Film actor Ferdous Ahmed was busy preparing for an event at the National Parade Square in Dhaka on Monday on the occasion of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. After a long wait, Ferdous starrer 'Gontobyo' has hit the theatres. H is working on five more films. The actor spoke about the film and other issues with Prothom Alo.
Tell us something about the release of the film Gontobyo.
It feels very good that the film is inspired by the 7 March 1971 speech. The film, directed by Aranyna Palash, has been released after overcoming many obstacles. The film being released in the month of independence and Mujib Borsho has created a different emotion. I haven’t watched it yet and will watch it soon. The turnout at the cinema halls has been good so far.
Filming of the biopic 'Bangabandhu' is underway in Mumbai. Your name had been on the cast. Why have you been left out then?
I couldn’t go to India because of a visa-related complexities. I had joined an election campaign in India. As foreign national, I shouldn’t have done it. That incident has created difficulties for me to get me an Indian visa now.
Was the joining the poll campaign in India the biggest mistake of your life?
Of course it was. Being a citizen of a country, I can’t participate in the election campaign of another country. I was not aware of the rules and regulations on joining the campaign in India’s state elections. Those who took me along, also didn’t know. Since I have been working in India for long, they see me as one of them. But each country has it laws. You must not make any mistake there. And I have been paying he price for this mistake.
Do you regret for not being among the cast in the biopic 'Bangabandhu'?
Joining such mega biopic 'Bangabandhu' means becoming a part of history. I haven’t been in it and that i’s my greatest regret. It will stay with me forever. I made a mistake and I have paid for it. I want the next generations to learn from my mistake.
Your longtime co-actor and friend Riaz is in the biopic 'Bangabandhu'. Are you happy?
Thanks to Riaz, he agreed to act in the film at the last moment. I don’t know whether any other person would play this character so well. I have full confidence in him. He will do better than me.
You always have good relations with the leading actresses in the film industry. Do you maintain it consciously? What is the best way to maintain good relations with co-artistes?
I have good relations with all actresses. It’s for the sake of films. I have friendly relations with everyone from Babita, Shabana and Kabori to the contemporary actresses Mahi, Pori Moni and Puja Cherry. I have always been respectful to women. I try to keep a friendly and respectful relationship with whoever I have been working with for long. We sometimes work in difficult situations so I want the actress to have can trust and confidence in me. And I do it consciously. Trust is very necessary to keep a good relationship with an artiste.
The activities of certain people are destroying the reputation of our cinema film at home and abroad. How did this happen?
It all started when certain people entered the film industry. They claim to be big artistes but don’t have any skills. They have destroyed the film industry as well as the image of the actual artistes. I think both talent an artistic mindset are required to sustain in cinema and other forms of art. Art is never done by muscle power. One requires much practice and devotion. I would advise anyone aspiring to be an actor to prove himself o herself through work, not conniving politics. This is not a place for politics. It’s a place to contribute to the welfare and entertainment of the people, to the state and the society.
So why are artistes like you not taking action against these people?
These certain people had been there before,, they are here now and will be in future too. They will come and go. Bangladesh has become independent for 50 years, but there are still a few Razakars. Life has both good and bad sides. At the end of day, truth wins. Real artistes stay and the others disappear.
You work both in Bangladesh and India. What should we do for the improvement of our film industry?
Our biggest weakness is in the screenplay. We don’t pay attention to this. In the lack of a good screenplay, we just copies others indiscriminately. We have acted in many bad films. We must ensure originality by not copying from other countries. Nowadays, there are signs of excellent stories evolving in films and dramas in our country. There is a bright future in the offing.
Which films are you working in now?
I am working in ‘Lal Kankra’, ‘1971 Sheisob Dinguli’, ‘Gangchil’, ‘Jam’ and ‘Raseler Jonno Opekkha’.
This report appeared in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Hasanul Banna