Legendary film actor Prabir Mitra has worked in over 400 films in his career, over the past decades. The actor won his first National Award in the Best Supporting Actor category, for his performance in the film Boro Bhalo Lok Chhilo, in 1982. His performance in the film, Nawab Sirajuddaula (1989), was also acclaimed. He is set to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bangladesh National Film Awards for 2018.
Mitra first went to the BFDC to work in H Akbar’s Jibon Trishna (1973). “I was very nervous at that time as I was going to work with Anwar Hossain, whom I considered my acting guru,” he says “I stood in front of the camera, but could not look at Anwar in the eye. Upon understanding my anxiety, he asked me to look at him and practice my dialogues, to help me overcome by uneasiness.” Mitra views Anwar Hossain as his guru to this day.
Recalling his memories with iconic actor Razzak, Mitra shares the instance of their first encounter when he was sitting beside the star in a makeup room. “While doing my makeup, I looked at him and said, I am very new to the film industry. Please guide me if I make mistakes,” explains Mitra. Razzak was very pleased with Mitra’s modesty, and also told him that he knew about his theatrical career.
Looking back on his days as a struggling artiste, Mitra mentions that Farid Alam was his guide. “From taking me to meet different producers, to convincing them that I was a capable actor, Alam has always been there for me,” recalls Mitra. “He even took me to see director Ritwik Ghatak, with whom I worked in Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (1973).”
The actor’s debut film Jolchobi was directed by H Akbar. “I used to address him as ‘Ustad’ as he gave me my first break,” says Mitra. In his long career as an actor, he has made many friends, most of whom have passed away.
Mitra further spoke about his friendship with actor ATM Shamsuzzaman. “We used to study together in Pogose Laboratory School and College in Old Dhaka. We have been the best of friends since then, and I have many treasured memories with him,” he says.
The actor has no regrets from life as he believes that he has lived his dreams to its fullest. “I have done nothing other than acting in my whole life,” smiles Mitra.