Dia Mirza,after making a mark in Bollywood,now steps into Bengali cinema with a musical romance. She has Priyanshu Chatterji,who also started with Hindi and is now doing Bengali films,as her hero. The actress talks about her new venture.
What prompted you to do a Bengali film?
I have known Pratim (Dasgupta,director) for nearly eight years now. I would meet him every time I was in Kolkata during the promotions of my other films. I always found him well-researched,seeking answers to questions that had not been asked. Over the years,we developed a friendship,kept in touch via email and he shared his aspirations of wanting to direct or shared a draft of a script hed written. I always offered to help if he ever needed me. He would often say I want to direct you some day and my reply would be,Sure! So when Pratim wrote Paanch Adhyay and offered me the role of Ishita I was thrilled! He had kept his word and I kept mine.
What appealed to you about the film?
I loved the script and the fact that Pratim would be directing! I was also in a place where I was looking to expand my horizons. Bangla is my mother- tongue. It makes all the more special that my first regional film is Bengali.
How good is your Bangla?
My Bangla was pretty decent even before I filmed Paanch Adhyay. Spending time in Kolkata,conversing with so many people during my time there has improved my Bangla a lot. I still would like to learn to think in Bangla.
What is the character that you are essaying in Paanch Adhyay?
I play the role of Ishita,a middle-class school teacher who falls in love with Arindam,an ad film- maker. The character travels through the ups and downs of marriage and the poignancy of love,lost and found.
What kind of actress are you?
I think I am a directors actor. I love to prepare and ask questions. But I realise that I blossom when I am in the hands of gentle guidance and trust.
What is it that you look for when you accept a film?
The first criteria is the director,I need to sense that the person captaining the ship will be able to steer it in the direction it needs to go. A good script can go very wrong with a weak director. The second is the script. The third and most important is the producer. A director may make a good film but the film must reach the audience. That is what the producer ensures. Too much hard work,passion and time go into making a film. It can only bear fruit with a sound production banner.
Name some directors you would love to work with.
I would love to work with Rajkumar Hirani again! There are directors like Anurag Kashyup,Gautam Ghose,Dibakar Banerjee,Sahil Sangha,(again),Pratim Dasgupta (again and again) and Shyam Benegal who are also on my list.