3 Reasons why Roles in a Role are An Actor's Bliss
Multi-role Player Chandramukhi Chautala of F.I.R.
There are few fortunate actors who get an opportunity to play a role which requires them to play many "roles in the role". It could be a spy having to live multiple lifes like Micheal Weston played by Jeffery Donovan in Burn Notice. Or it could be Chandramukhi Chautala, played by Kavita Kaushik in Indian Comedy T.V. Show F.I.R. Chandramukhi is a cop - a highly capable, brave cop and nothing seems to be impossible for her.
Kavita Kaushik is playing Chandramukhi, but Chandramukhi is playing many roles in the series - she portrays different roles with diverse characteristics for solving the bizarre cases that land up on her plate.
Why is such a role such a tremendous opportunity for an actor?
Roles in a Role
1. Monotone? You must be kidding!
There is this famous saying about habits. First we define them and then they define us. Ironically, sometimes it happens with actors (like all other artists). The character they create on screen might be an illusion - they portray the character nicely enough so it starts seeming to be real, but after some time, the portrayed popular character (the actor's creation) might become the identity of the actor.
While it's a compliment for the actor, it's also frustrating at times. It might not be the case for movie stars, (who get to play a different character with each movie - well that's not true for sequels, so this might apply to actors of a sequel too) playing the same character for a very long time - across different seasons may become monotonous.
But not for roles like Mike Weston. He is supposed to be trained at deception. As a part of his job, he has to play the role convincingly enough so that others are convinced of him not being Mike Weston, but an entirely different personality. Now Donovan gets a chance to use mimicry, accents etc. to portray this different personality.
And Chandramukhi, saves Kavita Kaushik from dying by boredom with the same uniform every season, by offering a Bengali Saree, or a Bar Dancer's Jazzy Outfit along with the opportunity of playing a completely different character.
2. Excellent Challenges Involved
Off course the challenges involved are excellent. When an actor tries to be versatile, s/he gets support of versatile scripts/teams, thus different setups, locations, costumes, co-actors etc. But it's much more difficult to play someone else in the same show, just by altering yourselves. Mike Weston generally does not uses disguises, which makes it even more intriguing.
Chandramukhi on the other hand, uses disguises, but still she has a lot to add in form of accent, expressions and off course - the punchline "Takiyakalams" - F.I.R.'s team of writers speciallize in those. "Takiyakalams" are expressions which someone repeatedly uses in speech. Each episode is full of new funny "Takiyakalams" which sometimes are meaningful satires, make the show hilarious.
3. Already Hooked Audience
Acting, like any other form of art, is like a circle which is completed by creation, presentation and off course acceptance and admiration of the audience. Now, ironically for actors, many tough to play characters remain overlooked because of various reasons - audience can't correlate to a role, there exists a stronger or more likeable character in the same setup which overshadows a challenging role etc. - reasons which actors might not have any control over. For any artist, his/her hard-work/smart-work not being appreciated is obviously heart breaking.
But when an actor is playing roles in a role, it's not the actor but the character which is playing those roles. And if it's a character which already is popular amongst the audience, that means that each role has an already hooked audience.
They want to see how nicely Mike Weston plays this funny looking fellow. They are bound to appreciate their strong hero when he successfully portrays a weak, drunk, divorcee or any other character who is extremely different from Mike.
They enjoy a completely transformed Chandramukhi - from a tall, magnificent, sexy cop to a Bar dancer with silly Englo-Indian accent, or a Fisher woman with over the board make-up and jewellery dancing on catchy Bollywood Numbers, or even better, a scary witch or spirit who scares away the fake ghosts.
Popularity, Fame in place - Satisfaction guaranteed
So an actor who gets to play roles in role will have it all - not just Fame and Popularity amongst the viewers, not just the materialistic success but also the immense satisfaction of a versatile actor playing challenging and diverse characters. That is why, Roles in a Role is an Actor's Bliss.
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