By Sukant Deepak
New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS): He was not really good at academics. One day, when going on stage to host a programme in school, one of his teachers said, "Tu yahi kar, tujhse yehi hoga." Actor Abhishek Banerjee, best known for his role as 'Hathoda Tyagi' in the web-series 'Paatal Lok' took that advice quite seriously.
"She had a point -- I thought if this is what I can do best, I should quit studying. Guess this was the start of my journey as an actor," he tells IANS.
To prepare for the role that boasted of a peculiar controlled rage throughout and communicating through intelligent pauses; he watched multiple documentaries on criminals and read extensively to catch a glimpse of the criminal's psyche.
"It was important for me to understand the backstories of the criminals which were buried on the later pages of the newspapers, while the front one just 'informed' about the crime and the criminal. Why and how did the crime take place? What was he going through during the act? For me, it was important to get acquainted with the criminal on a 'human' level. A two-day workshop with Shashi Bhushan really helped."
The actor, who has also been seen in around 20 films, including 'Rang De Basanti', 'Stree', 'Bhonsle' and 'Rashmi Rocket' has a special place for Shorts, which have seen much popularity in the past decade.
"Even when I was not really known, directors would cast me as a protagonist. There are some stories that cannot be in a long format, and Shorts do complete justice to them. They jump-started my career. Devashish Makhija gave me 'Agli Baar', a short film which had Rasika Duggal and me. That is how some directors noticed me and I started getting work," he remembers.
For someone who insists that he is still learning, Banerjee adds, "The effort is to try to enhance the performance and enrich myself as an actor through different mediums -- with each frame."
This Delhi University graduate, who did theatre in the national capital before shifting base to Mumbai and will soon be heard narrating Audible's audiobook titled 'Boots Belts Berets' written by Tanushree Poddar is excited about the project.
"Voice modulation is extremely important in theatre...you play different characters and need to throw the voice to a large audience while maintaining modulation. Such techniques take years to perfect. I was out of it and wanted to try again --- something I was missing in my performances in films and web shows," concludes the actor, who will be seen in the film 'Bhediya' that will be released in November, besides several shows on different OTT platforms.