What you have been up to lately?
We are promoting Rubaiyat Hossain’s Made in Bangladesh in various film festivals across the world. I just came back from the world premiere of the film at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), where it was well received. I play the character of Dalia in the film, who is actually the antagonist in a way.
You are the central character of Rickshaw Girl, which is based on a very popular book by Mitali Perkins. Tell us about your experience working on the film.
In Rickshaw Girl, I play the role of Naima, who is a free and artistic soul. She does not understand the complexities of the world. At one point, she feels like her gender is holding her back in the society. Adamant on proving a point to the society, the girl starts driving a rickshaw, which is predominantly a male job. The best part about working with Amitabh Reza Chowdhury is that if he feels like you are working on the same frequency and understanding the character, he will give you a lot of freedom. He is easy-going to work with, and I had a great experience. I am also very excited about Shakib Khan having a cameo in the movie!
Did you always want to be an actor?
Since my mother, Momena Chowdhury, is an actor, I have seen the profession very closely since I was a child. I was in very popular serials, including Pakhi Shob Kore Rob, Ekanno Borti and Ityadi as a child. My first film appearance was a cameo in Ekattorer Khudiram. I have always loved telling stories, and getting a reaction out of people. This is what ultimately inspired me to become an actor.
If you were given the chance to work with anyone in the industry, who would it be?
I would love to work with the director of Dhaka Attack, Dipankar Dipon. Redoan Rony’s work also inspires me, and it would be a pleasure if I ever got to star in one of his projects. I would also like to star alongside Mosharraf Karim, if he plays a serious role.
Would you consider doing a mainstream Bangla film?
It really depends on what you would call ‘mainstream’. For me, Rickshaw Girl is mainstream, as Amitabh Reza Chowdhury directed it. However, I would like to work in more ‘indie’ projects, as it gives me scope to experiment, and act in fully fleshed out characters. My generation is constantly fighting an uphill battle, trying to bring something new to the table. People like me are stuck navigating our way, and it is hard to get something meaningful done in an industry that thrives in mediocrity. That being said, we are here to make a change.