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Hatyapuri has made my dream of playing Feluda come true, says actor Indraneil Sengupta

Directed by Sandip Ray, the murder mystery features Ayush Das and Abhijit Guha as Feluda's sidekicks Topse and Jatayu respectively.

Roushni Sarkar

Actor Indraneil Sengupta will be seen as popular Bengali detective Feluda in Sandip Ray’s upcoming film Hatyapuri. The actor will carry the legacy of veteran actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty, who played the iconic role for the last time in Double Feluda (2016).

When Chakraborty announced that he would not be playing the role anymore, Sengupta reportedly went to Ray’s home and requested him to consider him as the next Feluda. “That was probably the first time, I went to approach a director for work. I told Babu Da (Ray) that it had been my dream to play Feluda for a long time. Though I could only make a humble request. That’s all,” recalled the actor, who essayed detective Kiriti Roy in Kiriti O Kalobhromor (2016) and Nilacholey Kiriti (2018).

“After six years, the opportunity has finally arrived. I am just thrilled that I am Feluda,” exclaimed the actor. “Normally, I am not a person to chase anything. But now for the first time the quote, 'When you want something, the whole universe conspires in order for you to achieve it' feels real to me.”

Ray started shooting Hatyapuri on 10 June. Set in Puri and Kolkata, the murder mystery features Ayush Das and Abhijit Guha as Topse and Lalmohan Ganguly aka Jatayu respectively.

Asked how he is tackling the pressure of playing the role, which was first made popular by legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee, Sengupta replied, “There is always a performance pressure for any kind of role. But I am trying not to get too overwhelmed; otherwise, I won’t be able to do justice to the role.”

Sengupta added that while preparing for the character, he avoided watching the Soumitra Chatterjee and Sabyasachi Chakraborty films. “If we take too much reference from a previous portrayal, then subconsciously we tend to imitate the actors, which I didn’t want to do. I know it too well that I cannot match their standard,” added the actor who recently appeared in the Zee5 series The Broken News (2022) and Netflix's The Fame Game (2022).

Sengupta normally doesn’t prefer to do too much homework before embarking on a project. For Hatyapuri, he only read the original story by Satyajit Ray, and the rest of the Feluda tales, multiple times. “I wanted to get into the ambience in which Feluda works, and also absorb the essence of camaraderie between Feluda, Topse and Jatayu. Also, I feel books are a better source of reference than cinema because reading helps in visualization," he added.

Calling himself an obedient actor, Sengupta thinks his job is to execute the director's vision using his own experience and intellect.

While Ray called himself a strict director on the floor, Sengupta feels he is working in an extremely relaxed environment and getting a lot of respect from the directorial team, which, according to him, is quite rare these days.

“I think Babu Da doesn’t have an idea about most other production houses and hence, he calls himself strict. He starts apologizing as evening sets in. First of all, nobody apologizes these days. Forget about working till late evening; most production houses expect us to work even after midnight. Both Babu Da and Buni Di (Lalita Ray) make a lot of effort to make us feel really special,” added the actor.

Hatyapuri will be released on Christmas this year.