In today’s Big Interview, Mahaakshay speaks to ETimes about his phase of ‘no work’, emotional support he has received from his superstar father and why his actress mother keeps herself out of public view. He also reveals unheard of details about his siblings, Namashi and Dishani, both of who have Bollywood dreams, too. Read on…
You have often talked about facing the pressures of being Mithun Chakraborty’s son. How supportive has your father been to you?
He has always been supportive. He has made it very clear to me that coming to this industry has been my choice. I chose to be an actor. Neither he, nor my mother ever forced me to get into this industry. So the good and the bad and the ugly, I have had to face it myself. I have had to take and learn from the failures and I have had to be humble about the success. My father has always been a very important guide in my life and through his actions, I learn every day.
My father has often told me, ‘You know, I will never help you just because you’re my son. Being my son doesn’t give you a free ticket to do anything. You have to make yourself worth it. You have to be worth the audience’s love, time and money. That is your own doing. You do bad, they’re not going to like you. You do good, they’re going to like you. It’s as simple as that.’ That’s the advice he has given me and I am very happy that he has never helped me in anything. My upcoming film, ‘Jogira, Sa Ra Ra’, my Telugu film ‘Rosh’, my other Hindi film which is coming out soon – I have got all of them by my own merit. I am very proud of that and that’s all because of my father’s teachings.
Unlike the popular assumptions about star kids getting work, you recently struggled through a rough patch where you had no work at hand.
See, the thing is, I am the living proof and example that nepotism doesn’t exist. If it worked, I would have been doing every fourth or fifth film out there. But no, that’s not the case. I am still struggling like anybody else and I’m very proud to say that. When I didn’t get work it was because I didn’t get selected in the auditions. There’s nothing wrong with that. As an actor, you have to face the fact that you will get rejected and you should not take it personally. You are doing your best, right? I have gone to every audition, whether it is for television, whether it’s for films, whether it’s for web shows, I have done all of them. But as I said, I got these three projects because of those auditions. I am very proud of the work I have received because of my own merit.
I think I should tell this to all the actors out there who believe that nepotism exists. No, the only thing that the family from the film industry can do is that I can only go meet a director if he or she is free. I can only go meet a producer if he or she is free. And that was only once. That’s it. I can just go and introduce myself. That’s the only advantage I have. Otherwise, getting work, getting a film, that’s completely up to destiny. So I am very proud of all the auditions I have given. And I am still giving auditions because I am an actor. And that’s what is required of me.
Your younger brother Namashi Chakraborty is also all set to be an actor. Are there any tips that you gave him?
Honestly, I couldn’t give Namashi any tips because he is a fine actor. In fact, when I saw ‘Bad Boy’, I just told him one thing that the only compliment that I can give you is that this is not your first film. It doesn’t look like your first film at all. When I compared ‘Bad Boy’ to ‘Jimmy’ (Mahaakshay’s debut), I was a rock in comparison to him. He is such a fine actor whether it’s the comedy, the action, the romance and the emotion. He’s just so good. He’s so fluid in all of his shapes and the way he’s moulded himself into this character. I am so proud of him. And as I said, it doesn’t look like his first film.
Do you have memories of visiting the sets of your father’s films when you were young?
Well, I have visited most of my dad’s films’ sets. I mean, not all of them because he’s done more than 300-400 films. But whenever I have gone, it has always been a good experience because since childhood I have been exposed to the cameras and the lights and the actions. So I have always had the take on how films are being made and about the magic that goes into them. There are no particular memories but I can definitely tell you that I used to love the food on the sets. Whenever dad used to shoot in Chennai or Hyderabad and I used to be with him, we used to get gunpowder chutney. I used to have that with rice and ghee because I am a very big foodie.
Most film industry people will agree that Mithun Chakraborty is an institution. What is your biggest learning from him?
The biggest learning from dad is to be a good, noble and honest human being. If you say something, commit to it. Don’t be a jerk. Even today in the industry people say that a cheque might bounce but Mithun Da’s word will never change. That’s something I should really learn from and that’s something I am trying to imbibe. I feel that’s such a difficult thing to do. Because in today’s world everybody just keeps giving false promises. And here is a man who actually means what he says. I think that’s the one thing I really want to learn from him. And I think I am kind of there.
Your mother Yogeeta Bali has also been a celebrated actress during her time. However, she rarely makes public appearances now.
My mom is a complete home bird. She just loves us – her husband, her four kids, her daughter-in-law and her pets. Our dogs are our four-legged brothers and sisters. She really loves being at home. There are times when we all have to request her to get her out for lunch. She rarely agrees to it. Mom’s like that. And of course, mom decided that she wanted to be a mother and a family woman. She gave up all the limelight when she got married. She’s pretty chill about it. She loves her space. And I think that suits her. She also thinks it suits her. But I believe somewhere in my heart that I really want to share screen space with her someday. You never know. Maybe it might come true.
Your sister Dishani is quite popular on social media. Does she have plans to venture into films too?
Yes, my sister Dishi definitely has plans to come into films. Right now she’s living in Los Angeles. She wants to make her base over there and then she wants to find work over there. I feel that’s a great decision. She knows exactly what she wants and she’s going ahead with it, full throttle. I just visited my younger brother Remo, who is also living in LA. I was with them in April. And it was really great spending time with them.
We all know Mithun Chakraborty as an actor. How is he as a father at home with his wife and kids?
Whenever he’s at home, he’s either watering his plants or taking care of how the plants are shaping up. Dad also loves cooking. He will always cook lunch or dinner, no matter how cold it is, no matter how hot it is. He just loves cooking. He loves cooking for us. He always keeps asking us what we want to eat. He always has ideas to try some new dishes. So that is how dad is at home. He is very chill and he loves his plants and food.
How would you describe a typical day at the Chakraborty household when you all are together and have the day off?
A typical day at home features mom with the dogs and dad in the kitchen cooking. I can be found in my gaming room because I love playing my games. That’s what I do. When wifey (actress Madalsa Sharma) is home then we watch maybe a horror movie or a web show. We watch these funny YouTube videos and horror videos. And when Namashi is also at home either he’s going to be at Soho where he’s a member or his friends will come over and we all will have a nice get-together. That’s that. My younger brother Remo and my sister Dishi live in LA so we definitely miss them, especially on occasions like Diwali and Holi but otherwise this is how a day goes in the Chakraborty house.
What can the fans expect from you this year?
I am very excited about my upcoming film, ‘Jogira Sa Ra Ra’. It’s going to come out on May 12. Then my Telugu film is coming out. I really hope that people see my work and appreciate it. There is more work to come because there is so much energy that I have which I want to showcase in my performances. That’s going to happen soon. I am really stoked about that.