Theatre to movies
I was interested in acting since childhood. I was studying in the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya here and simultaneously trying to get through National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi. I made it, but only in the second attempt and after studying there for three years, I did theatre in New Delhi for six months. From there, I got an offer from Guddu Dhanoa to act in 23 March Saheed Bhagat Singh in 2002.
After Saheed Bhagat Singh, I did not get any good offers from Bollywood. I decided to come back to Odisha when I got a role in Mo Suna Pua in 2006. There has been no looking back since then. Mo Suna Pua was followed by the critically acclaimed, State award winning film Dhauli Express. After this I played a negative character of an aspiring chief minister in Mukhyamantri. More interesting roles kept coming my way. Actually, variety is what I am looking for in the Odia film industry.
I have done around 24 films in Ollywood so far and the experience has been rewarding for the shades of characters I have been offered. But I want to add that our industry is not the place for real talents as there isn’t enough appreciation or opportunity here, be it actors or film-makers. It is very difficult to survive.
Theatre in Odisha
Theatre is in fact my background, but it is very difficult for me to continue doing theatre in Odisha for my film assignments and other constraints. In Delhi, I have played the lead roles in nearly 30 plays and 500 theatrical shows under eminent directors. I have also been part of many STAG - Street Theatre Action Group - programmes that aim at social awareness. I had my own group ‘Srujanikaa’ which participated in National Youth Festival at Bhopal, Ahmedabad and Chennai organised by HRD, Sports & Youth Service Department of Government of India and bagged prizes for very creative plays like Munna in 1995, for Oont in 1996 and for Botal Bhuta in 1998. The group is not active now but Iwill revive it.
Best Role So Far
I loved my roles in Dhauli Express and Luchakali. In Dhauli Express, I played the role of a youth who accidentally gets into the crime world though he wanted to get into singing. I love to do any kind of role actually, be it comedy or that of a villain.
I like working with Babushan, Anu Choudhary and Aparajita Mohanty. Ashok Pati, Sushant Mani and Chitaranjan Tripathy are a few of my favourite filmmakers.
I have not received any awards so far. But I believe if the public appreciates your work and goes to a theatre to watch your movie, that is the biggest award any actor would aspire for.
I have two movies in my kitty so far - Sweetheart and Nai Separe Kanaka Gori. In Sweetheart, I am doing a double role for the first time and the roles are that of two terrorists. Sweetheart is the second venture of Chakadola Productions after Luchakali. I do plan to get into the Bengali and Hindi film industries and make a mark there.