In today’s big interview, Mahaakshay talks to ETimes about his “no job” phase, the emotional support he’s received from his superstar father, and why his mother, the actress, stays out of the public eye. She also reveals unheard-of details about her brothers Namashi and Dishani, both of whom are also Bollywood dreamers. Read on…
You have often talked about dealing with the pressures of being the son of Mithun Chakraborty. How supportive was your father?
He has always been supportive. It made it very clear to me that it was my choice to enter this industry. I chose to be an actor. Neither he nor my mother ever forced me into this industry. So the good, the bad and the ugly, I had to go through it myself. I’ve had to take and learn from failures and I’ve had to be humble about success. My father has always been a very important guide in my life and through his actions I learn about him every day.
My father often told me, ‘You know, I will never help you just because you are my son. Being my son doesn’t get you a free ticket to do anything. You have to assert yourself. You have to be worth the audience’s love, time and money. It’s your doing. If you hurt, they won’t like you. If you do good, he will like you. It’s that simple.’ That’s the advice he gave me and I’m very happy that he never helped me in anything. My next film ‘Jogira, Sa Ra Ra’, my Telugu film ‘Rosh’, my other Hindi film which will be released soon – I have them all to my credit. I am very proud of it and this is all thanks to my father’s teachings.
Unlike popular assumptions about star kids getting jobs, you’ve been having a tough time lately when you didn’t have a job at hand.
You see, the thing is, I’m living proof and example of that nepotism does not exist. If it had worked, I would have done every fourth or fifth film out there. But no, it’s not like that. I’m still struggling like everyone else and I’m very proud to say it. When I didn’t get a job it was because I wasn’t selected to audition. There’s nothing wrong with that. As an actor, you have to deal with the fact that you will be rejected and you shouldn’t take it personally. You’re doing your best, aren’t you? I went to every audition, whether it was for television, or for movies, or for web shows, I did them all. But like I said, I got these three projects from those auditions. I am very proud of the work that I have received thanks to me.
I think I should tell all the actors out there who believe that nepotism exists. No, the only thing the film industry family can do is that I can only meet a director if he is free. I can only meet a producer if he is free. And it was only once. That’s all. I can only go and introduce myself. This is the only advantage I have. Otherwise, getting a job, getting a movie, completely depends on fate. So I’m very proud of all the auditions I’ve done. And I keep auditioning because I’m an actor. And that is what is required of me.
Your younger brother Namashi Chakraborti he is also ready to be an actor. Is there any advice you gave him?
Honestly, I couldn’t give Namashi any recommendations because he’s a good actor. In fact, when I saw ‘Bad Boy’, I just told him one thing that the only compliment I can give you is that this is not your first film. It doesn’t feel like your first film at all. When I compared ‘Bad Boy’ to ‘Jimmy’ (Mahaakshay’s debut), I was a rock compared to him. He is such a good actor whether it be comedy, action, romance and emotion. He’s so good. He’s so fluid in all of his forms and the way he’s shaped into this character. I am so proud of him. And like I said, it doesn’t feel like his first film.
Do you have memories of visiting your father’s film sets when you were young?
Well, I’ve visited most of my father’s film sets. I mean, not all of them because he’s done more than 300-400 movies. But every time I went there, it was always a good experience because since my childhood I was exposed to cameras, lights and action. So I’ve always had an idea of how movies are made and the magic that is in them. There are no particular memories but I can definitely tell you that I loved the food on the sets. Whenever Dad was shooting in Chennai or Hyderabad and I were with him we would have gunpowder chutneys. I used to eat it with rice and ghee as I am a big foodie.
Most people in the film industry will agree that Mithun Chakraborty is an institution. What is your biggest learning from him?
The greatest learning from dad is to be a good, noble and honest human being. If you say something, commit to it. Don’t be an asshole. Even today in the industry people say that a check might bounce, but Mithun Da’s word will never change. It’s something I should really learn from and it’s something I’m trying to absorb. I feel like it’s such a hard thing to do. Because in today’s world everyone keeps making false promises. And here is a man who actually means what he says. I think that’s the only thing I really want to learn from him. And I think I’m kind of there.
Your mother Yogeeta Bali was also a celebrated actress in her time. However, she now rarely makes public appearances.
My mother is a complete pet bird. She just loves us: her husband, her four children, her daughter-in-law and her pets. Our dogs are our four-legged brothers and sisters. She really loves to stay at home. There are times when we all have to ask her to take her out to lunch. She rarely agrees. Mom is like that. And, of course, Mom decided that she wanted to be a mother and family woman. She gave up all the limelight when she got married. She’s pretty relaxed about it. She loves her space of her own. And I think she suits her. She also thinks that she suits her. But I believe somewhere in my heart that one day I really want to share screen space with her. You never know. Maybe it could come true.
Your sister Dishani is quite popular on social media. Do you plan to venture into films as well?
Yes, my sister Dishi is definitely planning to enter cinema. Right now she lives in Los Angeles. She wants to establish her base over there and then she wants to find work over there. I feel it is a very good decision. He knows exactly what he wants and he’s doing it full throttle. I just visited my younger brother Remo who also lives in Los Angeles. I have been with them in April. And it was really great to spend time with them.
We all know Mithun Chakraborty as an actor. How is he as a father at home with his wife and children?
Whenever he is home, he waters his plants or tends to how the plants are forming. Dad also loves to cook. He will always cook lunch or dinner, no matter how cold, no matter how hot. He just loves to cook. He loves to cook for us. He always keeps asking us what we want to eat. He always has ideas to try some new dishes. So that’s how dad is at home. He is very quiet and loves his plants and food.
How would you describe a typical day at the Chakraborty house when you are all together and have the day off?
A typical day at home has Mum with the dogs and Dad in the kitchen cooking. I can be found in my gaming room because I love playing my games. This is what I do. When the wifey (actress Madalsa Sharma) is at home, then we maybe watch a horror movie or a web show. Let’s watch these funny youtube videos and horror videos. And when Namashi is at home too, he will either be in Soho, where she is a member, or her friends will come and we will all have a nice meeting. That’s all. My younger brother Remo and sister Dishi live in Los Angeles so we definitely miss them, especially on occasions like Diwali and Holi, but otherwise that’s how the day goes at Chakraborty house.
What can fans expect from you this year?
I am very excited about my next film, ‘Jogira Sa Ra Ra’. It will be out on May 12th. Then my Telugu film will be released. I really hope people see my work and like it. There is more work to come as there is so much energy I have that I want to show in my performances. It will happen soon. I’m really excited about this.