Rabindranath Tagore’s Gora is one of the great Indian classics written in the nineteenth century which depicts the milieu of Kolkata in early twentieth century. Now, director Somnath Sen adapts this literary classic for the small screen and has FTII-trained actor Gaurav Dwivedi playing the role of Gora. Sandeep Hattangadi spoke to the talented actor about his most memorable role yet. Some excerpts.
Tell us something about yourself.
I am an engineer-turned-actor. And a graduate of the Film and Television Institute of India. Though active in theatre from childhood, it was while doing my masters in engineering in Australia that I decided to pursue acting full time. I came back to India, joined FTII and indulged in the two passions of my – acting and literature. My performance in an institute production was noticed by the renowned director, Ketan Mehta who signed me for a leading role in his film, ‘Rang Rasiya’.
Please tell the readers something about ‘Gora’.
It’s in 19th century Bengal, that Gora, (Gourmohan Das), the central protagonist is often found rationalising and pondering upon. The theme of feminism is also central to the plot. Gora is a very childlike and a frank character who tells it like it is without being diplomatic.
Do you personally identify with ‘Gora’?
It has been a learning experience. I had to work on my role as Gora who is a tall and wide-shouldered man, so I had to make my character look like him as I am not a very imposing personality. I have stayed in Kolkata for a period of time and am well versed with Bangla culture and literature. Gora is a philosopher which I am not.
How many episodes are we looking at?
It’s very difficult to adapt a 600-page novella but director Somnath Sen and collaborator Gargi Sen have pruned the teleplay into 26 episodes.
How was it like working with Somnath Sen?
He is a brilliant director and has shot the TV series like a magnum opus film. His film ‘Leela’ starring Dimple Kapadia is a classic.
What is the rest of the cast like?
Most of the team is from the FTII and one actor is my classmate and four are seniors. So the comfort level was very much there.
What else is in the pipeline?
I will be doing a film based on the ‘Mountain Man’ who carved a road all by himself just to reduce the travelling distance. I will be playing a journalist opposite Nawazuddin Siddique who plays the title role.
GORA will go on air on DD National starting on October 29, 2012 every Monday and Tuesday, 9:30 pm.