The Aashram and Ray actor says OTT projects gave him unconstrained space and opportunity to perform.
Three seasons into Aashram, with a fourth on its way, Chandan Roy Sanyal is nowhere close to being done with the character of Bhopa Swami. Much of it has to do with the team for the MX Player web series, directed by Prakash Jha and starring Bobby Deol. “Everyone looks forward to being on the Aashram set,” Chandan tells OTTplay. “It’s like working with family. That shows on screen as well.”
Apart from Aashram, Chandan has had another stellar OTT showing in Netflix’s anthology series Ray.
For the actor whose film journey started in 2006 with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Rang De Basanti (Chandan had a minor role, that of Batukeshwar Dutt) and has encompassed notable turns in Kaminey, F.A.L.T.U, D-Day, Kaanchi and Chef, things are looking good, although not quite in the way he envisaged. “I wish films had been as welcoming as the OTT [space has been], where I am getting much bigger shows and the space to perform,” he says.
In fact, it was the chance to flex his acting chops with slightly meatier parts that had prompted him to take on a series of villainous characters on the big screen before OTT projects came calling. “It wasn’t a conscious decision,” Chandan says, of that phase of his filmography. “They had more screen time, so I chose to do them.”
His latest film, Woh 3 Din, is a different story however. Chandan plays a passenger who makes an offer to a rickshaw puller (Sanjay Mishra) that he presumably can’t refuse, and lands the hapless man in trouble. He is also excited about playing a lawyer in the upcoming social drama Patna Shukla, the shoot for which begins in November, and his directorial feature film debut Suzie Q, currently in post-production.
“I love that everything is under my control,” says Chandan, of being the one who calls the shots on set. “I can tell the story the way I want to see it and say it. That is something that I really enjoy.”
Chandan has previously directed the short films Hiroshima and Azaad, and while he enjoys being behind the camera, there’s a lot he hopes to accomplish as an actor as well.
“I would love to do a romantic role. I definitely want to do a very good comedy. Detective/murder mystery type of films also interest me,” he says, enumerating the items he has on his wishlist.
Ten years since he’s been in the film business, Chandan says he finally feels like he’s on the way up. “It’s been great. It’s the way I expected it to be. All this time I got to work with such great directors, and learn [my] craft, and reach somewhere. Now, I hope to go higher and higher from here,” he says.
That success has come relatively late to him doesn’t seem to be a sore point. “I am very thankful and grateful for what I have. It’s my own, and [a result of] my hard work,” Chandan concludes. “It’s not about less or more or late or early, success has come, and I am enjoying it.”