Grace under pressure

Sunday, 12 January 2014 - 12:32pm IST | Agency: DNA
The next movie actress Raima Sen will be seen in is 'Children of War'. A movie based on the Bangladeshi genocide of 1971, the actress calls her performance in it as her 'strongest' yet. In this interview with After Hrs, she sits down to discuss the details.

Did you need any convincing at all to accept Children of War or was it a yes, from the word go? What did you like most when you read the script?
Mrityunjay (Devvrat), the director of the movie, got the script delivered to me. The minute I read the script it appealed to me as I like period films. I could relate to this film being a Bengali, and also because I liked how passionate a director Mrityunjay was. This subject is extremely close to his heart.

When you say that your role in the movie has been your strongest yet, are you saying it is one of those emotionally-demanding roles that change you as a person too? What’s the biggest impact the movie has left on you, both as an actress and personally?
I am a very professional actor. I camouflage myself into different characters of the films that I do as this is my job. If it would start affecting me, I am in the wrong industry. But then, with time, there is a lot of room for improvement, as I do different roles in different genres of films. So I grasp all the positives from them and move on.

With women’s empowerment taking centre-stage in the country, do you think Children of War is a movie for the times?

Children of War is a movie of all times. It is a period film. Movies like these either provoke you or inspire you. So if women weren’t empowered, this movie would be an inspiration, and if they were empowered already, they would be prepared for something wrong that could happen to them. I believe our judiciary is now prompt in making decisions, but somewhere down the line even we, as women, should be strong and empowered to protect ourselves from being mentally and physically exploited.

The movie has been in the news for its name. Does it irk you that the focus is being lost on a non-issue?
It is very disappointing to have known that Mrityunjay didn’t get approval for his title (The Bastard Child) but it does not irk me. I felt the title was extremely relevant. Mrityunjay would be the right person to answer this. As far as the movie is concerned, I am sure that since the movie is so brilliant, we will manage to pull our target audience to watch Children of War.

You have an entire list of movies that are, if nothing else, interesting in terms of the variety.  You obviously are not risk-averse. Is ‘never say never’ an adage you live by?

I don’t necessarily “live” by that adage. I personally aspire to do all kinds of roles and be known as a versatile actor. Since my art films have got more appreciation from my fans and audiences, this is a tag I have along with me — that I do a certain kind of films. But that is not true. With better opportunities, I will do more roles that are outside my comfort zone. So I never say never.

The movie is Farooque Sheikh’s last project. How was it working with him? Any memorable incidents during the shooting that you can share...
He was always a humble human being. I didn’t get to shoot many scenes with him in the movie, but since we were all staying together during the shoot, we all were part of a family. His death is a loss to the family of this movie. It was amazing to see how such a big celebrity was so down-to-earth.

As the grand daughter of one of the most iconic actors of Indian cinema, what about Suchitra Sen inspires you the most?

Her consistency in her work,  determination and her confidence is something that has always inspired me. She is a very thorough actor, and I want to incorporate all these qualities in my professional and personal life.


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