She may have received critical acclaim for her offbeat and distinctive roles in films like her debut in Margarita, with a Straw and most recently Fan but Sayani Gupta says she is eager to work in a typical song-and-dance Bollywood movie.
“I’m dying to do a masala Bollywood film with typical song and dance. But having said that, my character in the film should have her own point of view. I won’t play a role who has no brains,” says Sayani.
The actress, who will be seen in an Indo-British production called The Hungry along with noted names like Naseeruddin Shah and Tisca Chopra, says she has been approached by banners who have offered her big parts but she refused them because they either didn’t have enough meat for her to dig in or were very vague.
“I have said no to a lot of big roles because sometimes they had a very misogynist set-up in the film. I cannot be an actress who acts as the bling factor in the movie or simply gets satisfied with playing a second fiddle to the hero on-screen,” Sayani told PTI in an interview.
Talking about The Hungry, she says it is a special project with a “solid cast and incredible crew” and she has a complex role to play in it. “Doing ‘The Hungry’ has been the most satisfying cinematic experience for me so far. It is a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s first play ‘Titus Andronicus’, which is not included in the list of his most popular works.
“It has been directed by debutante filmmaker Bornila Chatterjee, who is an alumnus from New York’s Tisch School of the Arts. We partnered with Film London for this film to celebrate the 400 years of the Bard.”
The movie is slated to release this year. The actress says she wants the audience to like her work but never worries about the reviews. “I’m neither excited nor worried when my film releases. As an artiste, I would definitely want people to like my work… that’s why we are here. But I don’t really sit up and look at reviews. I have never sat down to ponder over what others have to say.”
She, however, is happy that critics have praised her work so far but says if the films don’t work, individual appreciation is irrelevant.
“I’m never happy with my work. I always go back home thinking I could have done so so much better. That next time I have to be more in control of my craft. Just based on reviews, no one can declare that you have arrived.”
Citing the example of Fan where she played an important role, Sayani says, “Shah Rukh is incredible in the film. I thought it was a world-class act. Despite his superlative performance, it didn’t do well. Yes, his acting was appreciated, the movie didn’t receive the response we all were looking for.”