Chandan Anand, a theatre actor from Act One group, Delhi, who graduated to the silver screen from daily soaps, has bagged a substantive role in Leena Yadav’s Parched, which has been co-produced by Ajay Devgn. Chandan, who’s acting was appreciated in Colors’ Yeh Pyar Na Hoga Kam and Epic TV’s Mahabharata, feels that Parched is going to be a landmark film in his career. In a freewheeling chat with Nation Next, Chandan Anand speaks about his much-appreciated movie Parched (which is due for release in India on September 23), and how he thinks that a role’s length in a film doesn’t matter to him. Excerpts:
You are playing a pimp in Parched. How complicated and challenging was it to play such a bold role in your first big film?
As an actor, I gave my best! I’m being appreciated for my acting in the film. My co-actors Radhika Apte, Surveen Chawla, Adil Hussain, Tannishtha Chatterjee, etc. motivated me a lot. The film has been so beautifully made that we won 18 awards in various international film festivals. So far, I have myself seen the film five times!
The director of the film Leena Yadav is famous for creating strong female characters in her films. Even in this film, there are three strong women characters. What’s the scope of your character in the film?
The title Parched means a land that becomes dry due to intense heat. The three leading ladies in the film – Radhika Apte, Surveen Chawla and Tannishtha Chatterjee – represent the parchedness of the society in their village Ujhaas. These three women deal with three respective males in their life journeys. I’m playing a pimp, who gets emotionally entangled with Surveen Chawla’s character. It’s an extremely important character, which represents a particular section of the male society. When I went to London International Film Festival, I realised that the issues that film has raised are not just restricted to one village or one section of the society. Everyone can relate to it, as emotions are universal. The film has depicted all such diversified emotions beautifully.
Aren’t you worried about the short length of your role in the film?
Usually, big actors say that the length of the film doesn’t matter, which is true. And, this becomes more relevant when you work in a film like Parched, where you have such interesting characters, being meticulously handled by a talented director like Leena Yadav. She has the ability to make all the characters of her film look so important. Having said this, I’d love to play a main lead some day, as I feel I can carry any film single handedly on my shoulders.
You say Parched is a landmark film in your career but how confident you are about being recognised among such an ensemble cast?
I’m not even thinking about what will happen post the movie’s release. I’m not counting on what perks I’ll get in future because of this film. It’s anyway a milestone in my career. It’s one of the best films and I feel so content to have worked in such a film. No matter how big a film I do in the near future, Parched will always be close to my heart. Only the fortunate actors get a chance to work in a movie like Parched.
Parched has been doing the rounds in many international film festivals. How has this international exposure been helpful for you?
London International Film Festival began with our film Parched’s screening. Even Ajay Devgn attended the festival along with his daughter Nysa. When I walked the red carpet with him, a lot of photographers followed us. We got lots of praises and a standing ovation too. It was an out of the world experience and exposure for me.
Also read: Parched movie trailer
You turned director for a short film Gannu. It’s very rare for an actor to try his hands on direction so early in his career…
Even actors watch a film from the audience’s perspective. We first watch the performances and then may be we focus on the technical side of a film. I might judge a film entirely on an actor’s performance. I’m not a director; I’m just trying to put in my thoughts and vision in a consolidated form.
You hail from Delhi theatre, and your co-actor in the film Adil Hussain was a theatre doyen in Delhi. What difference you found between Adil on stage and in front of the camera?
I never worked with Adil Hussain during theatre. I had seen his work though. Delhi theatre is like a hub where all the theatre students from various backgrounds work with one another. I would consider Adil Hussain as my teacher. He’s an institute in himself, from whom you can learn a lot. I grew up watching him. He’s like a fireball on the stage.
Not many know that you worked with Yami Gautam in her first major TV role in Colors serial Yeh Pyar Na Hoga Kam in 2009. What do you say about her career graph that’s going upwards since then?
Television makes you a star overnight but the fame is short-lived. When Yami was selected for Vicky Donor (2012), for which she did an acting workshop with Act One theatre group, she called me up to share the news. In fact, even now I keep wishing her whenever anything good happens in her life. I share a very good rapport with her mother too. It’s great to see where Yami’s reached today.
Your performance as Yudhishthira was appreciated a lot in Epic TV channel’s Dharmakshetra (2014-15), but the serial went unnoticed. How does it feel when such good quality work and projects of an actor don’t get him the due recognition?
It feels bad when you don’t get your due and your work fails to reach the audience. It couldn’t reach its target audience because people hadn’t even subscribed to Epic TV channel on their set top boxes then, as it was a paid channel. But, the people who saw the show, appreciated and loved it because it depicted our mythology in a different perspective altogether. Today, people from America, UK, Australia are calling up and praising me after watching the show on Netfilx. It’s a beautiful feeling. Actors are suckers for their performance’s feedback and if we get that, it solves our purpose of acting.
Which medium did you find more challenging between stage, small screen and big screen?
Challenge is what you are ready to accept and create. When you want to make your work look different, that’s where your challenge lies. It’s rewarding if you manage to deliver a performance that you’ve visualised and your director and the team appreciate you for the same. Then the medium doesn’t matter. Of course, monetary compensation does increase as you keep going a notch higher in your work.
Please tell us about your future projects.
I have signed a film, which is a psycho thriller. I’m also doing a web series. Also, I’m also working on my short film Gannu.