Divyenndu, in an exclusive interview with OTTplay, also said that stories on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy should have been talked about much more in the films.
Divyenndu surprised with his performance as Balwant, aka Express Bandit, a thief who becomes a major help in The Railway Men. He plays among the lead actors alongside Kay Kay Menon, R. Madhavan, and Babil Khan in the Netflix series based on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. Now, during an exclusive interaction with OTTplay, Divyenndu shed light on the profound impact it had on him and the need for more stories addressing significant historical events in Indian cinema.
Personal connection to the tragedy
Talking about the gravity of the tragedy, which he realised, the actor stated, "For me, a friend's father was actually involved in the whole incident. So he narrated to us what happened. But that was also, honestly, just a conversation one evening, and you move ahead in life and do other things. But yeah, reading this script and shooting this project made you realise again the gravity of it, and I mean the whole scale of it."
He further spoke about the importance of having a conversation about this tragic incident by saying, "It should have been talked about much more in our films and in our cinema, and I was very glad that I could be part of it. All of us could be part of such a story, which would somewhere again, if not start a conversation but give some kind of appreciation to the people, especially the railway men, where we don't ever realise their contribution in other things, but to the Bhopal gas leak, how these guys handled and saved 1000s of people."
Divyenndu on portraying internal struggle in The Railway Men
Divyenndu also touched upon the complexity of his character in the series, emphasising the genius of the writing that allowed him to portray a person in constant internal struggle. He shared, "You don't, actually; you should be in that dilemma. I tell you, honestly, it's the genius of the writing that makes you be in that dilemma of a person who doesn't belong where he is right now. That's the whole beauty of it. He's constantly fighting with himself; he doesn't know this person exists within himself, and he's just discovering a new side of him as a human being vis-à-vis these other characters, who are so full of goodness, selflessness, and so much courage in whatever they do."
"So it's beautiful, that is, to not actually commit to this person being on one side; the fun is in that seesaw, which continuously happens and which was provided to me in the way it was written. The balance was important in order to avoid swaying too much on one side and to keep coming back. But like I said, it's always got to be on paper; only then can you bring it out in your performance. I was more than glad that those shades were there for me to play with, and maybe you need the trampoline to jump on. If you don't have a trampoline, you won't be able to jump so high. So it was given to me on paper," the Mirzapur actor added.
As The Railway Men continues to captivate audiences with its poignant storytelling and powerful performances, Divyenndu's insights into the series provide a deeper understanding of the challenges and responsibilities involved in portraying such significant historical events on screen. The actor expressed his gratitude for being part of a project that not only entertains but also sheds light on the unsung heroes of the Bhopal gas tragedy.