National Film Award-winning actor Chanchal Chowdhury started out as a theatre actor, before establishing a rightful place for himself in television and films. He has earned acclaim for his powerful performances on the silver screen throughout the years. The versatile actor will soon be seen in Taqdeer, a web series on Hoichoi. He talks about the state of web-based projects in Bangladesh, his upcoming ventures and more in a candid conversation with The Daily Star.
You are leading actor in 'Taqdeer', created by Syed Ahmed Shawki and Saleh Sobhan Auneem, for Hoichoi. What drew you to this project?
Taqdeer has a gripping and powerful story. We shot the series at different locations in Manikganj, Munshiganj and Mawa, among other spots. I play a hearse driver on the show. The creators planned and treated everything like a film. A lot of time and dedication went into the series, and it is very different from anything that I have done so far.
What was it like to shoot, maintaining all health guidelines?
We took all possible precautions – all members of the unit wore masks on the sets. But frankly speaking, it was extremely challenging to follow social distancing guidelines while shooting a scene.
What do you think sets 'Taqdeer' apart from other web shows out there from Bangladesh?
I think that most of our web shows lag behind in quality. As artistes, we have a responsibility to provide new and interesting stories to the audience. I only work on projects that match my taste and sensibilities. Taqdeer's fresh story sets it apart from other shows on the web.
Where do you think our industry stands, when it comes to web content?
We have yet to make a significant mark on web platforms, but we definitely have a lot of potential. Budget and lack of audience interest are some of our major hurdles. Nonetheless, I hope that Taqdeer will bring about positive changes for us.
You, along with a few Bangladeshi actors, were expected to be a part of Srijit Mukherji's web series for Hoichoi, based on Bangladeshi writer Mohammad Nazim Uddin's acclaimed thriller, 'Rabindranath Ekhane Kokhono Khete Ashen Ni'. Unfortunately, the director recently revealed on social media that he will be working on the series with Indian artistes only, due to the pandemic. Would you like to say anything about that?
Srijit Mukherji emailed me about the series. However, we did not finalise anything officially, and we didn't have any talks about it after that. The pandemic has interrupted everyone's plans, and I am sure that there is a valid reason behind his decision.
What can you tell us about your upcoming films?
Gias Uddin Selim's Paap Punno and Mejbaur Rahman Sumon's Hawa are two of my upcoming films. The dubbing for Paap Punno is completed, and Hawa is also near the end of production. The release dates of these films are yet to be announced.
Translated by Rasheek Tabassum Mondira