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Exclusive! Jisshu U Sengupta on Dawshom Awbotaar: Srijit Mukherji doesn’t like me. So he changes the way I look

In a candid chat with OTTplay, Jisshu U Sengupta talks about his schedule, his love-hate-rekindle relationship with director Srijit Mukherji

Exclusive! Jisshu U Sengupta on Dawshom Awbotaar: Srijit Mukherji doesn’t like me. So he changes the way I look
Jisshu U Sengupta in Dawshom Awbotaar

Last Updated: 12.03 PM, Sep 27, 2023


October is a busy month for Jisshu U Sengupta. Along with the release of Srijit Mukherji’s Dawshom Awbotaar on October 19, his Telugu film Tiger Nageswara Rao with Ravi Teja will also be released. After years, Jisshu will be seen in a Puja release with yet another Srijit's film. Billed as a thriller, Dawshom Awbotaar features Prosenjit Chatterjee, Jaya Ahsan, and Anirban Bhattacharya. Besides, he has four projects – two Hindi and two Telugu – going on. And yet, Jisshu plans to enjoy a family trip during Puja. How is he managing? In a candid chat with OTTplay, Jisshu U Sengupta talks about his schedule, his love-hate-rekindle relationship with Srijit Mukherji, and a lot more. Excerpts…


You will have a Puja release after years. Does this bear more significance to you?

Not at all. If the film is good, the content is good, the film will work at any time in the year. However, Bengalis step out more during Puja. They roam around, go to restaurants and watch films. They enjoy their holidays. That’s why if a film gets released during Durga Puja, it is watched more.

But for me, a Puja release is not as fun as everyone else because I get less time to enjoy it. We have our own Puja. If there is a Puja at your house, you will have way more things to do with your family. Now if there is a release, I get involved in promotions, etc. I don’t get to enjoy Puja that much. For me, Puja brings back my mother’s memory. My mother used to host this Puja at my ancestral home. After he passed away in 2008, I took over. Obviously, all the uncles, aunts, and neighbours join us. It is a big celebration for me.

So will you spend Puja here?

There is a chance that my daughters, Nilanjanaa (Senguptaa, wife), and I will go on a trip. There are four works (films and OTT) going on – two Telugu and two Hindi. I have been very busy shooting.

Jisshu U Sengupta in Dawshom Awbotaar
Jisshu U Sengupta in Dawshom Awbotaar

Your character looks the most deceptive in the Dawshom Awbotaar trailer…

Srijit Mukherji doesn’t like me (laughs). He either changes my nose and teeth or makes me wear a wig. I asked him why. I don’t remember seeing myself like the way I actually look after Uma. He loves to play with my look. From Rajkahini to Zulfiqar and Ek Je Chhilo Raja – my look has always been changed.

You look strikingly different in Dawshom Awbotaar also…

My character in the film is more striking. I think you will be very surprised to see me in the film.

Even since the trailer has arrived, social media has been flooded with fan theories – are you the killer or not, if Jaya Ahsan’s character is making you kill people or not? It is going on and on…

I think that is a great thing.

What can you say about your character?

Well, I look different (laughs). And probably acted well in this film.


Why do you add a ‘probably’?

I am a fearful actor. I am confident with my skills but always feel unsure about whether I was looking good on the sets. I can’t see myself there. I never watch my films out of this fear because I am sure I would find faults. I would feel that this could have been different and that could have been better. I never watch a film even when it becomes a hit. I watched two of my films. Uma, because my daughter is there, and the first Byomkesh I worked in. I watched Abir (Chatterjee) playing Byomkesh Bakshi and he is very good. I wanted to portray it differently. So I watched Byomkesh Bakshi, that too, only the first half. After I realised I had done my job and made the character different, I left. I have worked in more than 100 films. I watched nothing. From Rituda’s (Rituparno Ghosh, filmmaker) Abohomaan, or Chitrangada: The Crowning Wish to Srijit’s Jaatishwar – I watched nothing.

People usually get tense during the release of the film. I never panic during release. I am tense when I am acting. I get scared between the time my director says ‘action’ and then ‘cut’ and ‘ok’. Between this time, if someone conducts an ECG on me, something will show (laughs). So I get tense while sitting for the exam. Once it is over it is over. I don’t think much about the result after that.

Getting back on Dawshom Awbotaar, what was Srijit’s brief to you?

He read out the script to me. He came to my house and read it. I was in Kolkata then. It was a wonderful story. As usual, no surprise there. Srijit as a thriller maker is brilliant. After I heard the script, there was no doubt. Usually, Srijit doesn’t ‘brief’ me, per se. We have our chats about the character and the film.

After Ek Je Chhilo Raja, this is your film with Srijit after a break. You and Srijit had your share of differences and distance…

Oh, that happens between a husband and a wife. We are a couple. We fight (laughs).

Oh yes, we wrote about this in our previous interaction with you. How is your rekindling with him going on?

Srijit is just the same. It is just like the way we worked before. No change whatsoever. I enjoyed all the same at his sets.

Let’s talk about Palan. Your performance is being appreciated by the audience. The film is also getting a lot of positive reviews…

Palan is a very sweet film. I think it is very relevant in today’s time. Even if one has not seen Kharij, Palan will be an engaging independent film for them. The same characters are here in the film after 40 years.

How was your experience of working with Kaushik Ganguly?

I worked with Kaushikda on TV. But there is a Hindi film that we did ages ago and we don’t know if that will ever get released. KG (Kaushik Ganguly) is a chilled-out director. He makes serious films but he keeps his sets jovial and happy. We laugh and joke and shoot a serious sequence.

Anjan Dutt’s performance is being lauded…

This time, when we read the script, I threatened Anjanda. I told him, ‘If you don’t bag your National Award this time, I will create a ruckus’ (laughs). He is brilliant in this film. There is no one Bengal who could fit into this character like he has fitted.

Dawshom Awbotaar and Tiger Nageswara Rao during the same time…

Yes. In both films, my character is loaded with shades. This is the first time two of my films from two different industries are getting dropped at the same time. It is exciting.

You have worked in multiple industries and made all the places your home. Which one is your closest?

Bangla will be the closest I would think. Yes, my heart is there everywhere I work. The love and respect I received from the Telugu industry is immense. Same in the Hindi industry. However, Bangla is where I come from. I feel, that when I retire, I will retire from here, with a Bengali movie.

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