As Rishabh Malhotra in Swabhimaan (1998), he rose to fame at a time when few actors were eager to experiment with television. Rohit Bose Roy is still adding numerous firsts to his career more than 25 years later. With Sam Bhattacharjee's techno-thriller IRaH, he will soon make his debut on a global stage. He explains, "It's a British production that was last year's London and surrounding areas. The focus of IRaH is artificial intelligence (AI). I'm happy that I was given the lead role in an international movie because actors like me don't often get to play the main characters in Indian movies. I asked the producers again when they approached me if they wanted me to play the lead role (laughs!). They came to me after seeing my work, which made me very happy.
If you inquire about his position, he will respond, "I can't divulge too much. I have a different appearance because I am the AI's creator. Even though I had to use very few prosthetics, getting ready would take me about three hours.
Rohit believes that even streaming platforms are now engaging in the practice of chasing stars, despite the fact that many actors have thanked OTT for giving their otherwise dormant careers new life. "Of course, the content is becoming more diverse with the introduction of OTT," he says. In India, however, we still don't cast based on the characters; instead, the emphasis is on signing up well-known actors. A character will be created with a specific actor in mind if the writers are eager to work with him or her.
It's interesting to note that he claims that despite having spent 25 years acting, he now feels more at ease directing. As an actor, I might be questioned, but never as a director. I am aware of my value as a filmmaker. I've been a good actor, but I've never considered myself to be a great actor. There are only so many things I can accomplish, he admits, adding, "Of course, the actor in me contributes subtleties and layers to characters when I write and direct, but the director in me takes precedence over everything else."
What about his TV acting career, the last of which was Sanjivani, which ended in March 2020? I'd love to work in television because I grew up watching it. I have therefore never actually given up on it. The goal, however, is to start a show that I can be proud of. Television requires a long-term commitment, and right now, unless the role is really challenging, I don't want to commit that much time to it.
Rohit goes on to say that he is concerned about managing a TV show in the current climate. "I really want to work with a channel that will let me do what I want, but it doesn't seem like that will be possible anytime soon. I believe we are moving backward after watching the television shows of today. The situation cannot be changed by one person, one channel, or one Production Company. People must undergo a paradigm shift before they begin to take Indian television seriously. ki chhote shehron mein log yahi dekhte hain, so I've been told. Because we no longer cater to people in big cities, they no longer watch TV. I do realize that there cannot be commerce without art. However, TV could perform a little better if it offered a better balance of creativity and business.