Gazi Rakayet, is one of the prominent names in the television and theatre industry. He started off as a theatre actor, and later expanded his artistic skills towards theatre direction and filmmaking. His first feature film, ‘Mrittika Maya’ won him the ‘National Film Awards’ in seventeen categories. In an interview with Star Showbiz, the versatile individual opens up about his career and evolution as an artist.
Throughout my career, I have worked on different platforms, like theatre, television and film. However, my career began with the theatre. In 1980, when I was in grade seven, I performed in a stage-play named Halchal, which marked the beginning of my career. Although I was quite young, I had to play the character of an old man. This was my first play. A few years later in 1988, I joined a team of stage actors at the Group Theatre Federation. Soon, as part of the team, I performed at Bailey Road for the first time in Kiron Mritya’s Amrit Bish, directed by Syed Mohidul Islam.
I have love and respect for every single actor in the industry. I have never thought about which actors I particularly like based on their acting, because I know that it isn’t possible to enjoy everyone’s acting in every single film. However, Aly Zaker is my favourite actor in theatre. I have also thoroughly enjoyed Raisul Islam Asad’s performances on television and in films. All things considered, my most favourite actor would have to be Asaduzzaman Noor.
Among renowned artists, the person who has influenced me the most is Satyajit Ray. Even if I had never become a part of the entertainment industry, his films would have played an important role in my life. If I must talk about people who have inspired me, then it has to be Aly Zaker. His artistic mind has left a huge impact on me. Other than that, talents like Suborna Mustafa, Shimul Yousuf, and Ferdousi Majumdar have touched me deeply and given me guidance. My father was also an actor, although I have never had the opportunity to see him perform. Nonetheless, he has also been a significant source of inspiration for me.
I have many joyful memories. When I finished writing the script for Gor in 1994, I was so excited that I hopped on a rickshaw and roamed around Dhaka for two straight hours. I felt like I had finally accomplished something. I had a good relationship with Humayun Faridi, and as a young man unable to contain my excitement, I went straight to his house. Besides this, I have many other wonderful memories. I am also haunted by unpleasant memories at times.
I have enjoyed many perks and privileges in my life. However, desire for recognition for one’s art is never-ending. A skilled artist can never satiate their hunger.
I used to play cricket, and thoroughly enjoyed the game. Besides acting, I am an avid reader. It’s difficult for me to choose a favourite writer; there are so many of them. But if I must mention a name, I’ll have to say Rabindranath Tagore. Among international writers, I like Chekhov, Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen. Besides, I’m quite religious, and I find peace in religious pursuits. I love nature, and I feel that it is akin to heaven. I try to appreciate natural beauty whenever I get the opportunity. Since I have to juggle teaching, acting, theatre, and many other activities, there is always something that keeps me busy. I think, if I could just add four more hours to a 24-hour day, I might finally have the luxury of enjoying a few mindless activities in my life.
Interviewed by Akhand Jahid
Transcribed by Daminee Zakiya Salahuddn