It did not take the 20-something Amlan Das much time to make a mark in the Odia film industry. Loved by fans for his boy-next-door image, Amlan took to acting as a duck to water. Son of acclaimed actor Mihir Das, Amlan, in a career spanning three years has acted in six films so far.
Armed with a degree in Film Technology from SRM Sivaji Ganesan Film Institute, Chennai, Amlan returned to Bhubaneswar with nothing particular in mind. “I did a portfolio shoot and the pictures were liked by all. But as I was trained in all aspects of filmmaking, it was an open arena for me to choose what I wanted. It was at this point that I was offered my first film, Target. I took the plunge without weighing the pros and cons because filmdom has been my world since childhood. Besides my father, my grandfather too was in the industry for long. So my decision never surprised my family members,” chuckles Amlan. The actor, who feels he always had a proclivity for acting, was a regular in dramas at annual functions in school and college.
Completing his Class X and XII from DAV school in CDA sector, Cuttack in 2008 and 2010 respectively, Amlan joined SRM university for his graduation and completed it in 2013. “I was a blue-eyed baby always because, apart from my friends and teachers in school who adored me, everyone else saw me as a star son. It had its advantages and disadvantages. I was the first to be asked a question in class. I was also the one who, despite having a crush on a girl in school, could not talk to her because my friends played spoilsport or the news reached my home,” reminisces the actor.
Expressing gratitude to his family who always supported him in all his decisions, Amlan, who lost his mother some years ago, says he was never under pressure to opt for the usual careers in engineering or medicine. “It is because of my family that I am treated as a family member even on the sets.” Ask him if being a star son stresses him due to the expectations and the pressure to perform better, Amlan says he has faced none of that. “Everyone around is so encouraging that I get more confident by the day and experiment a lot, to do better with each film. In fact, I am happy being in the industry and I love my work and that is immensely satisfying,” says the actor with a childlike smile on his face.
An average student by his own admission, Amlan has been on all kinds of ‘adventures’ since his school days. “Biking and nature trips at the cost of classes, mainly,” he says. “I bunked classes often and went with friends on biking trips, paying Rs 500 for a bike on rent because I did not own a bike and neither did any of my friends. We used to be in uniform but carried another pair of casual shirts to slip out of school. I remember my first bike ride from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar as being the most memorable. But every little mischief boomeranged as something big and my parents used to be informed. So it was restricted fun for me,” says Amlan.
Amlan keeps in touch with all his college friends and teachers. “I am invited to my school and college for some activity or the other but shooting keeps me busy.”
Amlan reminisces his Chennai days and describes them as exhilarating. “Besides the college days that taught me discipline and focus, my friends and acquaintances made me feel like a Chennaite soon. I did not feel like a stranger though I spoke broken Tamil, learning two to three words a day. There too, it did not take me long to be a favourite of the college,” says the actor, whose flicks College Time, Golapi Golapi and Nua Nua Prema were a hit at the box office. “All my films are close to my heart, but I gave my best shot in Nua Nua Prema, where I essayed the character of an anti-hero,” he says
In a message to youngsters, Amlan says the decision to choose a field as a career should always be taken with a lot of thought, and not on whim. Listen to your heart with a sound mind, he says hinting at his keenness to get into film direction in the near future. He will be seen next in Dussehra.