Divya Dutta will be seen in a bold avatar in Manto, an emotional role in Fanney Khan, and will then jump into the comic zone with Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai before returning to her “vulnerable self” for another thriller. The actor says directors don’t come to her with the same roles, and she is having a blast fulfilling all her desires as an artiste.
“All the films in line are very different. I am kind of fulfilling and enjoying all my desires as an actor now,” Divya said.
“Fanney Khan is opposite Anil Kapoor. It is a beautiful, emotional, soft and strong role. Then I am doing out-and-out comedy with Anubhav Sinha… That is ‘Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai’. Then there is a thriller where I am back to my vulnerable self, and then a romantic movie,” she said as she listed her projects.
“Now, people don’t come to me with same kind of role. I’m happy that they offer me something different. Aur woh nahi karte toh main khudh maang leti hun (Now if they don’t then I ask them for a different role myself),” the actor exclaimed.
Divya’s performance has been appreciated in films like Veer Zaara, Delhi-6 and Heroine. She won her first National Award in Best Supporting Actress category for her performance in the film “Irada” this year.
On the process of choosing projects, she said: “My audience has given me a different kind of image and that is: ‘You have no image.’ I have the freedom to just take on anything and, in fact, whoever I meet, they say: ‘When you are in a film, we expect something different.’ It is great motivation to just look at myself and see Divya in a different role and an avatar.
“That is a different high. I will get bored if I keep doing the same thing.”
Divya’s tryst with showbiz started in 1994 with Ishq Mein Jeena Ishq Mein Marna. And she keeps on breaking her own image by taking up different roles — be it of a sister in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag or confidante in Veer Zaara.
She says her support system to keep going in the industry has always been her family.
“And nobody else, and it still remains so. And then I think you need to be, somewhere, your own support system. People who have support system also… need to look at themselves because ultimately it is your own journey. It is your choice, your yes and your no that matter… It is your career and your personal life.”
Divya is especially excited about the film Manto, a biopic on Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto. The Nandita Das directorial was selected for the Un Certain Regard competition section of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
Manto churned out about 22 collections of stories comprising a novel, essays, personal sketches and movie scripts. Of his literary gems was a story on Mirza Ghalib, a poet of the stature of Shakespeare. His work also gained attention for weaving stories around the ordeal of partition as well as sexuality.
The film provides a window into his life during the tumultuous partitioning of British India into two new nations — India and Pakistan.
Manto, co-produced by HP Studios, Filmstoc and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, is expected to be released in India in September.
“If it is ‘Manto’, you have to be excited. I think all of us are ardent fans of his work and I am delighted that Nandita has made a film on him… My parts were very bold and intimate, but with Nandita being around… It was a good thing for me as an actor.”