Playing for India was more important than acting in films: Rahul Bose

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Panaji, Nov 22 (IANS) Actor-filmmaker Rahul Bose says when he actively played rugby for India internationally, he chose films according to his sports calendar.

Rahul, known for films like "English, August", "Mr. and Mrs. Iyer", "Chameli", "Pyaar Ke Side Effects" and "15 Park Avenue", was a part of a 'Redefining Stories' panel at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here on Thursday.

Asked about his transition from being an actor to a director, Rahul, who first helmed "Everybody Says I'm Fine" and then directed the 2017 film "Poorna", said: "It was not calculative."

"I had a story about a hairdresser who reads mind, and everybody says I'm fine, but when he cuts their hair, he hears their real stories, and nobody's fine.

"I just wrote the story, loved the story, turned it into a scene breakdown and a screenplay and then I said I want make it. There was no proof that I would be a good director. Many actors are not good directors. So, that's how. There was no calculation."

He said the 16-year-gap between both his directorials testify that they were not calculative moves.

"I just do what I want to do when I want to do it," he said.

Rugby is the only calculation, moderator and popular cinematographer Aseem Bajaj prodded Rahul.

He said: "When I was playing for India, I would look at the rugby calendar and see the two main tournaments, and took up films only if they didn't clash with both tournaments, because playing for India was more important for me than acting in films."

His work was met with an applause from the audience.

Rahul further said that as an artiste, who has primarily dabbled in independent cinema, he has never "struggled".

"I was doing theatre in Mumbai. I did 4-6 plays. Dev Benegal and Uma D'Cunha saw me in a play, and they cast me in 'English, August'. And I got one film after another.

"I have played the lead in 36 films, and cameo and supporting roles in 3 films. So I have never had a 'I don't have a Godfather in the industry' story. I don't have a struggle story," he said.

Rahul further said he neither had to change his acting nor did he have to change his choices.

"I didn't have to compromise right from 'English, August' right up to 'Poorna', barring one or two films," he said, adding that he has worked in Bengali, English, Kannada, Tamil and Hindi films.