Getting their act right

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Director Rituparno Ghosh is no more. He gave Indian cinema some of the best feature films and even acted in his last few films. His last unfinished work, Satyanweshi, intended to introduce director Sujoy Ghosh as an actor in the role of the famous detective Byomkesh Bakshi. Sujoy is the latest in the bandwagon of directors entering the acting arena.

Director Shekhar Kapur was seen in Ishkq in Paris as Preity’s father and also in Vishwaroopam. Prior to that director Tigmanshu Dhulia was much in news for his portrayal of Ramadhir Singh. Anurag Kashyap played a child abuser in the critically acclaimed film, I Am. What does the film industry have to say about the latest trend?
“More than anything, directors are creative people. They have a certain vision about various roles and know how it should be performed to have maximum impact. In such a scenario, acting becomes an important medium for them to express themselves. I see it as a healthy trend,” says casting director Honey Trehan. He informs that director Imtiaz Ali is also planning a foray into acting as well.
With many filmmakers taking up fresh topics for middle, off-the-road cinema, there is also a demand for fresh faces. “While visualising a character, a filmmaker has a certain individual in mind. If he has met a director whose mannerisms suit the role, he often approaches the person. Personal equations matter a lot in such cases,” explains film trade analyst Komal Nahta. For instance, the equation between Tigmanshu Dhulia and Anurag Kashyap is quite well known in the industry. While Tigmanshu acted in Anurag’s Gangs of Wasseypur — Part one, the latter acted in Tigmanshu’s Shagird.
“The likes of Satish Kaushik and Subhash Ghai have always loved to face the camera and often confessed to have entered the industry to become actors. But those were inconsequential or comic teeny-weeny roles. But now with the casting directors and filmmakers becoming demanding and precise, roles are being written for them specifically,” says director Rajan Khosa.
And especially now with young, good-looking directors wielding the directorial baton as early as in their 20s, there is always a possibility of them fitting certain roles.
On being asked about the acting experience, director Anurag Kashyap smiles and says, “Being a dramatic person in real life, I love acting. Whenever I am given a choice, I just lap it up. Yes, of course, I would never get to play a hero. But if the role is interesting, I am open to it.”

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