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‘People are taking me seriously now’
Parno Mittra

You’ve signed three films after Ranjana Ami Aar Ashbona. Has Ranjana opened doors for you?

Yes, I suppose all this is because of Ranjana. Seriously, I had to wait for long to get a break in films. And even after the Ranjana shoot was over, I sat at home for six months without work! Then Rana Sarkar, who produced Ranjana, offered me Bedroom and then Ekla Akash happened and then Mainak (Bhaumik) offered me a cameo in Maach Mishti ‘N’ More. Touch wood, I’m getting a lot of work after Ranjana. I guess people have liked me in the film.

So, all the feedback you got for Ranjana was positive?

Well, mostly good. Touch wood, again. Everybody said I was good. See, working with Anjanda (Dutt, director) in Ranjana wasn’t an easy job. I was in awe of him. I had done Lolita, a telefilm, with him before. But a film is the bigger picture. I wasn’t sure how people would like me or if they would accept me. If you want me to be honest, then yes, I knew Ranjana would create a big space for me. I had that feeling because it’s an Anjan Dutt film. And yes, people are taking me seriously now.

How else has life changed post-Ranjana?

Life hasn’t changed much for me. People around me have changed. But I am the same person. I still read books and spend time with my family. And I still party, though not so often (laughs). Earlier I used to party three nights a week! Now I have lost interest. But yes, in terms of work there’s a steady flow. If my call time is 6am, I wake up at 4am and then I work, work and work, and come back home and crash! But there’s a gap between the films, so I can take it easy. Unlike TV serials, where I used to work till 10pm and then call friends and go partying.

I did four mega serials after my debut in Khela. I did Mohona (Zee Bangla), Somoy (Rupashi Bangla), and Bou Kotha Kou (STAR Jalsha). In between, I got a few film offers but things didn’t progress. I was a part of Anup Sengupta’s Bangla Banchao, but then I fell ill. I think Ranjana has broken the jinx for me. Besides, I am not the kind of person who would go knocking on doors for work. I always feel that if I fit the bill, people would cast me.

You are also getting a variety of roles...

Yes. I am also getting to play different ages. Ranjana (in Ranjana) was about 20, a determined, go-getter type. Ritika in Bedroom is about 27; she’s a fashion photographer who isn’t a happy person, she is frustrated and always irritated. Sunny in Maach Mishti... is a tomboy and only 18. Nishi in Ekla Akash is about 25 and a very dignified woman; she’s an actress, a wife and a mother.... I’m lucky to get different characters right at the beginning of my career and I’m just in my early 20s. You know, whenever I have thought of acting I’ve only thought of Tom Hanks. He has played so many different characters that it’s fascinating. But then if you track my careergraph, you will notice that I started my career playing a widow (Khela).

Don’t you want to do commercial films?

Yes. I want to do commercial films, prochondo ichhe! I want to dance a lot. Typical romantic films like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Dil Toh Pagal Hai. But I don’t think I can just be a prop in the song-and-dance commercial type of films. I want to do much more than that. I would love to do an action film and kick some balls!

You are dusky. Does that pose a problem in tinseltown?

No, not really. When I started working, the trend of taking only fair-skinned women in films was fading. There’s Paoli and a lot of others. But yes, for TV serials people would say, ‘Okey shada kore dao’.

How far can you go for a role?

I haven’t thought about that. Let such roles come to me first, then I will take a call.

You often go on holidays. Do you enjoy travelling?

Yes, nobody can stop me from taking holidays. I am a little whimsical too. I can’t keep working all the time. In my next life, I want to be a vagabond! I love travelling, I enjoy good food. I need to take a break. I need my space and I need to get away from city life. I grew up in a boarding school in Kurseong, my dad lived in Arunachal Pradesh for his job and we would spend our holidays there. Recently, I went trekking to Mukteshwar and Nainital. I have been to the US once and lived there for three months! I want to go to Phuket at the end of this year.

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