Humayun Faridee’s last Interview

Shah Alam Shazu – the cultural reporter of Bangla fortnightly Anandadhara and regular contributor of The Daily Star took an exclusive interview of the versatile actor Humayun Faridee, who died at his home in the city today. This interview was published on 20 September 2011 at The Daily Star. This was the last interview given to the media by this thespian. The Bangladesh Chronicle is reproducing the interview for our readers.

Humayun Faridee is the embodiment of all that the word “actor” holds. He has proven his mettle on stage, television and the silver screen. Recently the star had a tête-à-tête with The Daily Star.

The Daily Star (TDS): Tell us about your recent works.
Faridee: Both acting and directing are keeping me busy these days. I'm directing the serial “Tokhon Boshonto” (on Boishakhi TV), as well as playing in the role of an entrepreneur. Other serials directed by me include “Bharabari Barabari” and “Chhayabithi”, along with some single-episode TV plays.

TDS: What is the storyline of “Tokhon Boshonto”?
Faridee: It's about urban life, focusing on two families sharing the same roof. It can be defined as a social or family drama.

TDS: You have had a long acting career. Are you satisfied with your achievements?
Faridee: Satisfaction is a relative concept. An artiste is rarely satisfied, but I find happiness in my work. Meanwhile when I look at my own performances, my errors become clear to me — prompting me to think that maybe I should have done it differently. Some works give me 10 percent dissatisfaction, while others give me 50 percent.

Humayun Faridee

TDS: Do you have a dream role?
Faridee: The greatest tragedy for an actor is that he cannot perform all his favourite characters in a lifetime. My favourite characters are Shakespeare's King Lear and Hamlet. But I reckon I probably will never get to play these roles. I also wanted to portray the role of Kumud, from a story by Manik Bandopadhyay. There are many characters created by Rabindranath whom I love, but I'm afraid to play them.

TDS: If a veteran thespian like you is afraid to play certain characters, are the contemporary artistes who are playing these roles, doing justice to them?
Faridee: It is tough to bring the works of Rabindranath to the stage or screen. The ambiance and costumes are expensive to produce for television, while maintaining that specific diction is also hard.

TDS: Are the difficulties financial or intellectual?
Faridee: Both.

TDS: What are your expectations from movies?
Faridee: Film is a media that completely relies on directors. My opinions don't count that much here. I'm only a fragment of a large scene, following what the director tells me.

TDS: Many of your contemporaries are venturing into fields outside acting. Why not you?
Faridee: I can't do anything other than acting.

TDS: Is that really true?
Faridee: Yes it is. I tried my hand at business. But I do not understand finance. That is why business or traditional jobs are not for me.

TDS: You also produced a movie.
Faridee: Three of us produced the movie “Palabi Kothaye”, which was directed by Shahidul Islam Khokon. The film was not a hit at the box office.

TDS: Any future plan to produce films?
Faridee: I don't have a deep pocket to produce a film.

TDS: Whom do you blame for the slump in the movie industry?
Faridee: Everyone is to blame. Starting from artistes, the producers, directors, distributors and audience — all share the blame.

TDS: How do you view the latest trend of TV channel's producing films?
Faridee: Flip sides of the coin are present in this trend. First of all the positive side includes the making of decent movies. But it is impossible to put up a good movie with a small budget of only Tk 40-50 lakh .You need at least Tk 90 lakh to produce a good movie in this country. As a result, the quality drops. Audiences meanwhile are being drawn more to their TV sets than cinema halls. However, wholesome movies that have no vulgar elements are being made.

TDS: Haste is also being noticed in the making of TV plays nowadays.
Faridee: Earlier people used to watch only BTV, where great serials like “Shokal-Shondha”, “Oyomoy” and “Shongshoptok” were aired. Now with the arrival of more channels, people find it hard to select which play/serial to watch. The flood of commercials is also a headache, which drives viewers away from a channel during breaks. They do not return to the play/serial, losing all interest. Overall, artistes are being denied the path to massive fame, which we enjoyed. The standard of plays has also fallen. There were only a handful of newspapers in our time, and with greater publicity and exposure the new actors should have been bigger stars.

TDS: Any actor who influenced or inspired you?
Faridee: I learned several things from performances of great actors like Kamal Hassan and Amitabh Bachchan. Dilip Kumar is my idol. I was lucky enough to meet him twice — once at his Mumbai residence and once at Dhaka Sheraton.

TDS: You are a good writer. Why don't you write more often?
Faridee: Due to my procrastination.

TDS: Do you miss anything from the 1980s?
Faridee: The theatre.

TDS: What are the reasons behind you not returning to the stage?
Faridee: I don't have the strength to do theatre anymore. Even if I try, I won't be able to give my 100 percent.

TDS: Why have you been absent from BTV-produced dramas?
Faridee: Public servants lose their creativity. There may be some exceptions though. In the past, there was creativity. In our times we used to rehearse five days a week.

TDS: What is the difference between Faridee in “Dohon” and Faridee in commercial movies?
Faridee: The difference is huge. I turned my performances in commercial films into products.

TDS: Any comment on the recent directors?
Faridee: Many are proving their worth. After working in Ashraful Islam Ripon's “Mrittubaan”, I understood his brilliance. Another great director is Amitabh Reza, who directed “Sporsher Baire” in which I acted with Suborna. I should also mention Giasuddin Selim and Animesh Aich.

TDS: Do you remember the works you did with Dhaka Theatre?
Faridee: Of course. I played Shorpo Raj Tokkhok in the drama “Shokuntola”. Then I did “Fonimonsha”. Other works with Dhaka Theatre include “Kittonkhola”, “Keramat Mongol”, “Shongbad Cartoon”, “Muntasir Fantasy”. With Goethe Institute, I did “Dhurto Uee”, which was my final stage performance. I also did a street play, “Bashon”.

TDS: Which was your favourite role on stage?
Faridee: I loved the Chhayaranjan character in “Kittonkhola”. I also liked the role of Keramot.

TDS: Favourite TV roles?
Faridee: There are many. Sheraj Talukdar in “Bhangoner Shobdo Shuni” is one of my favourites. I had a dialogue in the play “Ami toh jomi kini nah, fani kini” that later became a favourite among the audience. I also liked Ramzan from “Shongshoptok”. Other characters that I like include Gojendro of “Abar Gronthikgon Kohe” and the lawyer from “Kothao Keu Nei”.

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One Response to Humayun Faridee’s last Interview

  1. We are deeply shocked

    Humayun Faridee, is no longer with us, really it is unbelievable. But when we think man is mortal; naturally we have control our passions. Faridee a legendary actor entertained us for last more than two decades. His specialty in tune of acting in stages, TV movies, Cinema, all and every where he was the king of unparallel icon. A fallen of star, the replacement of such powerful actor can never determined with any thing. The nation has lost such actor for whom we shall feel Faridee for ever.

    At the moment we extend our deepest sympathy and sincerest condolence to the bereaved members of his family. No comfort is quite enough to replace this unbearable loss. I hope the family members of Humayun Faridee would be able to bear this shock with fortitude.

    We pray to the Almighty Allah, the MOST merciful to grant him eternal peace and salvation of the departed soul and to give the members of his family the strength to withstand the irreparable loss with courage.

    Nazir Uddin Ahmed
    Intraco Group
    Dhaka
    Commercial@intracogroup.com
    Tel: 9881887, Fax: 8819921