Interview: Mihir Das (Also Published in Hindustan Times)
Mihir Das’s Alto sports a sticker that says, “I am a Hot Distraction”. Indeed the star who is currently the No.1 of Ollywood in the number game is one definite distraction. “We actors have got a 40 per cent discount by the God to adore girls in and outside the industry,” he chuckles with almost a boy-like countenance.
While his make-up man is on his job on the shooting set of “Duhita”, MIHIR DAS manufactures time to chat with SASWAT PATTANAYAK
Q.1. How has the industry been after the supercyclone? Will it revive?
Ans Just before the supercyclone, there were at least 16 to 17 films being released periodically. That was the healthiest period in the industry’s history. But cyclone annihilated all hopes, yet I believe complete revival is definitely possible. And small screen is helping in a big way in facilitating the functions of the total set-up.
Q2 As a senior actor, do you feel help has been forthcoming from all quarters?
Ans: Not at all. In fact, the government has been totally blind towards industry’s losses. They do not even consider it as a problem area. Empathetic attitude should at least have been displayed to the heavy losses producers had to bear all by themselves.
Q3 Will your honeymoon with the film industry ever end?
Ans: I am sure not. Even after my putting best foot forward for the last 15 years, I have not reached the stage of contentment. All I need is a little bit of oxygen to keep me going strong in the Oriya film industry. I would always work till the last shoot of my life.
Q4 Do you get films according to your preferences?
Ans No. Here, there is not much choice. One, the number of films are pretty less. Two, the audience too is limited to one that expects a stereotyped genre of films. And if you become a bit popular with the masses, all producers want you for their movies. So, you start preferring the movies in which you act, when choices are less.
I strongly believe that professional flavour is clearly absent in Oriya movies of recent times
Q5 The, would you like switching to the world of Art movies?
Ans: I have already acted in five of the art movies of Manmohan Mohapatra and I have immensely enjoyed acting in these films. But if enjoyment is any criterion, then I think, it is within yourselves. In a competitive world of commercial movies, you got to enjoy performing in them too.
Q6 How do you rate the Oriya audience?
Ans: It is not a question of rating the audience. I would rather have the audience love Oriya language, which is trenchantly absent. Orissa people should get habituated to seeing Oriya movies more and admire all that is best in them.
Q7 Any secret ambition?
Ans: I do not plan life. Hence, no secret ambition. Time directs my path more than I capture time’s movements. The urge to act is already installed within me. And I think I have reached somewhere where I can be really happy.
Q8 Have you ever got inspired by anybody in life?
Ans: The audience alone. They are my God. Actually, they are more powerful than God, for they make the hero or no-hero out of me. I have ventured many times into the cinema halls with the audience to watch my movies.
Q9 Who are your favorites?
Ans: Everybody minus me in the Ollywood (Laughs). In the Bollywood, I like Naseeruddin Shah, Anil Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Manisha Koirala and Aishwaraya Rai. Raj Kapoor is my all-time favourite director.
Q10 The most memorable moments of your life?
Ans: Death of my mother moved me the most. My late mother still inspires me through her memories. It was very cruel of her to have left me alone. During every performance, thoughts of her pull me through. And as for the happiest moment, it is yet to come.
Q11 Which movie of yours would you rate the best?
Ans: Audience says it is “Pua Mora Bhola Sankara”. I cannot but agree with them. After all, they hold the remote control of our career-graph.
Q12 Do you have any message for our readers?
Ans: Increase your capacity to love art and artists. That way, actually, our culture, heritage and the country would be indirectly loved too.
Q13 Do you advocate the trend of exposure getting popularised in Oriya movies?
Ans: I think that’s okay. To a limit, exposure looks healthy. But in Orissa, the audience should be taken into consideration as the families constitute the majority of viewers.
Q14 Does Mihir Das indulge in flirtations?
Ans: Well, its quite healthy a habit (chuckles). For mental, biological and spiritual developments, one should indulge in flirtations!