The multidisciplinary artiste believes that art goes beyond an artiste's sexual identity.
Last Updated: 11.28 AM, Jun 15, 2022
Pride month is here and multidisciplinary artiste Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee, who identifies himself as a queer man, has every reason to celebrate. Besides the success of his recent film outing in Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy’s Belashuru, he has also debuted as a stylist in Aritra Sen’s Shohorer Ushnotomo Dine. In a candid chat with OTTPlay, the actor talks about his pride, why he thinks art goes beyond the sexual identity of an artiste and his unique sartorial choices.
Talking about the on-screen presentation of a queer man in Indian films, he said, “Over the years, a certain level of sensitivity about- the queer community has developed. Some very interesting characters are created and portrayed on the screen. Also, I think art goes beyond sexual identity. A heterosexual man can portray the character of a gay man brilliantly just by his skillset. I would like to mention Ritwick Chakraborty’s portrayal of a bicurious man in Kaushik Ganguly’s Nagarkirtan and Rajkummar Rao in Badhaai Do. These are the instances of breaking binaries in so many ways. Even a film like Miss Man stands out in demystifying the spectrum of gender and sexuality.”
Sujoy also spoke about the characters he played on screen. Besides several queer characters, the actor is also seen in many non-queer roles. “The only difference is being organic. I believe no actor can pull off the way I play housekeeper Nitty Gritty in Srijit Mukherji’s Shah Jahan Regency. However, I stood out in a nonqueer role in a Hoichoi’s Nokol Heere with equal elan and truth. It’s all about being nonjudgemental,” said the actor. Meanwhile, talking about creating queer characters and casting him, Sujoy also said, “Film fraternity in my city has to realise that my queerness has nothing to do with my artistic trajectory. I am a brand beyond Tollywood and despite not being a product of a film school my skill as an actor was proved time and again – on stage and screen.”
Talking about his ‘pride’ that he wanted to celebrate this June, he said, “My pride is about transcending my artistic identity over my sexual identity. I am one of the few people in Kolkata who is not just a multidisciplinary artiste but also someone who talks about inclusivity in art spaces.”
Sujoy is known to be a very diversely dressed individual and his sartorial choice has landed him in trouble several times. In 2017, he was stopped at a posh Park Street eatery for wearing a skirt. The actor took to social media to protest against discrimination. “I have very specific choices of wardrobe and accessories. I have a line of ceramic accessories and yet I don’t often wear them. I wear a lot of jewellery that I don’t keep in my branded collections. What I wear is mostly my mind and the heart that I carry. And it reflects on my sartorial choice. I think it is appalling to judge people by their choice to dress. I don’t often face discrimination post the 2017 fiasco but we all know how several commercial establishments still judge patrons based on their attire. While some get reported, some are swiftly brushed under the carpet by their PR teams. I think it is time to be a little more sensitive, inclusive and nonjudgemental. Being insular will not get us anywhere,” Sujoy told us.