Exclusive Interview – Mithun Mahambrey
“60% of the audience prefer heroic roles whereas 40% negative”
GC: Mithun, your name is identified largely with a very popular Bollywood star of the 80s; tell us about yourself and the story behind your name.
MM: My dad is from Goa and my mom from Karnataka. My mom and my uncle (mother’s brother) who is a doctor as well as an actor in Karnataka liked the hero of the 80’s Mithun Chakravarthy.
My uncle was his great fan as he would mimic the Bollywood star in orchestras and dance to the tune of the famous bollywood song ‘Disco Dancer’. When I was born in 1983, the first name that came to their mind to name the newborn son of Mahambrey was undoubtedly Mithun Mahambrey. Most of my family names are shared with famous celebrities of yester years.
GC: Was Acting and films always a dream you wanted to pursue or did it just happen accidentally? When did you realize you were cut out for the big screen?
MM: Yes it was a dream since I was 10 years old. I also had the passion for football, so I had two options as my dream careers, either to be a great footballer or a famous artist. Though I continued playing football for my school, college, village and also at professional level. My football idol was David Beckham but my dream to be like him was shattered due to my knee injury. All said and done, I had the other option at hand and it gave birth by acting in dramas.
The realisation that I was made for the big screen came from my dear friend Vernon Lopez when he watched my drama VCD ‘Tum Khuim Asa’ and told me to try my luck in Mumbai but due to my family commitments I could not think of taking this big step but thought that I would try giving my best to my mother tongue, Konkani film industry.
GC: Where were you discovered and how did you get your first break in Mariola?
MM: Famous artist and director of Mariola hails from my village Olaulim, Mr. Joe Rose. He had mentioned to me about his upcoming movie and that he was looking out for young, dedicated male artists. I thought an opportunity knocked at my door to make my dream come true and requested Mr. Joe Rose to offer me a small role in his upcoming movie ‘Mariola’.
GC: What was your first acting experience like, facing the camera and the lights? Did you have any apprehensions?
MM: I really enjoyed myself and did justice to the given role without any fear as I had the experience of acting on stage facing thousands of people live.
GC: What is the one thing you have learnt from your first film Mariola? How successful was the film and how did it help your career?
MM: The one this is that it calls for a lot of hard work, patience, dedication.
Mariola- It was a big break for me to be recognised for my acting skills and my dedication towards my work.
Mariola was selected for South Asia Film Festival as Goa’s first Konkani HD feature film. It also made it to the 2013, 44th IFFI in Goa.
GC: Do you have any particular celebrity crush?
MM: Yes very much, the stunning and simple looks of bollywood actress ‘Shraddha Kapoor’.
GC: What kind of activities do you take on for fitness, art, passion and fun?
MM: Fishing is my passion which stables my body and mind. Trying my hands on new recipes with different and innovative cooking styles keeps me going. As for art… my creativity brings out the best in me and about fitness,,,, it’s a secret not to be let out.
GC: What would you have aspired to be if you were not an actor?
MM: As told earlier it was my dream to ‘BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM’.
GC: What would be the one dream role you would like to play, if given an opportunity?
MM: I don’t dream for any roles but I do ask my character to be played and if it suits my personality I accept it whole heartedly.
GC: Who amongst the youngest lot of Directors do you most wish to work with and why?
MM: Patson Barbosa, Milroy Goes and Bushka D’Souza. They are passionate about their work with a lot of discipline and respect for time.
GC: Could you tell us about your upcoming films, in Konkani and Hindi?
MM: I have not yet ventured into the bollywood arena but have an upcoming Konkani movie ‘Claudia Mogachea’ directed by Mr. Conroy D’Silva to be released soon.
GC: ‘Adeus Moga’ was the first of its kind horror genre film in Konkani, tell us about how it happened and what excited you the most about your role?
MM: ‘Adeus Moga’ is a Konkani thriller. When director Bushka D’Souza approached and briefed me about the movie and my role I was thrilled myself and extremely excited about the movie as it was a movie with a different touch.
GC: How was your bond with your co-star Bushka D’Souza through the film, she is a phenomenal performer on stage and screen, were you intimidated at any point of time by her strong screen presence?
MM: I have known Bushka for a long time and it was a pleasure working with a senior most talented artist like her. She was a cooperative co-star who never made me feel like a newcomer but always supported me throughout the movie.
GC: “Adeus Moga” was also Bushka’s maiden venture in Production and Direction, along with Milroy Goes, how was the experience?
MM: My experience was totally different as compared to the other movies that I have acted, as the entire team of Adeus Moga was co operative, friendly and had the zest to show something different and innovative to their viewers. It did not feel as if Bushka or Milroy were new in Production or Direction. They were at their best.
GC: Would you like to share your experience of shooting those films, the actors you interacted closely with and learnt from a lot from?
MM: Yes learning was continuous- firstly an actor should have a lot of patience, which I had and secondly, hard work and dedication goes hand in hand with an actor at every step.
GC: Who has been your favourite co-star/s till date with whom you shared a good bond?
MM: My all time favourite co-star on Konkani stage was Prince Jacob and Annie Quadros and in Konkani films its Bushka D’Souza and Shruti Naik.
GC: How do you see your career graph going with Konkani films? Do you see Konkani cinema evolving today and do you think our Industry is as promising as it used to be in the golden years?
MM: My career with Konkani films is still at inception stage and I feel there is a lot of scope for me to grow.
I see a lot of changes with the advancement of technology, with bright ideas from new directors, meeting the demands of the viewers especially of the younger generation.
GC: What are the drawback and the bottlenecks faced by today’s film makers to take our Cinema to bring back the glory and keep pace with the quality films of the golden era?
MM: As mentioned earlier, for a film to be a hit movie, a director has to showcase new ideas with a twist of the golden era that involves a lot of expenditure and hard work.
GC: What do you think a main lead should be up for when it comes to roles beyond just being a ‘Hero’, would you challenge yourself with negative main lead roles if a script comes your way?
MM: Yes, I would love to because for me acting is a passion and to prove my versatility as an actor, any promising or challenging role in a film would do the magic.
GC: Do you think negative roles are more appealing to the audience today than the ‘heroic’ ones?
MM: Not necessary, 60% of the audience prefer heroic roles whereas 40% negative. It entirely depends on the movie how the roles are portrayed and it also depends on the person playing the role.
GC: How was your transition from Stage to films? Do you miss the Tiatr scene?
MM: There was no transition as my acting journey started with movies as well as Tiatr at the same time. I do not miss Tiatr as I have not left the Tiatr stage.
GC: How would you rate yourself as an actor, on a scale of 1-10?
MM: 7 on 10
GC: What kind of film subjects, do you think, Goan film makers should lay emphasis on?
MM: A movie should have a strong message that can mould the minds of the younger generation. It should also create an awareness among people about the evils in society.
GC: Who, in your opinion, is the most promising of the lot amongst today’s Goan Actors, Male and Female? Name one each, if not more.
MM: Bushka D’Souza, Elvis Mascarenhas and Willie Silveira.