From your perspective, what is the state of the theatre arena today?
RH: To be honest, it isn't very positive. Over the last ten years, we have witnessed a constant rise in costs due to economic inflation, but the budget for theatre productions has only shrunk. Advertising costs for upcoming plays have increased over time, leaving little money for the stage and productions. This year, the World Cup will also hinder a lot of the plays.
As one of the members of the Artistes Association, what duties have you pledged to fulfill towards this cause?
RH: I've taken on a number of responsibilities since the elections. Previously, actors had no formal identities, which we then took care of. We have also set up a tripartite agreement with directors and producers which will take full effect soon. Right now, we are planning to set up a fund called Shilpi Kalyan Tahbil, which will be a huge milestone for us.
How are you able to delve into your roles with such natural ease?
RH: My mentor is Aly Zaker, and whatever I know is because of Nagorik. The great man once told me to never act like a hero or a villain, but to appear as regular as the next man. He said my dialogues should be delivered in the same way as the conversation I am having with you right now. This had a profound effect on the way I have always worked, something I carry along with me to this day.
You have won many awards throughout your career, including a very recent one. Could you tell us about that?
RH: This year, I have won the Meril Prothom Alo Award for the third time, for my performance in Dondo Shomaash directed by Ashfaque Nipun. I played a dual role of a 'muezzin' (the one who calls for prayer) from a masjid, and a Hindu priest. I am very pleased with this accomplishment, because the subject matter tackled in this tele-fiction was highly complex.
Among all the stage productions you have worked on, which ones do you love the most?
RH: My favorite productions from Nagorik theater are: Ocholayton, Nurul Diner Shara jibon, Coppernicus er Captian and Chhayanaut. All four are directed by Aly Zaker.