Rafi: Welcome to Uncensored with Rafi Hossain. Today we are here with Apurba. Tell me Apurba, how busy have you been lately?
Apurba: These last few weeks I have been extremely busy. I have been working on a lot of projects lately.
Rafi: Television is losing its audience; people nowadays, seem to prefer watching dramas online or on ‘YouTube’ instead of the television. Why do you think this is happening?
Apurba: There are a lot of reasons behind this shift. One is that dramas these days come with a package of advertisements, which often become an irritating factor for the viewers. Say, a very emotional scene is taking place, and then all of a sudden, an advertisement pops in, out of nowhere. This causes an unwarranted interruption. Apart from this, there are a lot of other reasons as well. Most of the dramas these days share similar storylines and they seem hastily executed. Plus, we are under constant pressure to make sure that we don’t do anything that can be vetoed by the censor board.
Rafi: Do you not face censorship issues when making web dramas?
Apurba: We do, but censorship is more stringent for television productions. I personally feel that, it is mostly due to the lack of variation in TV dramas that most viewers switch to watching web dramas. Moreover, web is a good platform for the upcoming artists and filmmakers where they can showcase their skills.
Rafi: Who would you say is the top actor in television now?
Apurba: There is no definite answer to this question, it is a relative one; and the answer will vary from person to person.
Rafi: Was the drama ‘Boro Chele’ a massive turning point in your career?
Apurba: Certainly. Previously I used to tell the directors and some of my colleagues that the dramas these days do not portray our culture; the respect we have for our parents and our family values were not being properly featured in our works. Boro Chele is one of those few projects that have been able to depict the true essence of our family values; and it is because of this, so many viewers have been able to emotionally connect to this drama.
Rafi: So Apurba, you said that you have been getting a lot of projects, while many other artists say that they are not getting any work at all. Why is this happening?
Apurba: I think, this is happening mainly because the directors and producers are trying to play it safe here. They only cast the actors who are already in the limelight. Having said that, I would also like to add that, there are many artists in this industry, who do not get opportunities because they are either not skilled or committed.
Rafi: Tell me, how do you make a project that is both critically acclaimed and also very much loved by the audience?
Apurba: If I knew how to make such dramas, I would have definitely made some by now. The response we get for our work is very important for us. I always knew that I will be making dramas for the fans. I want to focus on the fans, and as I grow older, I will be more professionally matured. And when I am more experienced and matured, I will try to serve the critics.
Rafi: Would you take on a role that would be very challenging critically, but won’t go down well with your fans?
Apurba: I would not take on such a role, because my fans are important to me; they are my first priority. While picking roles, I also try to stay true to my roots. Nowadays, I see many new artists saying that they will no longer do dramas after doing just one film. That is not right, they shouldn’t stop doing dramas completely. If they want to focus on movies mainly, while also acting in dramas, that’s fine. People should never forget their roots.
Rafi: Would you say you are conservative?
Apurba: I am very conservative. I may face a lot of criticism for it, but I am who I am and I don’t want to be fake. I believe that things don’t need to change much. I also try to make sure that I never influence other’s way of life. If they are radical or progressive, that is their own choice.
Rafi: Who are your favourite co-artists?
Apurba: When I first started acting, I was very fortunate to have worked with some great artists like Tarin Apu, Aupee Karim, Jaya Ahsan and Afsana Mimi, among others. They all helped me develop my acting skills. Gazi Rakayet also helped me a lot. His guidance made me a better actor. He also took me to editing panels and taught me the terms of acting. There are a lot of other amazing artists like Zakia Bari Mamo and Sumaiya Shimu, who I have a lot of work experience with. It was great to see that they paid great attention to their work.
Rafi: Tell me five positive and five negative things about you.
Apurba: Well, let’s start with the positive ones. Firstly, I am a very positive thinker. Secondly, I have a lot of patience. Then I would say that I am good person because even if I can’t help someone, I don’t think about causing them harm. Next, I care a lot about people, and I do not want to say anything that might hurt someone. The last positive thing would be, I respect my elders and show my adoration towards those younger than me. As for the negatives, I will just focus on this one trait: I am angry by nature. When I get angry, my head stops working. I have a habit of getting angry with everyone, staring from my family members to the people working in my unit.
Rafi: What causes the anger?
Apurba: A lot of things. But what angers me the most is when people fail to understand me.
Rafi: You are very popular as a romantic actor, are you as romantic as a husband?
Apurba: Well, my wife, Audity would not say that, and she has reasons not to. I have not been able to spend much time with her lately. I have been very busy with work. We both understand that I am concentrating a lot on work, but sometimes she does want me to give more time; and I try. Like when I go home after a long day, even if I am on the verge of collapse, I spend time with my family and stay up for as long as I can.
Rafi: Apurba, I really had a great time talking with you, and I hope to talk to you again soon. Do you have any message for your fans?
Apurba: To my fans, I would like to request all of you to always be positive. On social platforms we keep seeing so many negative things, but I would like to ask the ones that truly love me to be positive. We should all try to make life a lot more beautiful for those around us.
Ridwan Intisaar Mahbub