Parno Mittra on being choosy and having no inhibitions on screen
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- Published 5.02.15
Laid-back, choosy, confident, that’s how Parno Mittra describes Parno Mittra. A t2 chat with the actress on her first double role, and more.
How was your first double role, in Glamour?
Portraying two characters isn’t easy because you are the same person. So you have to try your best to be different with the way you speak, voice modulation and body language. In Glamour (directed by Mahua Chakraborty, hits screens on Friday), the characters are poles apart. Mona and Riya are twin sisters. Mona works for a fashion house, she is very ambitious, a go-getter. She is very disciplined. Riya is very chilled-out, bindaas, not so ambitious, and she is madly in love with Mona’s boyfriend (Parambrata Chattopadhyay). Mona is more hoity-toity and Riya is simple, the plain Jane type, a journalist by profession. I tried making them different because I had to.
Did you have to work extra shifts because you were playing two characters?
No, but my make-up artist had a tough time. He is the one who worked extra shifts. I had to keep redoing my make-up and changing into Mona or Riya after every shot. Riya and Mona are not in too many scenes together so it’s not like I had to memorise both the characters lines in one scene. We both had separate scenes. Sounds really funny when I say we both! (Laughs) The first couple of days I would get a little confused but slowly I got the hang of both the characters. So I had to block away Mona while playing Riya and block Riya while playing Mona. That’s a little mental note that I made. It wasn’t a big deal.
Was your remuneration double too?!
(Lol) I wish, I wish!
Who did you relate to more — Riya or Mona?
Riya. Mona is always so dolled up, hair tonged, prim and propah, that’s not me.
Is there a film you loved where the hero/heroine had a double role?
Oh, yesterday I watched Predestination and I really loved Ethan Hawke in it.
This is your third film opposite Parambrata. Why do directors cast you together so often?
I also get cast opposite Ritwick (Chakraborty) a lot. I think the chemistry between Param and me works. See, I am an actress and I am comfortable working with everybody. Since Param and I have worked together earlier (Ekla Akash and Apur Panchali), I know his temperament and that helps. I think we complement each other a lot on screen.
You had just one release last year....
Yes, Apur Panchali. Last year I shot for a lot of films which are releasing this year. I shot for Aagun, Glamour, Bheetu. I think I’m a bit picky and choosy.
Do you get a lot of offers?
Yeah, I get, of course I do! I get offers to play various kinds of characters. If you see my career graph in the last five years I have played all kinds of roles, be it Ashima in Apur Panchali, Riya in Aami Aar Amaar Girlfriends, a tomboy in Maach Mishti & More or Ranjana in Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbona or Shaheb Bibi Golaam where I play a rich girl who’s clueless and lonely. So I get serious kinds of roles. So amid all these whatever excites me, I pick.
You started off with a lot of promise in Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbona. But we haven’t seen you shouldering another film after that…
But I thought Ashima in Apur Panchali can match up to Ranjana. I have been appreciated for all the performances so far. You know, films like Ranjana or Apur Panchali happen to you once in a while. It can’t happen to you every year. Every year I have had a good release. I have been consistent, I think. And well, no one else is doing better than me and the fraternity doesn’t want to say that my work is good because the fraternity needs constant pampering which I don’t do. But as long as my directors are happy and the audience loves me I am satisfied.
What do you do when you’re not shooting?
I like to laze around on my couch, sleep the whole day, read books, watch films at home, cook. I tried writing a script or two, just tried because I took a big break after a big mishap (Parno lost her dad last year). I am actually very moody and fickle, I can’t concentrate on things for too long!
Rate yourself as an actress on a scale of 10…
I am a very confident actor. I don’t think I can rate myself because you learn new things every day. Every time I watch myself I feel aah, I should have done this better. An actor is never happy with his/her performance. But I love my job and I am very passionate about it. I know when the camera is on, I forget myself and I become the character. Only thing is when I am shooting and watch the monitor I am never happy.... I think I should work on my Bengali a lot more and I also need to lose weight!
Which actress in Tollywood do you look up to?
I love Swastika (Mukherjee). I think she is fantastic. She doesn’t act, she behaves and she is just great on screen, inhibition-free and amazing.
Are you inhibition-free?
Yes, I am very inhibition-free, I have no issues. With age and experience you drop your inhibitions. I am okay with nudity too provided it’s in sync with the script and the character. My love for my job is so much that I don’t care about inhibitions! There’s nothing that I will not do on screen.
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