supported #MeToo and the idea of feminism.

But there’s another side, where men have become victims of some women’s evil plans.

So there should be a #MenToo movement for those genuine victims.

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