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- Lipstick Under My Burkha director Alankrita Shrivastava: Censorship needs to be bid a goodbye
- Lipstick Under My Burkha actor Konkona Sen Sharma: Still a task to find support for women films
One interview is never enough when we talk about Konkona Sen Sharma. In our part one, the actor spoke about all the trials and tribulations Lipstick Under My Burkha had to go through, and her character in the film. In this part, Konkona, or Koko as she is lovingly called, talks more about her plight as an independent filmmaker and her journey as an actor.
When we come to independent film-makers, how do you see the scenario for independent film-makers in India?
I don’t think it’s in a great space, I don’t think it’s very hopeful because… you know, recently I and Kalki started working on a film together and it’s been stopped, because of problems. Now I know that if it was a big male star, it would not have been stopped. It’s unfortunate, and it’s been there forever. It’s not like I came into the industry expecting something new, I always knew. You know, my mother has been an actor and director, but it’s still continuing. It’s backward, regressive and stupid, but it’s like that. Small steps are being made here and there, which is great, and we need to encourage it and appreciate it. But you can’t stop living your life because of this, you have to continue to do what you think is right, what you think is good, what you think is interesting – alone, or hopefully, with other people.
But now India is also opening up to digital platforms like Amazon and Netflix, where films are also being launched. Do you think small film makers have a market there, or do they still aspire to launch their films in a traditional way?
It remains to be seen because it’s very new. And it’s not that the big films are not coming online, because they are, like Ae Dil Hain Mushkil is on Amazon, but what I’m saying is that even in the digital space, it’s not just the small films, you’re still competing with the big films, and they have a lot of money. So they can tell everyone that this film is released and they can release it in thousands of theatres, automatically it gets a lot of visibility and eyeballs.
I want to know about your journey in the industry as an actor’s daughter, an actor, a film-maker, and now, as a mentor to younger actors.
I’m not interested in my journey, as such if other people have the interest, I’m nearing the end of my life if I think about it. I mean, I can’t look back, like “How was it?”, I’m looking in front, like “Let’s see, now what.” I’m not analyzing what happened in the last ten years, so I don’t know. It’s been great, I think it has been great and hopefully, I’ll still get to do some interesting work. I have never been a mass appeal kind of an actor, so I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to please everyone.
How does it feel being an actor over a star, there are many actors who have become big stars, but you have chosen that this is what you want to do.
It was a conscious decision because firstly I never wanted to become an actor. I was like, “I’ll do one, then let’s see.” Then I did another one, and then I did just another one, and then before I knew it, I was acting all the time. And the reason I didn’t want to become an actor was that I knew that with my sensibility and the characters that I had to watch, will be the kind of films that I’ll have to make, and those are very typical to me. So I never wanted to be an actor anyway, so I only do the films which appeal to me and my sensibility.