INTERVIEW: Sushant Singh

Financial considerations are not an issue for me, Sushant Singh told Subhash K. Jha 

Bollywood actors Jay Bhanushali, Surveen Chawla, Sushant Singh and filmmaker Vishal Panday
Bollywood actors Jay Bhanushali, Surveen Chawla, Sushant Singh and filmmaker Vishal Panday

Two-film-old Sushant Singh Rajput, who has wrapped up shooting for director Dibakar Banerjee’s “Detective Byomkesh Bakshi”, says he prefers unconventional roles and won’t do a run-of-the-mill kind even if he will get big bucks for that.


Q: How was the experience of working with Dibakar Bannerjee in “Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!”?
A: We’ve wrapped up the film. And I can tell you, it was one more learning experience for me. Dibakar trusted me completely. We had done workshops before we started shooting. So, I knew exactly what he wanted me to do, and how I should go about it. We had a lot of room for experimentation and I think I’ve grown as an actor. But if you ask what I think of my performance as Byomkesh, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.

Q: Why not?
A: For the first time I didn’t check myself on the monitor after every shot. That was a conscious decision. I looked, talked and behaved very differently from the way I am in real life. If I had seen myself on the monitor, I’d have become very self-conscious and it would have been difficult for me to do the next shot. I didn’t want a visual self-reference, as that would have distracted me from performing.

Q: How difficult was it for you to transform from a 2014 dude to a 1940s’ guy?
A: It wasn’t difficult. It was interesting. Dibakar gave me lots and lots of tips and reference points. Besides I had a whole team looking after my clothes, make-up, hair etc. They made sure I looked the character.I also saw lots of films from the 1940s and 1950s. How they walked, the way they talked, the way they did this and that….these were details I had to understand on my own. I had to be convinced that I had to behave in a particular way.

Q: Why have all your film roles so far been so unconventional?
A: An actor has to remember the primary reason why he chose the profession that he did. If every role that I do doesn’t challenge me then what is the point of being an actor? Every character that I’ve chosen has made me evolve as an actor. And I am lucky that my directors have shown so much faith in my abilities. There is always that sense of exploration and excitement. I am not bothered with whether my characters are conventional or not. Because I am not in this for the designer labels and the autographs. I don’t even want to go there. I am not saying that those who crave for conventional stardom are wrong in their aspirations. But that’s not what I want.

Q: Would you be uncomfortable playing the designer hero?
A: I won’t be comfortable doing the normal. If I invest six months of my life in a role, the least I expect is to come out of the experience feeling good about myself. I won’t play the conventional role even if I get big money for it. Financial considerations are not an issue for me. If push comes to shove, I’ll make my own movies. So far I’ve got the roles I wanted. If in the future that changes then we’ll see.