Bonny Sengupta is a popular actor from Kolkata. His first movie was 'Borbad'. The second film is 'Parbona Ami Charte Toke'. Both are directed by Raj Chakraborty, a popular director from Kolkata.
Bonny's father, Anup Sengupta, is also a well-known director. His mother, Piya Sengupta, is an actress as well.
Bonny came to Bangladesh a few days ago to shoot his new film 'Manob Danob' in Chandpur, which is directed by Bangladeshi director Bazlur Rashed Chowdhury.
The Business Standard team recently had a conversation with Bonny where he talked about his seven-years-long career and experience in acting in Bangladesh among many other things.
The Business Standard (TBS): We want to know about 'Manob Danob'. Can you tell us a bit about the plot and your role?
Bonny Sengupta (BS): The quality of friendship nowadays is deteriorating and the monster inside people is coming out. This is the story of the movie. My character is a fisherman. He has a mother, who he takes care of, but no father. Besides, he is a fighter. He is also in love with a girl called Shaluk. Rajtav Dutt is playing the role of the girl's father, who doesn't like me.
Outside of the characters we play, I have a great relationship with Rajtav Dutt.
TBS: You play the role of a fisherman. So, of course, you have to catch fish. Have you ever gone fishing in real life?
BS: Yes, I have gone fishing with a fishing rod before but I never caught fish with a fishing net before. For the movie, I fished with a 'Tat-a' but before we could complete shooting the entire scene, we all ate the fish. Now, we need a new fish of the same size to continue the scene.
TBS: How many movies have you shot in Bangladesh?
BS: 'Manob Danob' is my second movie here. Previously, I did a film directed by Wazed Ali Sumon, where my co-artist was Mahiya Mahi.
TBS: Your last film was shot in Dhaka but 'Manob Danob' was shot in a village in Chandpur, just by the side of a river. How do you feel?
BS: I feel pleased. Our shoot is also taking place along the river. Chandpur is a very beautiful place - the city of Hilsa. We immediately ate some Hilsa as soon as we arrived. But then it became difficult to catch the fish, so no more Hilsa for us.
TBS: Is Hilsa your favorite fish?
BS: I love Hilsa and I like bhetki and pabda as well. In fact, I ate ample Hilsa in Kolkata as well. But as the Hilsa in Kolkata comes from here, the taste is compromised. Here the fish is absolutely fresh and delicious. I ate Hilsa every day since the ban on catching Hilsa was lifted after my arrival. Interestingly, I was not very fond of eating fish before.
TBS: Did you find any difference between shooting in Kolkata and Bangladesh?
BS: Not much. But since the directors are different, so are their plans. They take the shots according to their own style. Moreover, the Bangla accent here sounds different from Kolkata. Nonetheless, I have learned it this time as I faced a lot of trouble last time.
TBS: There are many heroes in Bangladesh. But why did Shapla Media, the production company of the 'Manob Danob' movie, cast you from Kolkata? Were you curious about it?
BS: They said they watched some of my movies and liked my acting and the director and production company thought that I was a perfect fit for this character.
TBS: Have you watched any Bangladeshi actors' films?
BS: Yes. I have seen Shakib Khan's performance from Bangladesh. He worked with us in Kolkata as well. Most of the Bangladeshi movies I have watched are his.
TBS: What about heroines?
BS: I know everyone who has worked in Tollywood - Nusrat Faria, Mim, Mahi. I especially enjoy the work of Jaya Ahsan. She is very popular in our film industry.
TBS: Are you interested in working with any Bangladeshi heroine?
BS: I worked with Mahi before. Now I'm interested in working with Jaya Ahsan. She is undoubtedly an extraordinary actress.
TBS: It has been seven years since you entered the film industry. As far as we know, your father, Anup Sengupta, is a famous director as well. Have you worked with him yet?
BS: In these seven years, I did only one project with him. The shooting of the film 'Janbaaz' wrapped up just a few days ago. Koushani Mukherjee and I worked on the film together. While shooting, it did not feel like we were father and son. I felt as if we were just a director and an actor. We remained as professional as possible.
My father takes on a completely different avatar on set, even with my mother, and he has worked a lot with my mother. He calls her 'Piya Di' on set and a different name at home. While shooting, my father takes the responsibility of the director too seriously.
TBS: Everyone in your family is a movie personality. Do you talk about movies at home?
BS: Yes, very much. If we talk a hundred times a day, ninety times would be about movies.
TBS: You have mostly worked in commercial movies. In an interview you said that you have been selecting films based on the story lately. What is the reason behind this?
BS: I don't really want to do the same type of films over and over again as the same story and character becomes monotonous. An actor needs to experiment with new characters. That is what I've been doing. Now, I read the script first and then decide if I want to work in it or not. Moreover, people's taste has changed over time. Hence, I want to associate myself with diverse characters.
TBS: You and actress Koushani have been in a relationship for quite some time now and wanted to get married by 2021. There are only two months left in this year.
BS: We actually planned to get married in 2020 and then in 2021. Now the Covid-19 pandemic has postponed our plans. It's not possible for me to get married within two years. I have to invite a lot of people and arrange everything. So I have to save a lot of money for my marriage. My plan is to save money for the next two years and hopefully we will get married by 2023.
TBS: What was your opinion of Bangladesh before coming here and has that changed since you arrived here?
BS: I heard a lot of negative things about Bangladesh before coming here. I heard that Bangladeshi people don't work properly, there is no skilled technician, no proper director and many more. But after coming to Bangladesh and having worked on two films, my point of view changed completely. Everyone here is skilled and does great work.
Nowadays, many movies in Kolkata are being remade. But here, the production is being focused on new and fresh stories, which means that people here work on fresh stories and it feels really nice to witness it happening.