After playing comic roles in over 30 films, Harihara Mohapatra is the protagonist in his latest film ‘Rumku Jhumana’ that released last week. A postgraduate degree holder in drama from Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, shares his experience here.
From a master in comedy to a serious role in ‘Rumku Jhumana’, how has the journey been?
It has been full of ups and downs but definitely very fulfilling. I made a foray into films in 1997-98 with a comic role in Sata Michha and have acted in more than 30 films.
Since comedy is your forte, didn’t you face any difficulty while playing a serious role in ‘Rumku Jhumana’?
Of course, it was challenging. I feel an actor should be versatile and should try to play all kinds of roles. When I wrote the story, screenplay and dialogue for the film, I thought I could do justice to the role. I had to work hard on the character. In every shot, I had to be very careful about my expression and movements.
How was the response of the audience to your new avatar? Will you continue doing serious roles?
I am overwhelmed by the response of people. I never imagined that I will get so much appreciation for the role. People loved the film and the characters. They are happy that a person who has been making them laugh for years could make them cry. Yes, I’ll do serious roles in future, provided they are powerful and important.
What is the reason behind the copy-paste trend in Odia cinema?
People don’t want to work hard. Remaking a south Indian film is hundred times easier than creating an original Odia film. Rumku Jhumana has proved that people still like to watch original stories. We blame the audience without giving them a choice. We work in remakes for livelihood compulsions, but all actors love to work in original scripts, not remakes.