Saswata Chatterjee: The Sidekick Who Stole the Show

Team FC

He has more than 100 acting credits on IMDb, but Saswata Chatterjee might forever be remembered by Hindi audiences as Bob Biswas, the mild-mannered contract killer from Kahaani (2012).

In the recently released The Night Manager, Anil Kapoor plays the central antagonist – the deadly arms dealer, Shelly Rungta – but it is Chatterjee’s Brijpal, or BJ, who steals the show as the menacing adversary. As Shelly’s right-hand man, BJ is ruthless, shrewd, cautious and delightfully acidic.

Chatterjee says he watched just one scene — to absorb the mood. “I’m a very instinctive actor,” he said — from the original The Night Manager in which Tom Hollander plays Chatterjee’s role.  “I didn't want to follow or copy anything. I didn't want to be influenced by any other actor for this role,”

The actor wanted to avoid playing the usual stereotypes that surround fictional gay men in Hindi cinema and wanted to make BJ “a gay character without underlining anything”

BJ’s queerness is what drew Chatterjee to the role. “For the first time, I played a gay character, and it is a very important character of the series,” he said. “When I first met Anil Kapoor sir, he told me, ‘You have got the best role in the whole series’.” Kapoor was right.