Age is just a number for Soumitra Chatterjee. Even at 85 he is quite active on stage and screen for the last six decades. The veteran actor, who can still put his juniors to shame given his zest for life and talent and has been awarded almost every honour in India, still regrets missing out on playing a few roles.
“There are few. Sometime I regret missing out on a few interesting roles. I am still eager to portray characters from Shakespeare’s stories, particularly Hamlet. But frankly speaking I have now passed my prime. So, I have played King Lear. Also, I will always regret on missing out the chance to essay Goopi in Satyajit Ray’s ‘Goopi Gyne Bagha Byne’ (1969). But then I think Tapen Chatterjee was born to portray Goopi. Plus, I am yet to work with Kaushik Ganguly, perhaps he hasn’t yet created something where I can be fitted as an actor,” during an exclusive chat with ETimes, said the legendary actor who will be seen in director duo Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy’s ‘Bela Shuru’ and a biopic on him directed by Parambrata Chattopadhyay.
Veteran actors often go through ups and downs, turnarounds and comebacks. Did any of this happen to Soumitra?
“None at all. Fortunately my career has always been about gradual progression. I guess it has something to do with my desire to entertain my audiences with variety. I played a Rajput driver in Abhijan and a villainous character in Tapan Sinha’s Jhinder Bandi. I recite, I write and I do theatre. Yes, there were phases when some film or the other did not do well. But that was just a temporary setback, because there would soon be something else,” adds the veteran actor.