The cast of The Office, the Indian adaptation of the BBC UK show created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, recently released a ‘work from home’ episode that showed how the staff of the Wilkins-Chawla Paper Company worked during the lockdown.
Actor Sayandeep Sengupta, who plays Amit Sharma in the show, talked about how it initially started as an idea between him and Mukul Chaddha, who plays Jagdeep Chaddha in the same show.
"I was very happy to know that we were doing this. I think the idea was so beautiful because it's such a trying time. Everyone is at home and feeling low. I think it is very important to take care of your mental and physical health at this time. I think the idea behind doing the video was also to bring some of this joy from our end for people to just be like, ‘okay, yeah, it's actually fun. It's not that bad.' You just get to be a part of somebody's happiness in whatever way possible,” said Sengupta.
Sengupta says his life ‘changed’ after the show. "I was in Bombay for about four years before The Office happened. I had assisted directors and was also auditioning for roles. This is my biggest gig, and that too with such a big show. I think it is all the stars, planning it for a long time, and working their magic," he said.
When the Indian adaptation of The Office, was announced, the first reaction from the audience was that of hostility. This isn't new for the legacy of the show. Greg Daniels too faced hinderances by studio executives when he pitched the American version of The Office. The cast and crew feared cancellation till the middle of season 3. However, it went on to run for 9 years, winning multiple awards and creating its own fan base.
Actors Martin Freeman and John Krasinski were launched into stardom by playing the same role as Sayandeep. When asked if he felt any pressure due to this, Sengupta said he had only watched an episode after the casting director asked him to be familiar with the mockumentary format of the show. He also revealed that he wouldn't watch the British or American version of The Office, till he is "done with Amit."
“I wasn't aware of how big the fan following is. And honestly, from where I am coming from, I just really wanted to work. I wanted to create something on screen as an actor for people, and also to see whether I can do it or not," he said.
"This is my first big show and the first big platform where I had an opportunity to do my best and leave no stones unturned. When you are in that space, you wouldn't want to think about pressure, you would just want to read the lines in the best possible way,” Sengupta concluded.
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