ABHISHEK BANERJEE
Man's World|March 2021
FROM A MINOR ROLE IN RANG DE BASANTI TO A STANDOUT PERFORMANCE AS HATHODA TYAGI IN PAATAL LOK, IT TOOK 16 LONG YEARS FOR HIS ACTING CHOPS TO BE FINALLY RECOGNISED
JIGAR SHAH

Over the past few days, I have had the opportunity to talk to a cross-section of actors, producers, directors in the Hindi film industry. All their stories had one common thread: Abhishek Banerjee. I learnt that a producer had hired him as a casting director, the actor was cast through his company Casting Bay, and the director was delighted to utilise his acting abilities. Everyone loved to work with him, as well as enjoyed his on-screen performance. It clearly indicates that the man has earned everyone's respect. He is becoming the proverbial potato that fits into most of the film industry's cinematic recipes. On hearing this analogy, Banerjee broke into peals of laughter, and said he aspires to be like broccoli. A rare, exclusive, and acquired taste.

Today, Banerjee has won appreciation for Paatal lok, Stree, Mirzapur, but he first dreamt of becoming an actor after watching Amitabh Bachchan’s films, namely Deewar and Agneepath. The moment of realisation occurred when he received public acceptance. He says, Audience’s reaction is the litmus test for acting. When I mimicked on stage for the first time in school, everyone liked my performance, including my teachers. I thought to myself, I must have some talent to deserve this appreciation. I wasn't that good at studies, but I was good at acting, so I concluded I should pursue acting. He was a member of Kirori Mal College's highly popular theatre society named Players during his College days, where he learnt the acting ropes.

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