Dream Pair : Heroine Hunt

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 18.06.08

And what must the next heroine number one be like? A girl next door like Rani, hot and happening like Kareena or a dream combo like Katrina? with no one remotely resembling that, t2 picks up the scent of the tolly woman...


A pretty face, curves in the right places, twinkle toes and the ability to look convincing while laughing or crying is what you need to win the box-office battle in Tollywood.

“We need a sweet face, not an ultra-sexy heroine. A pretty face is much more acceptable among the audiences. We keep the negative roles for the sexier ones!” admits Shankar Roy.

Which doesn’t mean that you can afford to be the traditional heavy-in-the-waist Bengali beauty. Yes, Tollywood might not look it yet but slim is in. “It’s difficult to work with flabby heroines because we can’t take close-up shots. They look fatter,” rues Roy.

The dreamgirl must be able to do a bit of everything. “We need someone who is an all-rounder. She should fit into both comic and serious roles.... For instance, when I have a serious subject in mind I always cast Swastika. She is a mature actress. Koel is young and bubbly, the youth can connect with her better. I must mention Sarnakamal, who worked with me in the Swastika-Anubhav starrer Jibansathi. She is a very good actress but her minus point is that she can’t dance. Now, this is prerequisite for a heroine,” says Roy.

The magic formula: Good looks, confidence and poise in front of the camera and proper publicity, says Prabhat Roy.

“The girl next door feel is very essential. The audience in Bengal needs to identify with her, only then can she be successful,” says Haranath Chakraborty.

She should have the power to keep the audience hooked for more than two hours, sums up Shankar Roy.


“When I launch a new heroine, I also look for expressive eyes and dancing skills. These are the basic qualities. But one also needs to know what to do in front of the camera.... We are launching Srabanti in Bhalobasha Bhalobasha. People expect to see new faces in love stories,” says Ashok Dhanuka, who had launched Sreelekha Mitra as the heroine of Annadata.

“Just like heroes, the audience is tired of watching the same old heroines. So when we did Jor we thought of taking a new heroine. Varsha fit the role of the girl next door. Besides, she looks different from the rest of the Tolly brigade,” says Vinayak Sarkar of T Sarkar Productions.

The magic formula: “For a heroine, it’s 100 per cent good looks,” says Mahendra Soni of Shree Venkatesh Films.

Looks apart, one must know what to do in front of the camera, advises Dhanuka. Dancing skills are as essential, points out producer Pijush Saha, who gave Subhashree a break in Bajimaat.


The wannabes


Varsha Priyadarshini: She has given a few hits in Orissa but is yet to prove her mettle in Tollywood. Her debut release Jor early this year didn’t pack a punch at the box office. Catch her playing Prosenjit’s sis in Goalmaal.


Subhashree: She has got a great launchpad with Bajimaat. The Burdwan girl worked her way up from the Anandalok Nayikar Khonje contest. She was Jeet’s sister in her first film Pitribhoomi, released last year.


Namrata Thapa: She too has learnt the ABC of acting in Oriya films. Her first film in Tollywood is Goalmaal opposite Tota Roy Chowdhury; her forthcoming film is Ghar Jamai alongside Prosenjit.


Srabanti: She had romanced Jeet in her debut film Champion five years back. And then she quit tinsel town to become housewife. Now, she is starting over with Bhalobasha Bhalobasha, opposite Hiran.


What Koel feels

Sincerity and hard work are very important. If it is only about being a heroine then all you have to do is submit your portfolio to directors and producers. There are many who are one- or two-film-old. But to be a successful heroine, you need to understand the character you are portraying. Also, a successful heroine should create an image where the public would want her to be part of their family. She should be bubbly and outgoing and at the same time, shy and introvert. She should be able to slip into a deglamorised role and also look sexy when needed.

Promising face: I think it’s too early to judge. They all need encouragement. Varsha has done Oriya films, so she is experienced but still fresh. Subhashree is pretty. Both should learn from their films.

Viewers’ choice

“We need slim and sexy heroines. Most of the Tollywood girls are slim but not as sexy as the Bollywood heroines. They should act well, be bold and shed their nyakami!” says Partha Pratim Sen, a 31-year-old chartered accountant.

His pick: “Swastika is very pretty, she is quite an eyeful. Koel has innocence. But Rituparna is a better actress.”

Arghya Shome, 17, feels our girls need to dump their jhatkas and matkas for modern moves and shakes. “Koel did a good job in Premer Kahini. Her moves were cool. I would like to see someone like Katrina Kaif on the Bengali screen. Kats is sexy, pretty and glamorous and dances well. Besides, all the heroines need to have international looks, preferably size zero like Kareena Kapoor,” says Arghya.

His pick: “Subhashree is good but she needs grooming. Koel looks good and she is young and bubbly.”

Rituparna’s tips

Observe everything around you; it will give you a lot of insight.
Try to feel the pulse of the audience.
Have patience and work hard. One should continue the hard work even after getting recognition.
Be positive and be a fighter. Never give up. Focus on your goals.
Be on good terms with everyone.
Maintain yourself well.



t2 wish list:

1 ATTRACTIVE: ‘Homely’ or hot, she must be arresting. Is it too much to ask for an eye-catcher as heroine?

2 FIT: Is it so tough to get the vital statistics right? No, we are not demanding a size zero. But no more passing off tyres as waists, hips that lie so blatantly, curves in wrong places and proportions.

3 STYLISH: She should dress normal and smart. She must junk that ornate K-serial bahu wear and include some stylish westerns.

4 DANCING SKILLS: She should not feel and look out of place on the dance floor. All she needs to do is move well with a sense of rhythm.

5 ACTING SKILLS: Special points for being able to talk with her eyes. No overacting, please.

Kushali Nag