EXCLUSIVE: Shooting Kaali In Kolkata Was Like A Homecoming For Me, Says Abhishek Banerjee
Playing Jing Liang, shooting in Kolkata, post lockdown plans, we caught up with the talented Kaali Season 2 actor on all these and more. Read on.
Kaali 2, the second season in the ZEE5 Original thriller series, is finally out. A nail-biting action series, Kaali centres around the titular protagonist, played by Paoli Dam, who races against time and risks immense life-threatening dangers to save her son’s life. Abhishek Banerjee, the brilliant actor who you have seen as negative characters in other series’ like Mirzapur and Paatal Lok, continues to play the role of Jing Liang, a criminal most wanted internationally. We caught up with him as he spoke to us about his experience working on Kaali. Here are the edited excerpts.
Watch the trailer of Kaali 2 here:
Q: Tell us about your experience of shooting for Kaali 2.
A: I was quite excited throughout Kaali because I was shooting in both Bengali and Hindi, and in Kolkata. I hadn’t been in Kolkata for long since nursery or KG, so it was like a homecoming for me. My dad was also very happy. It was like a place you are connected with but have not been, so it was a very personal experience. Work wise, shooting for it was action packed! It is an action series after all, and our work reflected that.
Q: Who did you enjoy working with the most?
A: Everyone was great, but Chandan (Roy Sanyal) and I share a special bond because we were both in Rang De Basanti and know each other since then. It was nice to meet and act with him again. We are both Bengalis who have lived in other states and are more comfortable with the Hindi language, so we have lots of jokes about that.
Q: How did you prepare to get into the character of Jing Liang?
A: I think the situation was just very simple to keep calm. That’s Liang for you — he is always very patient and calm and always in control. It was also thanks to Rohan (Ghosh) and Aritra (Sen), the directors and creators, who explained the character very well to me. With their late night calls and readings, they supported me constantly and then it became quite easy.
Q: Are there any memorable moments from the shoot that you’d like to mention?
A: I remember the most difficult days when we were shooting at the leather factory. We were in a real location and in fact it helped me to understand Jing Liang’s world better and understand the character better. He comes from the gutter, you know, he calls himself a cockroach. But he lives like a king in that gutter! Every scene that we shot in that leather factory stands out. It was unbearable because of the chemicals and the smell and we had to finish our work amid it. But it was totally real and I could understand why such a character would be using this space to render his services to the drug lord.
Q: What are you missing the most during this lockdown?
A: Eating out! I miss eating out the most. I love going out with friends to nice places and ordering good food. I also miss travelling. I am an actor and that entails quite a bit of travel, so I am an actor and a traveller. I can’t wait to travel again.
Q: Tell us five reasons why we should watch Kaali 2.
A: One, because you have Paoli in it. I think Paoli is one of the finest actors in India. Two, because it figures a female action character at the centre. We always complain about not having enough women in action-packed roles, and this one changes that. Then, it has its own twists and turns, so you don’t know what to expect in each episode. Fourth, I think it has a n excellent ensemble of actors– Paoli, Chandan, Vidya (Malavade)– everybody is great. And fifth, for me. You should definitely watch it for Liang!
Q: What message would you like to leave for your fans?
A: I would just want you all to stay safe and take necessary precautions. Don’t go venturing out. This is a difficult time for everybody so try to extend more patience and empathy towards everyone around you as much as you can. And yes, binge watch all the shows you can including Kaali 2! Thank you.
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