Interview: Actor Sujjoy Ghosh: "I Starved at the Doors of Coordinators"

By Jyoti Prakash Mandal

Sujoy Ghosh

It was not the easiest schedule to follow. His days began early at 7 A.M. as he traveled to the city and by the time he returned home at night, half of the population of his town had fallen asleep. Day after day he worked hard in pursuit of a career in modeling. Catching a crowded train to Kolkata over 30 miles away, running from door to door across the city to met co-coordinators, sweating out hard at gym and finally returning home exhausted comprised of his back-breaking schedule.

Sujoy Ghosh

But he never gave up and his determination paid off. He now not only has a strong foothold in the modeling arena of Kolkata but also has achieved his long cherished dream of making it to the Tollywood Kolkata Bangla movie industry. He is a star in the making after catching everyone's eye with an excellent performance in Rabi Kinagi's 2012 blockbuster ‘100% Love’ (Shree Venkatesh Films and Grassroot Entertainment), appearing with A-list Bengali artists Jeet and Koel Mullick.

Sujoy Ghosh

The story of Sujjoy Ghosh’s struggle and his rise to fame may not be the first of its kind but surely reiterates that one does not always need a "Godfather" in the industry to be successful - hard work and dedication are still the keys.

Sujjoy belongs to a traditional middle class Bengali family from Bhatpara in Kakinara and started modelling around 2001. Speaking to WBRI about the early days of his struggle, Sujjoy said “The initial days of my career were as hard as they could be. I had to start from the grassroots level as I had neither a industry Godfather nor any sort of friend in the glamor world. I had to run around every corner to make my face known. Sometimes the conditions were such that I had to travel with limited money with not a single expendable penny. I literally had to starve during those days as I waited hours outside the coordinators' places and made long journeys from one end of the city to other.”

Amidst the flitting around he made sure that he took time out for the gym, most essential for an aspiring model.

“I used to visit a gym at Golf Gardens. I carried costumes for the gym all the way from home in Kakinara and travelled with them everywhere around the city before I hit the gym. I always made sure I spent a long time at the gym.”

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Sujjoy started his career with a photo-shoot. His first break came from coordinator Arindam Chakrabarty with a shoot for a real-estate company.

Sujjoy then slowly started getting offers from magazine like ‘Unish Kuri’, ‘Sananda’, and ‘T2’.

“I have also appeared in campaigns for companies like GP mobiles, Spices and Sriniketan”, recounts Sujjoy.

Sujjoy did these stints for nominal or no remuneration but they gave Sujjoy much needed visibility. “Though there was not much money in those assignments, they did give me good exposure and experience. The shoots gave me the opportunity of making a platform for myself which helped me in the long run.”

“I have also done a campaign for Bawarchi”, he added.

Sujoy Ghosh

As the volume of offers for advertising campaigns increased, it became difficult for him to commute from Kakinara. It was time for Sujjoy to move to Kolkata and immerse himself completely in his chosen profession. But moving into the city was also a difficult task as he neither had a stash of money nor a regular source of income. His family was also concerned about him hitting a dead end pursuing a career which offered little security.

Sujjoy finally did move to Kolkata in 2004, renting a room at Poddarnagar for Rs. 2000,  a big amount for him in those days.

Sujoy Ghosh

“After paying the rent and other mandatory expenses I was barely left with Rs 1500 to take care of myself. I knew if I did not find an assignment within a few days I would have to return home leaving all my dreams behind. So I frantically looked for assignments and fortunately did find one just when I had all but run out of time and money”.

The said assignment from a real-estate company provided Sujjoy the lifeline to carry himself through the difficult phase.

Sujjoy took his modeling profile a step further when he started walking the ramps. He participated in the Calcutta fashion week. He took to the ramp for some of the big names around like Gaurav Dutta and Bikram.

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His career graph spiked after Sujjoy landed the campaign for ‘Garden Vista’. During this campaign Sujjoy was spotted by P.V. films and he was summoned to play a meaty role in their upcoming Bangla movie project.

Acting is a totally different ball game from modeling, but Sujjoy was quite prepared to accept the new professional challenge of acting, a dream which he had been nurturing for a long time. “I had a long cherished dream of acting in films. As a teenager I used to imagine playing characters in films and lose myself in those fantasies. You can guess how I felt when I was offered a role in a feature film”.

Sujjoy subsequently worked in quite a few films - ‘Mon Amar Shudhu Tomar’, ‘Best Friend’ and more - before his big break in the major commercial film ‘100% Love’ alongside Tollywood favorites Jeet and Koyel.

Indian Bangla Movie MON AMAR SUDHU TOMARDespite winning great appreciation from critics and viewers for his performance in "100% Love", Sujjoy's personal pick of his best performance is the 2010 film ‘Mon Amar Shudhu Tomar’ opposite Priyadarshini.

Sujjoy told WBRI during the conversation, “I played my character with my heart. I got so involved with the character of a spoiled guy who falls in love with a pretty girl that it took me months even after shooting was over to drag myself out of that guy.”

Today, Sujjoy's family is no longer worried about insecurity in his career - his parents and elder brother are justifiably proud and happy for him.

When asked about his feeling about being on his way to becoming a celebrity, he said, “It feels good that I have made my family and my friends happy but I feel I am gradually losing my freedom. Now I cannot do some things that I used to do some years ago.”

Sujjoy is appreciative of his friends who supported him over his difficult journey. “My friends are very valuable to me, I miss those great moments I used to spend with my friends Avishek, Rana, Sayanta, Sushanta, Partha, Babusona and others. I am fortunate to have such fabulous friends. Avishek is very special and is just like my brother. He knows most of my secrets. I call him my personal diary”.

His friends had reacted in different ways when he embarked on his chosen career. He just followed his heart and gave his dream a shot.

Sujjoy still lives in a rented apartment but his standard of living has improved. From Poddarnagar he has moved to an apartment in Jodhpur Park which comprises of 2 bedrooms, a hallway and a kitchen and the rent is a few multiples of Poddarnagar.

Sujjoy said that he has learned a lot working with senior actors like Jeet and Koyel. He has also gained more experience as the male lead in the film ‘Bhalobashar 2nd Marriage’ (Buy DVD)which did well at the box office and earned him more appreciation from critics and film lovers.

Sujjoy said, “In future I would like an opportunity to work with directors like Goutam Ghose, Srijit Mikherji and Raj Chakraborty. I would also like to share screenspace with senior actors like Bumba da (Prosenjit Chatterjee), Swastika Mukherjee, Dev and others.”

About his dream role, he said, “I would like to potray the role of Al Pacino in Godfather.”

Sujjoy watches a lot of Hollywood movies and confessed an affinity towards negative characters. “Just a mere muscle-powered villain does not appeal to me. The villain must possess intellect. Joker, potrayed by Heath Ledger is a great example of that kind. I would definitely love to potray such characters in future if I get a chance to do so”, he said.

He has already bagged a negative role in the upcoming big budget film ‘Rocky’ directed by Sujit Mondal.  He will share screen-space with Mimoh, Mithun Chakrabarty and Pooja Bose in the film.

Sujjoy also shared with WBRI one ‘embarrassing’ experience after the release of 100% Love. “I went shopping at a leading garment store with a friend when two guys recognized me. They excitedly came to me and said they liked my performance in the movie. Soon a crowd gathered around us. It was so embarrassing that I literally ran out of the place”, told Sujjoy.

These kinds of embarrassments are surely positive indicators of success. So Washington Bangla Radio wishes Sujjoy more such embarrassments of increasing intensity for many decades to come!