Exclusive interview with Jayanta Das – a most experienced faces of Assamese film industry
His works speak for himself and narrate the story of his dedication, endurance, and passion. His versatile personality and flexibility are clearly evident in his roles on screen. He believes in perfection and gives out his best in every role that he plays. In his 38 years in the film industry, he has left his remark not just with his acting but also with his jolly and kind personality.
Jayanta Das is one of the most experienced and powerful faces of Assamese film industry. From Khendur, where he played a junior artist to hits like Ramdhenu, he has traveled a long way and we can surely say that he has truly lived up to his name. His most loved character Hemanta Kakoti in Bharaghar really makes us roll over with laughter.
In an exclusive interview, Sir talks about his journey into acting and shares his story of Bharaghar and his transition from films to soap operas. He also shares some of his insightful thoughts about the industry and its future.
First of all thank you so much for your time. Creativica welcomes you, sir. You are one of the most experienced actors of our industry; could you tell our readers a little bit about your journey into films?
Thank you Creativica for having me here.
My journey into acting started way back when I worked as a child artist in the film ‘Mukuta’ but the real journey of my acting career began from my college years. I studied in Cotton College and since my college years, I did lots of Plays. From college, I went on to work for the Director of Cultural Affairs in their Theatre group. I worked under the Cultural Affairs as a drama artist and was a part of several plays. From there I went on to do theater in certain clubs like ‘Aikyatan’ and ‘Surjya’. In my journey, I met artists like Dulal Roy, Krishnamurthy Hazarika, Sanjeev Hazarika, Pobitro Kumar Deka, Amulya Kakati and from there on I ventured into the films industry. My first appearance into cinema was in the film called ‘Khendur’ where I worked as junior artist and from there on, I kept on working to get where I am today
How young were you when you first started acting? What was the first ever role that you played?
Well as far as I remember, when I was very young, at that time, there used to have ‘Balya Bhawans’ which was like a workshop where they used to teach kids all kinds of cultural activities and I was part of the drama club. Under that we did a play called ‘Piyoli Phukan’ and I played the lead role. And that was the first ever role I played.
Your role in Bharaghar is truly loved by every other person in Assam. Tell us something about your journey from films to soap operas?
See the thing is, I was looking after my career in films and soap operas simultaneously, and when Late Achyut Bhagawati (from Rang channel) and the writer of Bharaghar Ramen Goswami came to me with this project which initially had the contract of 100 episodes in total. So we went ahead with this proposal and now Bharaghar is loved by people all over Assam so much that we ended up making more than 200 episodes and we plan on bringing out more for our audience
In your career as an actor, what was the most challenging role that you played?
Actually, every role that I play, I take it as a challenge to make sure that each and every character that I play on the screen should be different, it should not match with the characters I played earlier. I challenge myself to be into that character and give out my best as an actor. But if I have to name one, I would have to say that my character in Ramdhenu was a challenging role that I played because all my co-actors were very talented and polished actors as I would like to call them. And my challenge was that I had to match up to their level. So yes that was a challenging project for me.
Is there any actor (theater artist, film actor) who has left an impact on you or inspired you?
Well, there is only one and he is Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. Not only as an actor but also as a person, his lifestyle and his dedication towards acting inspire me a lot.
Can we see you doing movies anytime sooner?
In movies, you ought to see me as a director, because if I were to work as an actor in any film, I will definitely get very choosy not only with movies but also with soap operas. So you will soon see me in movies as a director. But yeah, I may still act in a movie considering the script and the director.
Out of all the directors you’ve worked with, who is your most favorite?
Actually, the directors I worked with are all very much talented and each one of them has their own style of working which is very different from one another so it is very difficult to say who my favorite director is.
If I have to talk about 35 years from now when I was a learner (which I still am), and I was initially thinking that someday I would direct a movie, I made sure that I could take the positives from all these directors. So it is really difficult to name one of them because I learned a lot from each one of them so all of them are my favorite.
If you have to name any, which new actor/actress would you consider as the promising face of the industry?
See now the thing is when I was into movies; the generation next to me was actors like Ravi Sharma who is a very talented boy. He is one of my favorite actors next to my generation. Apart from that, I also like Biju Phukan, Hiranya Deka and regarding the newcomers, I think they all are talented no doubt but they have to utilize this talent and it will all depend upon themselves as to how they would want to utilize their talents and choose the right path to fame.
Assamese movie industry has given out some very brilliant movies in the past few years but it fails to get enough response from the audience. If this continues where we ourselves do not appreciate our regional cinema, where do see the industry in the years to come?
See there are many factors in play here. First of all, cinema is for mental satisfaction and if I have to talk from my perspective, I want to say that for me, cinema is entertainment. After a long day when I wish to watch a movie, I would want to feel relaxed. But nowadays what’s happening is that people are running after the awards and festivals, everyone wants to make a movie which would win them an award and in this process, audience satisfaction is somewhere lost. It is our tendency that if we don’t like a something once, twice we don’t tend to consider it the third time. I am not criticizing one kind of movie and giving preference to other, I am just saying that along with serious content, the audience should be allowed to enjoy some light content. If commercial movies provide entertainment which can at least bring audience to the theater, than there is no harm in it and Assamese movie industry needs commercial movies as the first effort should be to bring audience to the theatre with some light content and once that trend is followed, experiment with genres because we all have to admit we want variety at the same time. Secondly, there is another serious problem with the distribution of context in movie theaters. There is a lot of rigging that happens when it comes to the distribution of the films. And there is a reason behind that too. If I bought a movie worth some crores, I would definitely want to give it more screen time especially if I know that the film is selling fast. At the end of the day it’s all business where everyone wants to earn profit and therefore there is a preference for some movies over the other but ya, I do agree that there have been instances where the same distributors refuse to give proper screen timings to our regional films regardless of the popularity and that I consider is really wrong and government should really look after it.
We are almost at the end of the interview; would you like to say something to the aspiring actors?
I would just like to say to all the aspiring actors, not just actors but this message applies to the entire new generation that they should all have dedication, the sense of respect for one another and they should be patient. It is really important to know that you cannot achieve everything in a day. It took be about 38 years to identify myself, it took 38 years for people to recognize me, my work and my name ‘Jayanta Das’, so it takes time and with passion, dedication, and patience, everything can be achieved.
Thank you so much for your time, sir. Best wishes from the entire Creativica team.
Thank you Creativica wish you the same.