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Rajpal’s Sairabanu

Hair tied into a bun and a blue synthetic sari with a purple blouse complete Raj Kumar Yadav’s look in Rahul Mukherjee’s directorial debut Ami Sairabanu. On Friday, the team shot at a Kumartuli house where t2 caught up with the Mumbai-based actor...

You are doing well in Bollywood with films like Talaash, Gangs of Wasseypur II and Chittagong.... Why do a Bengali film with a debutant director?

It’s the script. It’s a script to die for! Any actor would die to do a role like this and language isn’t a factor for me. Besides, Bengali cinema is very good and recently they are making good films.... I have always been working with first-timers, be it Bejoy (Nambiar in Shaitan) or Bedo (Bedabrata Pain in Chittagong), so it’s cool.

How comfortable are you with your look of a eunuch in Ami Sairabanu?

See, Sairabanu is born a eunuch and his family initially tries to hide him from the eunuch family. It’s about Sairabanu’s journey. And as a eunuch, I need to dress in a particular way. As an actor, these are the characters that you want to do and I’m glad that people are writing such characters for me. If a script or a character excites me, I just go for it and Bengali is a language which I’m familiar with. My girlfriend (Anwita Paul) is a Bengali and I have a lot of friends who are Bengalis, so it’s not a strange language. Ami bolte pari, ekdum darun na but ektu ektu bolte pari... I will dub for the film.

Are you doing Ami Sairabanu for your girlfriend?

Not at all. I’m doing it for myself! (Laughs)

Kamalika Banerjee plays Poppy, a prostitute and a friend of Sairabanu. “Raj and I stay in the same brothel. Poppy is a very sensitive woman. She is religious and kind-hearted,” said Kamalika

Do you watch Bengali films?

Not really. I haven’t seen any of the latest films but I have seen the masterpieces by (Satyajit) Ray and (Ritwik) Ghatak.

Tell us about sharing screen space with Aamir Khan in Talaash...

With Aamir Khan it was one of the best experiences of my life. I have grown up watching him and he was my favourite actor in school. He is a superstar but so grounded and humble. Acting with him made a huge impact on me. I have been so inspired. He didn’t give me any acting tips but of course I have asked him a lot about how he prepares for a character, how he chooses his script. He doesn’t interfere in anyone’s work unless you ask for it. I have been getting great reviews for Talaash.

What films are you busy with in Mumbai?

I have wrapped up Queen with Kangana Ranaut, directed by Vikas Bahl. I play Kangana’s love interest. I have also finished Hansal Mehta’s Shahid, based on a true story about a lawyer in Bombay. I have shot nude for a scene in the film and it’s doing the festival rounds. My next release is Kai Po Che!, directed by Abhishek Kapoor.


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