Veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty says there was a time when he would shoot multiple films simultaneously but today he reserves his craft only for parts that truly shake him up as an artiste. Chakraborty, who had made his debut with the 1976 Mrinal Sen directorial "Mrigayaa", dominated the 80s Hindi film industry with blockbusters like "Disco Dancer", "Dance Dance", "Pyar Jhukta Nahin", "Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki" and "Commando" among others.
The 71-year-old actor is now gearing up for his digital debut with the Prime Video psychological thriller series "Bestseller", which features him as Lokesh Pramanik, assistant commissioner of police.
During a virtual event to launch the show's trailer, Chakraborty said he has become picky about the projects he stars in today. "I am more than 370 films old now. There was a time when I would do four shifts a day (of different films), where the dialogues and scenes would almost be the same because fans only wanted to see that- dance, fights and whistle-worthy dialogues. Today, I only do those roles which tickle or pinch me, otherwise I don't. This role in 'Bestseller' pinched me, so I said I will do it," the actor told reporters.
In the 90s, the actor saw the release of nearly 100 films and also featured in several Bengali films, which continued even in the 2000s as he balanced his work in both the industries.
His popular films of the last decade include "Golmaal 3", "Housefull 2" and "OMG – Oh My God!".
The actor, who was fondly dubbed as the 'Dancing Star' for headlining in several hit action-musicals, said he cannot choose his favorite genre or film, as he worked sincerely in all his projects, including those he himself is unable to watch today.
"People who lose are never known, a flop film, no matter how good you have worked in it for, won't matter. So I can't pick any one name. I have done more than 370 films, out of which I can't watch 200 films. Then there are some 150 films which did golden juliee, diamond jubilee and ran for two years. But even in those 200 films, I worked with utmost sincerity and did my best," he added.
Backed by filmmaker Siddharth Malhotra’s Alchemy Production LLP and directed by Mukul Abhyankar, "Bestseller" also stars Shruti Haasan, Arjan Bajwa, Gauahar Khan, Satyajeet Dubey and Sonalee Kulkarni.
At the event, Chakraborty said he is only concerned about performing as per the instructions of his directors and quipped he was surprised to learn he will make his "debut" after being in the industry for over 40 years.
"I am an actor, I have to perform. Whether it is for a film or digital (platform). I am a director's actor, I follow what I am told. I get into my character and do my best, good or bad. So I don't really understand this digital platform or anything else.
"When I heard it is my debut, I could not understand how I am debuting after so many years! But it is exciting. The experience has been great, grand. I enjoyed each and every moment of it," he added.
The series, written by Althea Kushal and Anvita Dutt, is inspired by Ravi Subramanian's novel "The Bestseller She Wrote".
Malhotra said he was initially looking at it as a film and had even written a script, only to realise the material is better as a series.
"It is a psychological thriller and you can play with the characters in a series format... The writing has shaped it to the point that nobody could say no. The stars of the show are the writers," he added.
"Bestseller" will premiere on Prime Video on February 18.