"Vidya Balan my best co-star"
By Supratik Sengupta Bengali actor Parambrata Chatterjee, who re-united with Vidya Balan in "Kahaani" nine years after beginning their film journey in "Bhalo Theko", says she still remains an instinctive and spontaneous actress.
"Both of us have moved ahead from those days, she has now turned out to be Vidya Balan, one of the best actors in the country. But she remains a very instinctive actor, very spontaneous till this date," Parambrata told PTI.
The 31-year-old actor, who plays a policeman who helps Vidya in the search of her missing husband in "Kahaani", says they talked about "Bhalo Theko", the 2003 Gautam Halder-directed film, on the sets of the Sujoy Ghosh film.
"We would talk about the Bhalo Theko days, my second film and her first. I was a kid when I did my second film, but she instantly recalled my character's name in 'Bhalo Theko'. That shows how involved she was with both films," he said.
Vidya went on to become a Bollywood star after the success of "Parineeta", but Parambrata says she made him feel comfortable while working together. "She is an excellent actor, possibly the best I have shared the screen with so far. As a co-actor she is very friendly, cooperative to work with.
"I think Vidya is one of the best among the present day actors and these things help in making a scene real and connect to the audience," he said.
Asked to narrate any funny incident with Vidya during shooting, Parambrata said, "There are endless, she is a prankster. I remember, once I came back from my sabbatical for film studies and I had a slight accent in those days. Vidya regularly used to taunt me for that, she mimicked so well.
"And that helped in making things easier, build-up the camaraderie, raise the comfort level between her and me, a newcomer in Hindi films, and probably that helped in delivering the scenes."
This is the first Hindi outing for the "Bong Connection" actor and he has been getting rave reviews for his performance in the film.
"I am bowled over by the feedback, the praises. But I must thank my co-actors and then my colleagues from here and Mumbai. Sujoy wrote a beautiful script with Kolkata as the background.
That is why I feel when you watch the movie, the city emerges as another living hero. It is the second lead in the film, not me," he said. Parambrata, who also played the role of a cop in the much-appreciated Bengali film "Baishe Srabon", said, "For me the script of a film matters much. I was in Europe at that time in 2010 and was about to come back when Sujoy called me up. I abandoned part of my Europe tour, after the end of my film course, came back and once I saw the script it clicked."
"I had liked Sujoy's 'Jhankar Beats' and saw 'Home Delivery'. And 'Kahaani' was going to be my first Hindi film, so obviously that weighed on my decision.
"Also I decided to do the film as I was sure about the importance of my character as narrated and fleshed by Sujoy in the script," he said.
Asked about any offers from Bollywood post-Kahaani, Parambrata said, "I am happy with the response to my first Hindi film. But I have not got any substantial offer which I could consider... let's put it that way."
The young actor from film legend Ritwik Ghatak's family on his mother's side, is currently busy with his next directorial venture, which may go on floors in May.
"It will be my way of telling a story after 'Jio Kaka', my first tryst with filmmaking and talks are still on about casting issues," Parambrata said.
The young actor has floated a production house Workshop with few close friends from the industry and two Bengali films are being made under its banner. "It has been very hectic. But I am enjoying every bit of it. Bengali cinema is going through a very exciting phase." PTI