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Interview: Yash Rohan’s complicated choice on Valentine’s Day

  • Published at 02:55 pm February 12th, 2020

Directed by Nurul Alam Atiq and co-starring Orchita Sporshia, ‘Donor’ follows Adnan (Yash) as he must sacrifice his lover to save his father. In a candid interview with Dhaka Tribune Showtime’s Sadia Khalid, Yash talks about ‘Donor,’ acting, directing and his Valentine’s Day plans

We saw him as a romantic hero on the silver screen in Giasuddin Selim’s ‘Swapnojaal’ opposite Porimoni and in Arun Chowdhury’s ‘Mayaboti’ with Nusrat Imrose Tisha. This Valentine’s Day, Yash Rohan is starring in an episode (‘Donor’) in the second season of ‘Panch Phoron.’ Two out of the five episodes of this Hoichoi series was produced in Bangladesh. 

Directed by Nurul Alam Atiq and co-starring Orchita Sporshia, ‘Donor’ follows Adnan (Yash) as he must sacrifice his lover to save his father. In a candid interview with Dhaka Tribune Showtime’s Sadia Khalid, Yash talks about ‘Donor,’ acting, directing and his Valentine’s Day plans

You star in one of the episodes of the five part web series ‘Panch Phoron.’ Can you tell us a bit about the story?

You can sense from the title “Donor” that it has to do with donating something. I don’t want to reveal too much.

We already know it’s a kidney.

Ok fine. It’s a story about donating kidneys. I think the interesting part about this particular project is that it’s for Valentine’s Day and it’s really not only about love between a girl and a boy. It can be love between a father and a son, or a mother and a son- I think that’s the most important part of the story. 

We were given a little synopsis from Hoichoi. We know that in the end you have to choose between your father and your lover. How difficult is that choice? 

It depends on the person. Some people choose the girl, some people choose the father. I have actually seen people choosing their girlfriends over their family. But I’m not like that. I’d always choose my family over anyone. It’s a difficult choice definitely. 

I remember one of my girlfriends once told me to choose between family and her and I said: “Go to hell.”

Can you tell us a bit about the character you play?

He is someone who really wants to help his father, who really, really wants to be there for his family, and also doesn’t want to let go of the other things in life, like the love he has for this girl… Although it might sound like a difficult choice, I think this character always knew where his priority lies. But it wasn’t easy for him to follow through it. 

A person of principles.

Maybe. Yeah.

This was directed by Nurul Alam Atiq. He has been kind of dormant for the last six or seven years. How was it working with him after his long hiatus?

I absolutely love working with him. I previously worked with him in “Manusher Bagan” (now in post-production). This is my second work with him. His directing style- the way he approaches a particular scene, blocks the scene, briefs an actor- he would just come to you, tell you something and suddenly everything is clear. You’ll know what to do, and even if you don’t, he’ll be like- it’s ok, no worries, we’ll get to that. 

I think that really helps. I’m not a very experienced actor myself. Working with someone who understands the level of performance a person can put up and knowing how to tinker with it is very rewarding. 

You just said Atiq bhai knows how to “block his scenes.” That’s directorial lingo. You’ve directed once in “The Red Note.”

That was an indie style short film. I made it with my friends. It follows the journey of a 10 taka note, which is red. It travels from people to people. Someone receives that (10 taka)note in a market, we see the story of that man. Then he buys something with that note, and we see the story of the person who possesses that note at that point. It circles around four different persons before it comes back to the first person. 

Did you send it to festivals or screen it somewhere else?

We did some inter university festivals. We were second year students back then at Brac University.

So, you have any more directorial ambitions?

 I do. I used to say it before that I accidentally became an actor. My first intention was to become a director. I stumbled onto this profession and started loving it, unconsciously moving directorial ambitions aside. But it will happen someday. Right now I’m completely focused on acting. 

I’m acting in two web series at the moment. I don’t do too much work (at a time). When I do, I prepare myself. I don’t think I like the works I did without preparation. I take time preparing for the characters I’m playing. I’m also working a lot on myself to become a better actor. So, let’s see.

You’re a relatively new actor and seasoned actors Tareq Anam and Fazlur Rahman Babu were your co-stars here. Was it ever intimidating for you?

No. I’ve worked with them before. I think it was intimidating the first time. This time I had the mindset to learn something from them. I kept asking them questions about how should I do this and that… I always tried to take away as much as I can from these experienced actors. It helped me. I feel very privileged to get to work with actors like them. 

We’ve seen you on the big screen in “Swapnojaal” and “Mayaboti.” What was your take away from your big screen debut?

I think my biggest take away from that film is: “I could’ve done better.” I could’ve done much, much better. I watched “Swapnojaal” only once, at the premiere show. I saw bits and parts of it during dubbing. And I didn’t want to see it again, because I hated my performance. I guess I over criticize myself. It’s not like people did not appreciate my performance. I really appreciate how well people took it and I’m really grateful for that. 

Anything else we’ll see you in on February 14?

Not really. My third film is coming up – “Poran.” It was supposed to be released this Valentine’s Day. But due to some difficulties and promotional purposes, we’ll be postponing it. So, let’s see.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

I think I have a date. 

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