Interview: Tollywood Hero ROHAN BHATTACHARYA on Bangla Movies OM SHANTI (2012), BLACKMAIL (2012) and his background and future

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Rohan BhattacharyaFremont, CA, May 17, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) Sayantanee Dutt caught up with the young, talented and handsome actor Rohaan Bhattacharjee in Kolkata. Rohaan is busy dubbing for Blackmail (Bengali, 2012) and with promotional activities for Om Shanti (Bengali, 2012), both of which are in the pipeline for theatrical release very soon.

Rohaan has always wanted to be an actor. As a college freshman, Rohaan landed his first role in a multi-episode Bengali TV serial "Basundhara" aired on Akash Bangla channel from Kolkata. He debuted in the world Tollywood Kolkata Bangla movies with Bazigar (2010) [Music Release] where he appeared as the hero opposite his friend and Bengali actress Pamela, another fresh face. After a two-year hiatus while he wrapped up his college education, Rohaan is back with the two new Bengali films that are the primary subject of this interview.

Rohaan grew up in Dumdum (North Calcutta) and was careful to pick his school and college locally so that he could also pursue his passion for acting without having to lose a lot of time commuting to a distant educational institution.

Rohaan is a second-degree blackbelt (2nd Dan) in martial arts and has represented West Bengal at the state level in competitions. He maintains a remarkably fit physique, spending over two hours in the gym most days and following a strictly disciplined diet and life-style.

Rohaan's first film after his break is Satabdi Roy's Om Shanti (2012) that is about to release. Om Shanti has also created a buzz as the first Bengali film to feature an item number by Bollywood girl Rakhi Sawant. To prepare for the film, Rohaan started off by attending a workshop at the behest of Tapas Pal and Satabdi Roy which regenerated his confidence right away.

In Om Shanti, Tapas Pal plays a rural landlord who runs a local college in which Rohaan's character is a student who is also the General Secretary (GS) of the students' union. Victor Banerjee, Rajesh Sharma (interview) and Kharaj Mukherjee (interview) play the bad guys who try to push their own candidate as the GS. The film has a fair number of fights and action sequences as the story progresses - watch the film to learn about resolution of the conflicts.

Coming to Blackmail, Rohaan landed the role of the hero the hard way of going through an audition. He does not have any family links to Tollywood, and rightly believes that one does not need any insider's backing if one has talent.

Blackmail, directed by Surya Saha, is an action film where Rohaan plays tough cop Inspector Sourav Chatterjee known for fearlessly invading criminal dens and beating up two dozen goons single handed. Gentle romance enters the rough cop's life, as does the bad guy who starts to blackmail, putting the relationship of the lovers at risk. The film is marked with action and many fights. How the problems resolve is to be watched on the silver screen. Rohaan says the film has a strong story-line which lends considerable optimism for it's success.

The heroine of Blackmail is actress Nimisha Dey Sarkar (interview). Rajatava Dutta and Sanghamitra also play important roles in the film. Rohaan is particularly appreciative of support and encouragement from Ronnie-da (Rajatava Dutta) who is known to go extraordinary lengths in helping newcomers.

Being an action film, Rohaan's martial arts background helped him significantly, even though shooting for a fight scene for a film is nothing like martial arts competitions. He did find shooting crane shots hanging from ropes pretty challenging, and admits to initial difficulty finding balance and once even fell down and hurt his foot so bad that the day's shooting had to be called off.

The music director of Blacklist is Deb Sen, another newcomer to Tollywood. There are four film songs including an item song and a title song. The songs are penned by lyricist Gautam Sushmit (interview). The DoP is Badal Sarkar.

Rohaan says the character of inspector Sourav Chatterjee was the more difficult to play since it involved playing a role that is older to him, which is different from playing a character of a college GS of his own age.

After Om Shanti and Blackmail. Rohaan will be seen in another film whose title has not been decided yet, also directed by Satabdi Roy.

Rohaan comes across as a straightforward unassuming hard-working artist. He still remembers the name of the first kid he signed an autograph for. When not working, Rohaan likes to paint, practice martial arts moves, work out at the gym, or go for long rides on his motorcycle. We leave (for now!) with best wishes for Rohaan to conquer greater heights and a spectacular career in Bengali and Indian cinema!

- Article by Supratim Sanyal

An ardent recitation and elocution enthusiast, RJ Sayantanee Dutt lives in Fremont, CA and writes and anchors Pashchimi's popular Bangla radio show "Robibarer Ashor" on Radio Zindagi 1550 AM broadcasting in the San Francisco Bay area.