'Web lets me experiment with characters'
Abhishek Banerjee on his career in digital space
After grabbing eyeballs for his quirky character 'Jana' in the horror-comedy Stree, Abhishesh Banerjee played another interesting role of a compounder in the acclaimed Amazon Prime series 'Mirzapur'. Taking his choice of out-of-the-box roles forward, the actor recently appeared as the ghost in 'Typewriter' (a Netflix original). In an interview, the new 'ghost' of web space talks about the series, his character, how web as a platform helps him experiment with his craft, and much more:
What is 'Typewriter' about?
Typewriter is a show about Jenny, a girl who comes back to her grandfather's villa with her family where she has spent her childhood and things start going wrong.
How is your role in this show different from what you have done in the past?
In this show, I'm playing a devil Fakir – a cunning and convincing person who is very powerful. He doesn't need to speak much, his intense looks speak for him in the entire show. It's obviously very different. The society has not done good to him, and whatever he's doing is a revenge back on the society.
Except you, who all other actors are the part of this show?
The show has a plethora of talented actors like Paulomi Ghosh, who has already given some terrific performances in the past and this is another great performance by her. Apart from her, there is Samit Kochhar, Purab Kohli, KC Shankar, Harish Khanna, Masoob Akhtar. And of course, all the kids who have been a part of this show are amazing, especially Sam.
There is quite a lot happening in your career right now. How are you balancing it? How difficult is it to switch gears?
I've always loved multi-tasking in my life. Even in school, I was good in studies, sports and in the extra curricular activities as well. Trying to do one thing at a time becomes really monotonous for me as a person and artist both. Therefore, I love being engaged in as many things as possible at one point of time.
Even though acting and casting are two different fields, I am very passionate about both of them. What I like the most about them is that both of them require you to be on toes all the time. They help me love what I am doing without making it feel like a 'task'. Frankly, I think I am doing really less for my growth right now, so, with the idea of doing more in life, I aspire to use at least 20 hours of my day working and learning new things as an artist.
Having said that, I think Amar Kaushik says it very appropriately about me that when I'm in front of the camera I'm an actor and the minute they say "cut", I'm the casting director who starts working on his phone. Even if I am on vacation, I'm always in touch with my team. I came to Mumbai only to work in this industry and the fact that I'm getting to do it is a very big thing for me.
How is web helping you shape your career. Would you try for films as well, or rather enjoy your presence in the digital space as for now?
I'm getting a considerable amount of work in movies as well as web series. In web series, I feel I can experiment with the characters, that I might not do in the mainstream movies. Next year, I'm doing a show under Anushka Sharma's production house Clean Slate productions. That show is incredibly important to me; I have played a very crazy character in that.
I have three important movie releases lined up this year, and all the characters are different from each other. For me, more than the platform, working as an actor matters. I look for stories and interesting character, which I can pull off. I am one of those actors who don't wait for the result. My main focus is to see that I enjoy the whole process of shooting for that character. If I'm not enjoying the process then it's futile for me. But fortunately I have almost always enjoyed the process of every character I've played.