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Jisshu Sengupta was scared for the first time while playing Uttam Kumar in Mahalaya


The actor said that he has certain dialogues spoken by Kumar in real life that are bound to move the audience.

Roushni Sarkar

Actor Jisshu Sengupta will be seen playing Uttam Kumar in Soumik Sen’s upcoming period drama Mahalaya. Produced by Prosenjit Chatterjee’s Nideas Creations and Productions, the film is based on the public outrage that broke out when Birendra Krishna Bhadra was replaced by Uttam Kumar in the legendary radio programme Mahishasur Mardini.

In the process of getting into his persona, Sengupta went to the iconic actor’s house in Bhawanipore for the first time. “I was having an eerie feeling and goosebumps while standing in his home. I think, without his blessings, the film could not be released,” said the actor in a news report by ABP Ananda.

While touring in his house, the actor stood in front of a wall filled with the posters of Kumar’s films - Shilpi (1956) was one of them. “This film did not receive much popularity during that time but it remains one of my favourite films. Also, these posters are fascinating and these days, we hardly see this kind of work anymore,” said the nostalgic actor.

Sengupta also disclosed how he clearly remembers the huge crowd that gathered to pay the last tribute to the Mahanayak on the day he died.

Sengupta said that for the first time in his career he felt scared during the shooting of the film. “I am generally tense and tend to forget my lines when I am shooting but for the first time, I got scared. I seriously don’t know what I have done in the film. I completely relied on [director] Soumik [Sen],” said Sengupta.

According to Sengupta, the film is more about the content of the incident not about Kumar himself. “Uttam Kumar was not at all willing to do Mahishasur Mardini. Hemanta Babu (Mukhopadhyay), who used to call him Borda (big brother) had forced him to chant in Mahishasur Mardini,” said Sengupta. “During the telecast, he was present there with many other people and he was the first person to realise that he wasn’t successful in doing what he had tried to do in the programme,” he added.

The actor said that he has certain dialogues, spoken by Kumar in real life post his realisations, that are bound to move the audience. “I am sure those dialogues are going to make the audience shed a few tears. Those words can only be spoken by Uttam Kumar and Soumik has written them beautifully with a lot of analysis,” stated Sengupta.

Mahalaya is slated for release on 1 March.