PeepingMoon Exclusive: Abhishek Banerjee reacts to Bhediya underperforming at box office, says 'the film is surviving despite Avatar 2's release & that's a big thing'

Abhishek Banerjee was undoubtedly the man of the year. At a time when superstars struggled to sail their films through a stormy box office, the casting director-turned-actor played an important role in bringing people to theatres with Bhediya. Not just that, he entertained his audience with Nazar Andaaz and The Great Weddings of Munnes on OTT. As the year comes to an end, Abhishek is gearing up for a spectacular 2023. 

In an exclusive interview with, Abhishek spoke about how 2022 was a lucky year for him. He further opened up about the upcoming second season of TVF's Pitchers in which he plays the role of Bhati. Abhishek shed light on how he perceives the box office result of Bhediya

Excerpts from the interview: 

2022 has been a great year with Bhediya, Nazar Andaaz, The Great Weddings Of Munnes and Pitchers 2 in your kitty. How do you look at this year?

It has been a lucky year for me and I feel fortunate to be a part of these great projects. It feels good as whatever I shot for previously, released almost simultaneously. Audience who watched me on the big screen in Bhediya, went home to watch Nazar Andaaz on OTT. I was appreciated for my diverse characters. In fact, my parents who are my harshest critics, loved Nazar Andaaz. Ali was my mother's favourite character. Overall, my parents loved my work this year and that's a huge thing for me. My mom went to a theatre after a decade. She started watching films after I became an actor. Post Paatal Lok, I garnered a fanbase among college students and youngsters. Now, with Bhediya and other projects, I am being recognised by children and senior citizens. It feels good. 

You mentioned at the trailer launch of Pitchers 2 that directors and casting directors rejected you a couple of years ago. Ironically, now you are a leading casting director and an actor too. How do you look back at your journey?

Yes, I spoke about being rejected by directors and casting directors because they give you films and a job. Being a casting director myself, I hear actors telling me, "Aapne mujhe reject kar diya, kaam nahi mil raha hai,' etc. I want to tell them that rejection doesn’t mean you cannot make it. I gave multiple auditions, and faced rejection but got the best opportunity at the right time. I had lost hope after 8 years of slogging my ass off every day. When I got Stree, I realised the importance of the audition process. Rejections are just preparing you for the future.

Often actors say the real struggle begins after your first film. Do you agree?

I’ve always been saying this even when I was not into acting. As a casting director, I would tell my clients that it is not about getting their first film. If a person is talented, he or she will get a role but it is all about consistency. It is about how you find work on the basis of talent and that’s the real challenge. The toughest part is the next 10 years of your career, not your first film.

In Pitchers, Bhati is an interesting character and people want more of him. Is there anything specifically around him happening in the near future?

See, Bhati is more integral to the franchise now as his mentorship is important to the Pitchers. People resonate with Bhati. My first audience has been the TVF audience, so it was nostalgic for me. The way he puts things across and explains them to the Pitchers resonated with a lot of people, including me. When it was released 7 years ago, the Pitchers were preparing for their startup, now they are putting in the hard work to keep it floating. The show will majorly talk about their struggle.

Despite positive word of mouth, Bhediya underperformed. Does it bother you?

See, the times are such that nothing can be predicted. For me, it’s a big thing that Bhediya is still surviving in theatres despite big releases like Avatar: The Way Of Water. Our film still has shows running in theatres. This proves that theatre owners and management are aware that people are still going for the film and that’s the need of the hour.

Before the pandemic, there were these 100-crore, and 200-crore clubs. My films- Stree, Dream Girl and Bala were a part of those clubs. That was the market back then. People would flock to theatres because there were no OTT platforms. Now, two mediums are fighting with each other. It is important to bring the audience back to theatres and Bhediya has done that. Atleast, audience theatre nahi aa rahi hai, voh darr toh khatam hua. It is now clear that people want to spend money on your film and watch it in the first, second or third week in theatres. The interest is still there.

Is Bhediya getting a sequel?

I have no idea because these are decisions taken by the director and producer behind closed doors. I can only hope for it.