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    Rituparna Sengupta: “I don’t want to do skin show just for the heck of it”

    [Interview by Faridoon Shahryar]
    Thursday, June 22, 2006
    She is bewitchingly beautiful. And she also happens to be a gripping actress. Bengali superstar Riturparna Sengupta is restless-n-eager to make a big impression in the cut-throat world of Bollywood. Her debut Hindi film ‘Main Meri Patni Aur Woh’ earned critical acclaim. She played the role of a tall wife who likes the simplicity of her short and not-so-good-looking husband. It was a complex role that she played with a flair for realism. Having won a National Award for Best Actress for her Bengali film ‘Dahan’, directed by Rituporna Ghosh, Sengupta is awaiting the release of her next Hindi film ‘Unns’ opposite Sanjay Kapoor. IndiaGlitz gets her talking about her craft and what is it that she still wants to achieve.

    What is Unns all about?

    It is an unconventional love story that has not been discussed before. It is a beautiful relationship where as an actress I felt quite different. My character Riya has a lot of intensity. It’s about relationships. It’s about marriage. And how she finds solace in her husband. Even though she was dedicated to her lover with whom she had a bond earlier, both the relationships have been handled very delicately by the first time director Bhupendra Gupta. In spite of this being his first film, he understood the nuances well and knew exactly what he wanted.

    ‘Main Meri Patni Aur Woh’ was an unconventional start to your career in Hindi Cinema. Your impressions of Rajpal Yadav, your co-star in the film…

    Rajpal is a great actor. He can’t be placed as a comedian. He has much more to give. He is a fantastic person, who does what is asked of him. As an actor he gets into the skin of the film very soon. As his co-star you have to have sharp reflexes to cope up with him. He is very cooperative and competent.

    Do you think ‘Main Meri Patni Aur Woh’ was a good start for you in Hindi Cinema considering you’re a National Award winning actress?

    As an actress it was a beautiful start for me. It was subtle and sensitive. A lot of credit goes to Chandan, the director for making it such a fine film.

    Would you like to work more in Hindi Cinema than what you’ve done so far?

    Of course, I would want to do more Hindi films. A lot of change is happening in Mumbai film industry. And I would want to be a part of that change. I would want to do things that I haven’t explored before. I am the most glamorous actress in Bengali cinema, but Bengal is quite limited. I would want to do films like ‘Mixed Doubles’, ‘Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi’. I always want to do performances that give my audience a kick. I have done everything in Bengal. Now I want to do the role like the one done by Urmila in ‘Pyar Tune Kya Kiya’.

    The names of films that you’ve quoted are more in the offbeat genre or what is termed as parallel cinema

    I find this parallel and commercial cinema bracket odd. Cinema can't be differentiated into parallel or commercial. In Bengal I am recognized as the most glamorous heroine and yet I have won the national award for best actress. I can walk into any character I believe in. Smita Patil broke that mould by breaking into a rain dance with Amitabh. At the same time she did ‘Arth’. I don’t see myself as a parallel cinema heroin. That doesn’t mean that I would do films for the heck of doing it. I don’t want to do skin show just for the heck of it.

    What is the reason for all the Bengali actresses being so beautiful?

    (Laughs) That’s a good question. Bengali women are always very attractive because they have a cultural background. They have artistic bent of mind. When they come before the camera, it shows. It is in their blood. They carry themselves so well.

    What are your other Hindi projects other than ‘Unns’?

    I have signed Anees Bazmi’s film. I may sign a film with the man who has written ‘Sarkar’ Manish Gupta. I am doing a film for Satyajit who co-directed ‘Mr Ya Miss’. I am also doing an English film.

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