While he was busy shooting Advocate Achinta Aich, his Shri Swapankumarer Badami Hyenar Kobole was just dropped with two more films, Hubba and Pariah to be released in the coming weeks.
For the longest time in his prolific acting career, Loknath Dey has primarily performed on stage. From Raghupati to Titumir to Ekla Chalo Re and others – he has worked in many popular theatre productions. His work in front of the camera is strictly occasional. However, the lockdown changed this equation. Currently, Loknath, popularly known as Loka, is one of the most sought-after actors in the OTT space and films. While he was busy shooting Advocate Achinta Aich, his Shri Swapankumarer Badami Hyenar Kobole was just dropped with two more films, Bratya Basu’s Hubba, and Tathagata Mukhopadhyay’s Pariah to be released in the coming weeks.
“I will start shooting Tekka with Srijit Mukherji soon,” Loknath said. Is he focusing on only films? “I am working on any good offer that I am getting. The thing is, throughout my career, I never thought I would work in films or OTT. I have been a theatre worker. I have my group and I used to work on stage productions. That was enough for my livelihood. When I needed a little more money, I worked in Jatra also. However, things got changed during the lockdown. The productions I used to perform in became irregular. It was during that time that Anirban (Bhattacharya) called me for Mandaar. Initially, I had no idea that it would be a web series. I thought it would be a theatre production. After working in Mandaar, I started getting a lot of offers,” said the actor.
Loknath will soon travel to Tripura to work on an independent film with Kinjal Nanda. “I try to work on the projects I like. There was a time when I worked on projects I did not like. Since I am new to films and OTT, I realised I have a lot to learn. There is a sense of excitement in getting into a new thing. Also, we all are hungry for appreciation. When people appreciate my work, I feel happy,” he said.
Loknath plays the character of Faruq in Indranil Roy Chowdhury’s Chhotolok on Zee5. His performance has been appreciated by viewers and critics alike. “This is an important work in Bengali OTTspace. Working with Kobida (Indranil) was an amazing experience. He is extremely composed. Even during the time of script reading, I was clear in what he wanted from me,” he recalled.
Loknath plays an important character in Debaloy Bhattacharya’s Shri Swapankumarer Badami Hyenar Kobole. “When I got the offer, I did not understand my character well. It was all in Debaloy’s head. Even in dubbing, he said ‘We’ll have to do a bit more with your character’. And finally, he made this film. You need to be insanely creative to be able to make something like Badami Hyena,” the actor said.
Now, Loknath is waiting for Bratya Basu’s Hubba in which he plays Bokaro Bapi – the right-hand man of Hubba – the character played by Mosharraf Karim. “Bratyada and I go a long way. I think after Tagore and Shakespeare, I acted the most in Bratya Basu’s plays. I worked in a play, 21 Grams, directed by him,” said the actor. However, Loknath is evidently excited about working with Mosharraf Karim. “Besides being a great actor, he is a great human being. Humble and polite. He shows how an actor should lead his life. We became very close,” he said.
While he has been constantly acting in OTT and films, Loknath is largely seen as a character artiste. Does he want to be the lead? “Since I come from a theatre background, I learnt that there is nothing called a small or a big role. It is important to play the character diligently. It is because of my long exposure in theatre, that I never had any stage fright and very easily bonded well with co-actors. I never had an aim to to become a star. Rather, I wanted to enjoy my acting. I want to do that. Now, I try to take up a little more substantial roles. My friends often tell me to avoid small roles. I try, but that is not the only driving force in my career. I want to enjoy,” he said.