Jehanabad's Ritwik Bhowmik: 'To understand Abhimanyu Singh took me very long & once I got him, it was difficult to...'

In an exclusive interview with Firstpost, Ritwik Bhowmik opens up about working with creative minds like Sudhir Mishra, Rajat Kapoor and others in Jehanabad and more.

Ganesh Aaglave February 07, 2023 12:15:27 IST
Jehanabad's Ritwik Bhowmik: 'To understand Abhimanyu Singh took me very long & once I got him, it was difficult to...'

The handsome hunk of the entertainment industry, who has impressed with acting mettle in Bandish Bandits, The Whistleblower, Maja Ma and others, is currently winning hearts for his impeccable performance in Jehanabad. Before the release of the web show, the actor spoke about his challenging character and working with Sudhir Mishra and other creative minds in an exclusive conversation with Firstpost. Excerpts from the interview:

Fans are showering praises on Jehanabad trailer by calling it gripping and intriguing. What were your reactions when you witness such a great response?

Well actually, today, I’ve got a holiday from my shoot and hence I am able to do these interviews. After these interviews are over, I’m going to sit down and read all the articles and all the comments on the trailer and everything because I have absolutely no idea how the response is yet because I’ve just been shooting the in and day out. But today you made me happy by telling me that people are responsible for responding in the manner that you said that they are.

Response from family and friends

Well got some superb responses. My older sister, she’s a professor herself. So when she saw the trailer, she said it was like, looking into the mirror because I’m playing a professor. We both like I’m wearing glasses, the glasses that I’m wearing are very similar to the ones that she wears. And my mother, for the first time watching me on screen has out of nowhere said Bada hoga hai it did feel like you’ve grown up suddenly. That’s a very interesting thing to here and my friends are quite happy. They’re very very impressed by the fact that I chose a role like this which I’m not sure what that means. But I’m just happy that they’re impressed.

Did you have any idea about this incident before the series was offered to you?

No, not at all. Honestly, I had zero idea. I read the script first, and then I had a conversation with the writer/director creator of the show Rajeev Barnwal. And I asked him about the events and asked him about his experiences of how he came to know about these things, and how he used to be a docu journalist, and how he came up with these topics and the kind of experiences he’s had. And that’s when I got to know about the real incident and was very, very ecstatic about the fact that somebody has written such a beautiful script out of the incident that has happened in real life.

Looking at the trailer, one can easily say you aced your dialect in the show. Do you had any tutor for that?

Yeah, so we did have a designated dialect coach, but what we had to really crack is Abhimanyu Singh’s character. The story definitely plays out in Jehanabad, but Abhimanyu Singh saying hasn’t grown up in that city. He’s grown up in different places. His education is from Delhi, he’s grown up in Patna. So what would the dialect be like? And how we would crack an urban guy and youth of the country who’s also old enough to be a professor who studied in different cities, who has travelled the country who has these ideologies. So we had to figure out the right way of sticking to the culture, to the mother tongue and at the same time, making it more global and more accessible for audiences across the world to understand and not pertaining to only certain regions.


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With creative minds and senior actors like Sudhir Mishra and Rajat Kapoor, you had any intimidating experiences on the set?

No, never. Honestly, I’ll sound a little narcissistic when I say this but I don’t get intimidated. I get extremely happy. That I’m getting the opportunity to be on a set to share a frame with the likes of the names that you’ve taken right now. And Sudhir sir has been an inspiration, Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi has been one of my favourite films ever since film school and I’ve been a fan of his work, I’ve been a fan of Rajat sir’s work, of Sunil sir’s work, of Satyadip Mishra and everybody who’s taken part in the show have so gracefully done that. And one of my favorite actors Parambrata Chatterjee. He’s in the show, he’s playing very crucial part and I’m just so, so happy that I’m also part of an ensemble like this. So I know I wasn’t intimidated, but I was like a happy kid who’s gotten this experience to live.

Some characters are so complex and intense stays with you for a long time. So whenever there is a pack-up or you go home, how you detox yourself from that character?

Honestly, at any other point and during any other project if this question was asked to me. I had I used to say that it was very easy to wash off the character because that’s the job of an actor to switch on and switch off. But honestly, I had lost the track of the job while making Jehanabad and the character did stay with me for a very, very long time and forget ofter pack up forget after schedule wrap, I’m saying after the entire show was short, and I was done with. The character, still stayed with me, his psychology stayed with me, his temperament state and it took some time to wash it off, but it has been successfully washed off and now I’m ready to relive it as an audience and watch what the show turns out to be.

When you are simultaneously for two projects and the characters from both are poles apart like Jehanabad and Maja Ma. So, how you switch between them?

You’ll be happy to hear, I was actually amidst should between Jehanabad and Maja Ma. I finished a few scheds of Jehanabad and then I was shooting Maja Ma. Oh no! Maja Ma was done before Jehanabad. So I moved on from Maja Ma to Jehanabad, sorry, that’s my bad. But if a situation arises where I’ll have to switch between these two characters on any other day, I would say that it shouldn’t be a tough job because I’ll be able to switch my character as I would be switching my directors because once you’re with the director, you go with his energy, his vision and you play the character, the way they want you to. So, if the directors change, then it’s very easy for you to change from one character to the other. But I would proudly say that, but if that’s not what would have been because Jehanabad was a tough show to shoot, was the tough psychology to be a part of and to understand Abhimanyu Singh took me very long and once I got him, it was difficult to get rid of him. So I wouldn’t know what would happen if I would have to switch between a character like Tejas and  Abhimanyu Singh. So I don’t know when that situation arises, I’ll have a better answer for you.

Thanks and you know one last question like youknow you have worked here. So please call words and creative minds wishlist, you know, your bucket list you want to share screen space with this director.

Any wishlist or bucket list of actors or directors you want to work with?

That list is huge. It goes on forever. Like if I open up that sheet it would just fill up an area. But I want to work with everybody. I’m extremely extremely greedy and I want every director, every producer, every musician, every writer to want me and to be a part of their work and make their work about of mine. So I really hope that happens. Everybody’s work that I’ve seen I’ve watched, liked and loved, I would want to work with them but there’s one name that I constantly keep repeating. I want to work with Mani (Ratnam) sir. So let’s see if Mr Mani ever notices me and we get to work together.

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