Soumitra Chattopadhyay has become synonymous with Apu. Apu was his first role and also his first with Satyajit Ray. We have travelled with him through his joy and grief. Till date, Soumitra Chattopadhyay remains as one of Ray’s finest choices.
But that is the story that comes after. What happened when Soumitra was just another young man looking for a role in a film? Did the legend go through all that any of us would normally do?
Before Soumitra Chattopadhyay came for a screen test for Apur Sansar, he had tried an audition at another film called Nilachale Mahaprabhu. He was rejected and so when it came to his screen test, that too with the great Satyajit Ray, no wonder it was scary.
I was rather tensed
“I was rather tensed I must confess because I never faced a camera before….” he says as he recounts those moments in the interview by WildFilmsIndia. He faced his first camera in the test taken Ray himself. Call it the sheer mastery of Ray or Chattopadhyay, the shooting went well and we got our cherished Apu.
Watch the interview of Soumitra Chattopadhyay here reminiscing about those olden golden days –
Satyajit Ray had the rare eye of the jeweler – only that he picked jewels of men and women – or maybe he shaped them in the right cuts. Soumitra Chattopadhyay, Sharmila Tagore, Aparna Sen, Jaya Bhaduri, Tapen Chatterjee and such world class artists had their inception through Ray. Established actors like Tulsi Chakraborty, Rabi Ghosh, Chhabi Biswas, Uttam Kumar, Madhabi Mukherjee and Utpal Dutt shone their brightest colours in the hands of the master director. We cannot forget actors like Santosh Dutta, Charuprakash Ghosh and Kamu Mukherjee and so many more because they remain immortalized in Satyajit Ray’s movies.
We are lucky people who can see and cherish not only these films but also the actor’s journey and his memories. Through Soumitra Chattopadhyay’s words, we reach that which has remained untarnished by time.