Raima and Parambrata on the sets of Haowa Badal
“He is laughing at me all the time, even during serious scenes,” complained Raima Sen on the sets of Haowa Badal at a Ho Chi Minh Sarani home on Monday afternoon, even as director Parambrata Chattopadhyay walks around checking if the lights have been set up for the next shot. But Raima doesn’t stop and the two break into a mock fight! “He is the director, he is supposed to concentrate but he is laughing all the time!” laughed Raima. “Yes, that’s because her eyes are constantly moving in various directions,” said Parambrata, acting it out!
The actress-director tu tu main main continued during the lunch break, for t2 to feast on!
Parambrata: Before every scene I have to read out the lines to her, she doesn’t memorise her lines. She doesn’t know how to do it!
Raima: He is the director, he has to teach me. What does he expect? Before coming on the sets, he said ‘Raima, if the kid (child artiste Kabir plays Raima and Param’s son Tojo) is more easy to direct than you, then I will kill you’!
P: Which it is!
R: That’s because the kid is not doing anything in the scenes! I nag him (Param) most of the time. In the film too I play his nagging wife, Tanuka.
Raima with child artiste Kabir and Rudranil Ghosh. Pictures by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya
P: Emnitey Tanuka is sweet. She loves her husband, the family is very precious to her, but since they’ve been married for six-seven years the marriage has lost its charm. She tries to push her husband towards becoming an achiever and sometimes it tends to get a little suffocating for him.
R: Ask him why he chose me for the film (laughs)! I was planning to spend a week in London (after attending the London Indian Film Festival), but I had to come back in two days for this film.
P: I don’t really know why I chose her! I find her very comfortable, since I knew that I would be directing as well as acting...
R: (Interrupts) Say something nice!
P: Hain tai toh bolchhi (That’s what I am saying)! It would have been very difficult for me to work with somebody I don’t really know very well. Her casting is more agenda-driven. I know she is random, and the way she is I can scold and shout at her, ja khushi bolte pari (I can tell her anything). Comfort zone is always very important.
R: Even Rituparno Ghosh says that.
P: For me, being accessible is very important and also because Raima and I have done quite a few films together...
R: Yes, Nishijapon, The Bong Connection, Maach Mishti ‘’ More, 22shey Srabon and now Haowa Badal is the fifth film, and here he is both acting and directing. But I don’t look at him as the director, for me he is always a co-actor.
P: I think she is dying to face Rudra (Rudranil Ghosh who plays Parambrata’s friend in the film).
R: Yes, because I don’t know Rudra at all, so that is going to be tough!
P: Hain or toh purotai comfort zone laagey (Yes, she needs the whole thing to be her comfort zone)!
R: I think I will always do his films because he is talented, creative, young and smart, he comes up with good ideas.... This is a good script and he and Rudra cannot make something which isn’t sensible!
P: It’s nice to have not only friends but generally sweet people on the set; she is a very sweet person.
P: As a co-actor I can go and act with anybody but as a director I have to have sweet people around, just to keep the atmosphere relaxed.
R: He is very relaxed. First day, I was like wow, what’s this film, no pressure (laughs!).... Initially we were not so sweet to each other. He had so much attitude and ego back then! He has changed. I think we became friends during 22shey Srabon, very late!
P: Actually during Nishijapon I was just another TV actor. What she is calling attitude was actually kind of a defence mechanism on my part because she was already ‘Raima Sen’. So I was a little shy. Also I was a little scared of the two sisters (Raima and Riya)!
R: Everyone is, initially!
P: Yes, but finally when you get to know them you realise they are quite sweet. But I am still scared of Riya!
R: I am doing this film with him because my mother (Moon Moon) told me she has become his fan after Hemlock Society!
P: I think I’m more fond of her mother, than her!
R: Mentally he is more her age than mine....
And so the fun squabble went on, till pack-up!
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