A new turnhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/a-new-turn/

A new turn

Dia Mirza,after making a mark in Bollywood,now steps into Bengali cinema with a musical romance.

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 he’d 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.

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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 director’s 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.

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