‘I want to play fun characters’

Tannishtha Chatterjee talks about shifting base to India,being stereotyped in indie films and playing Sunny Deol’s girlfriend.

Written by Dipti Nagpaul D'souza | Published:May 21, 2013 3:16 am

Tannishtha Chatterjee is not new to the Cannes red carpet. This year,she is at the festival to present Amit Kumar’s Monsoon Shootout where she plays a gangster’s wife . The actor first attended the festival in 2004 for Shadows of Time,a Bengali language German film that marked the beginning of her career. Then came Dev Benegal’s Road,Movie which was chosen for Cannes Cinefoundation L’Atelier in 2009. A graduate from the National School of Drama,Delhi,Chatterjee started her career almost a decade ago. Since the roles that she was offered were mostly in foreign productions,such as Brick Lane and Bombay Summer,the actor decided to shuttle between London and Mumbai and lived out of a suitcase wherever each project took her. However,in 2011,she decided to move back to Mumbai. “I realise that cinema anywhere in the world is the same; the way commercial films dominate the market and the independent films struggle for space,” she says,since she believes one can be based anywhere these days. Chatterjee did Joe Wright’s 2012 costume drama Anna Karenina after moving to India. The 32-year-old is also excited about the direction Indian cinema is taking and is eager to be part of the space where the line between commercial and off-beat films is blurring.

While she hopes that interesting roles come her way in such a space,Chatterjee says that commercial filmmakers alone don’t stereotype her. “It happens within the indie space too. Aditya Bhattacharya wanted me to play a jhola-toting journalist in his film BMW. I asked why would you not offer me the role of the gangster’s moll,who is flirtatious,cunning and wields her own power?,” she says. Currently,she has a mix of Indian and international films lined up. While the acclaimed Dekh India Circus,Anant Mahadevan’s Gaur Hari Dastaan and Monsoon Shootout await release,she is finishing work on Madhuri Dixit’s comeback film Gulaab Gang and an Indo-French production,Sunrise. “And then there is the most unlikeliest of all,I Love NY where I play Sunny Deol’s girlfriend. I took it up because it is a fun character of a career-driven woman and also because for once,the makers didn’t see me as the stereotypical oh-so-serious actor.”

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