Actress Shahana Goswami,who has a significant role in Deepa Mehta’s ‘Midnight’s Children’,is confident that her international debut will bring her many more good roles in future.
The actress,who shot to fame with ‘Rock On’,plays the role of Amina,mother of the protagonist Saleem Sinai in Mehta’s adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Booker prize-winning book. The film premiered at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival recently.
With a screenplay by Rushdie himself,the story follows an Indian family over four generations and India’s historic turning points.
It’s the biggest film I’ve done so far. ‘Midnight’s Children’ should give a big fillip to my career. I always wanted to work with Deepa. And there is also a lot of anticipation,especially as there are many fans of the much loved,remarkable book,so there will be a bigger audience, Goswami said on the sidelines of the festival.
Dressed in a sheer,flamboyant red saree at the photo call for the film at the festival,Goswami could not hide her excitement.
It is my second film at Toronto after Nandita Das’ Firaaq, she said.
Goswami has also bagged another international project in ‘Vara: The Blessing’,directed by Khyentse Norbu,Bhutanese director who earlier directed ‘The Cup’. The film is in English,and based on the short story by Sunil Gangopadhyay.
I play the protagonist,a tomboyish girl born to a devdasi. The film is about her life journey,losing her innocence through the harsh realities of life — with a parallel world evoking her love for Krishna.
The 26-year-old actress says she is more confident now and has become picky after these two films.
I know good things will come. It’s a good time to be an actress,with roles being written that allow you more scope to reinvent yourself. There’s also a lot of international work of different ethnicities coming to Indian actors,which give you a worldwide audience.
Goswami’s films include ‘Ra.One’,’Game’ and ‘Yun Hota to Kya Hota’ and the upcoming ‘Heroine’.
But it is Mehta’s ‘Midnight’s Children’ that should help her bag good roles internationally.
The dusky beauty,who ages from 19 to 45 in the film,says the character came with its own challenges.
The most challenging part was that I play the mother to Satya Bhabha (Saleem Sinai) and Soha Ali Khan (Jamila),who are both older than me in real life, says Goswami.
The toughest scene was when Saleem Sinai,who was sent away by his father,returns when he is 17,and his father kicks him out again. I first find out that Saleem is not my son,then I stand up for my son,against my husband.
Goswami says it was Mehta who helped her understand the characters and their emotions in the movie.
My character ages from 19-45; I experience many events and internalize them. They are not always manifested in words,but in small movements of the eyes and the body language. Deepa helped me delve deeper into the character’s emotions. That made it more exciting than difficult.
As much of the film was secretly shot in Sri Lanka with another title,’Winds of Change’,to keep it goon-proof,did it feel like being in a thriller?
Yes,it was also frustrating because the film was a big milestone for me,yet for a long time I couldn’t tell anyone about the Sri Lanka shoot.