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Kanchan Mullick on Tenida and Company: I am neither the 56th Feluda nor the 83rd Byomkesh. I am confident playing Tenida

The actor talked to OTTplay about his upcoming character in Sayantan Ghosal’s take on iconic literature

Kanchan Mullick on Tenida and Company: I am neither the 56th Feluda nor the 83rd Byomkesh. I am confident playing Tenida
Kanchan Mullick
  • Shamayita Chakraborty

Last Updated: 11.48 AM, May 15, 2023

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Narayan Gandopadhyay’s iconic character Tenida is all set to make a comeback on the big screen. After Chinmay Roy’s portrayal, this time it is going to be Kanchan Mullick who will play the lead character. Along with him, Gaurav Chakrabarty, Soumendra Bhattacharya, Sourav Saha, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Ridhima Ghosh, Mithu Chakrabarty, and others will be seen in key roles.

The renowned comic that he is, Kanchan takes his stardom lightly. When asked about his romantic caller tune on the phone (Sohage Adore by Anupam Roy), he says candidly that it is only love that keeps him going. “What else is there, tell me?” Before the release, Kanchan opens up about the character, trolls and how he balances politics and acting.

How did the role come to you?

Many years ago, filmmaker Raja Sen wanted to make Tenida on the big screen. Subhasishda (Mukherjee) was supposed to play Tenida, and I was playing Kyabla and not Pyala. It was 1996 and my first tryst in front of the camera. That project never got released. Later, Sayantan (Ghosal, director) offered me this role and it came to me like a full toss ball. I asked him if he was sure that I would be able to do justice to the character. He said yes and I did not think twice. It is one of my favourite characters of all time. I grew up reading Tenida and I was very happy to get the offer. It was like a lottery win. I screamed, ‘De la grande Mephistopheles! Yak yak!’, like Tenida.


But a section of social media is not happy it seems…

Some said I don’t fit into the character. Some said Tenida is taller than me and others said something else. I don’t really care. I think I will be a perfect Tenida and I get amused by social media comments. I find similarities between myself and Tenida. We are of the same height, have sharp nore and indomitable spirit. Earlier, Rabi Ghosh played Tenida in a Doordarshan show. Chinmoy Roy played Tenida in Charmurti and Shyamal Sen directed Tenida on stage. It was called Kombol Niruddesh and Biplab Chatterjee played Tenida there. I am not the 56th Feluda or 83rd Byomkesh. I am confident playing Tenida. And for those who are constantly rumbling on social media, I would say go, watch it, and then pass your judgement.

How was your shooting experience?

Sayantan has contemporised Tenida. I see Tenida-like characters regularly. My only concern was if Miki (Gaurav Chakrabarty), Soumendra Bhattacharya, Sourav Saha, and I can build a team like Tenida, Pyala, Habul, and Kyabla. Finally, the teamwork turned out to be too good. Our bonding was great.

On the other hand, despite contemporisation, Tenida still has old-school values. He does not want to use touch phones and says that a touchphone can never replace the real touch of love. Such things drew me to the film.

You have been getting busy with your work. With a constituency to look after, how do you manage time between acting and politics?

If there is a will there is a way. It is not that I don't have time. I use it well. I visit my constituency regularly, meet people and work for them. Then I get busy with my acting schedule – shooting for films and web shows, acting on stage, etc. Meanwhile, there are party people who take care of my constituency as well.

The image of the political party you represent (TMC, the ruling party of Bengal) has been tarnished due to overwhelming corruption charges. Does that impact your popularity?

I would not like to talk about it in this interview. (After a pause) If I find one or two rotten mangoes in a lot, I will not stop eating mangoes completely, will I? I belong to the newer generation of the party and my credibility lies in my work. I meet people, try to work for them, I really work hard to be visible in my constituency. So I am not affected by anything.

It is often said that politics takes the sense of humour away from people. You are known to be a humorous person. What is your evaluation?

Politics can increase your humour also (laughs). For me, it honed my sense of humour. I get to see so many people, I talk with a lot of them and as a result, the humour is only increasing (laughs).