Zee5 recently released a psychological thriller Mafia. The title Mafia sounds like the tale of a gangster, but it’s not so. The entire series is based on the six college buddies who reunited after 5 years in a bachelorette party of one of their gang members. But who knew their reunion will turn into a game where they become thirsty for each other’s blood. They decided to play a game called ‘Mafia Release’.
Namit Das has come up with yet another powerful, convincing, credible performance in this web series. He portrayed the character of Dalit, who takes up the charge of the police force of Madhupur and constantly fights against the injustice that deals out to his community. With the distinctness and wonderful skill, Namit Das makes his own space in this industry. His talent got noted every time by the critics. In a candid chat with us Namit Das shares about his character in Mafia, connects with Bengal, the memory of the shooting, and more with us.
Expresso: How did you get the offer for Mafia and what made you say yes to it?
Namit Das: The director and director Rohan Ghosh narrated the script of Mafia a few years back. As soon as I heard the script, it instantly motivated me. The story was quite different and enthralling. Apart from that, the character that he chose for me had a lot of things which I haven’t played earlier. Also, I got an opportunity to visit North Bengal, I always had a dream of visiting Bengal and Mafia gave me the opportunity. Rohan Ghosh is one of the most talented directors and writers I ever met, and after hearing the complete script, I accepted the offer.
Expresso: What is the similarity between you and “Nitin”?
Namit Das: Nitin was a Bihari character and belongs from a place between Bihar and Bengal. People over there although understand Bengali but they cannot speak it. I definitely cannot relate myself with the character since I am from Mumbai and I have an urban texture inside me. But the way Rohan Ghosh developed my character and Birsa Dasgupta helped, I got a lot of freedom. This helped in the complete making of the character.
Expresso: How did you groom yourself for the character?
Namit Das: I reached Jalpaiguri two days before the shooting began. Rohan developed my character keeping mind about one of his college friends with whom he used to share a room. So, he described his mannerisms to me so that I can easily relate. The most important thing that mattered for Nitin was his language. It should seem that any random Bihari guy is speaking Hindi.
Expresso: How was your experience working with Birsa Dasgupta?
Namit Das: He is a very nice person and offers a lot of freedom to the actors. His thoughts are quite open and from the first day, we became very good friends. Birsa Dasgupta is a very fast-paced person, especially his thoughts and I have noticed that he does not like wasting time. Once he gets what he wants, he moves on to the next scene. This is something in which I loved about him. Sometimes, I used to come up with suggestions and he used to incorporate them in the film. So, all in all, it was a give-and-take policy, and nowadays we often talk over the phone.
Expresso: What is the thing that connects you with Bengal?
Namit Das: Food is the thing that I feel connects me with Bengal. I loved everything about Bengal and especially the Bengal cuisine. Every day I used to have fish and one preparation that is made with mustard is amazing. I am a fan of every beautiful thing of Bengal.
Expresso: Since the entire film has been shot in Bengal so what is your best memory of shooting?
Namit Das: North Bengal itself is a beautiful memory for me. For me, Bengal is very special as I have never been to that place. Bengal is the only state which has mountains on the north side and sea on the south. I still remember once we finished with shoot late-night around 3.30 am, and it was raining during then. While we were returning I saw a group of elephants enjoying the rain. The view was amazing and beautiful and I want to carry that memory with myself forever.
Expresso: You belong from a musical background family and you are a trained singer so have you ever thought about giving the music a chance apart from acting?
Namit Das: Yes, I do have my band. We have many quarantine covers for this period. I have always kept practising my music along with acting. But, the only thing is people know me through my acting and I feel it is okay. Music is something that I do for myself.
Expresso: Recently you worked with Sushmita Sen, Ram Madhvani, and Chandrachur Singh so how was your experience?
Namit Das: I had a great experience working with Sushmita Sen as she is an amazing and talented actress. She is a very kind and good-hearted person. When it comes to Ram Madhvani, he is an outstanding director I feel as he belongs from an advertising background, and he quite successful. Aarya has become quite successful, and I am really lucky to be a part of such a successful webs series. The comeback of Chandrachur Singh is yet another striking thing for the industry. He is the gem of a person, talks politely and I feel lucky that I got a chance to work with them.
Expresso: You have worked on various projects so what is your favourite character from them?
Namit Das: Out of all the characters I have played, Sumit Walia in Sumit Sambhal Lega on Starplus is one of my favorite characters, which I have portrayed.
Expresso: What is your dream role?
Namit Das: I do not have any such dream roles since I do not know what kind of stories I would be getting and what type of role I would have to play. I feel that choosing a dream role is simply restricting yourself and I prefer choosing stories over roles.
Expresso: What is the biggest risk that you have taken in life till now?
Namit Das: It would be marrying no doubt and I feel that this is a very common risk.
Expresso: The promotion of Aarya and Mafia both had to be done digitally so what challenges did you face?
Namit Das: The only difficulty I feel is the lack of connectivity. I feel that connectivity has become quite important. Our phones, laptops, and iPad have become quite significant. There was a time when people did not understand the importance of tripods. I have made investments in such setups so that I can remain connected to my people.
Expresso: How Mafia is different from other web series?
Namit Das: It is quite different. Like Aarya is the story of a family, but Mafia is the story of a group of friends. Then it is the journey of one person start to end, but Mafia focuses on the group of friends and the differences, which took place due to the gruesome past. Aarya consists of a linear graph that had a beginning, middle, and end, but Mafia has a complex graph since both past and present incidents are being merged, which is quite different from Aarya. So, all these things have made Aarya and Mafia different from each other.