Rafi:Welcome to Uncensored with Rafi Hossain. Today we have with us the actor Ishita who has been away from the media scene for a while now. Ishita, tell us about your hiatus from the media.
Ishita:I am not on a hiatus really; I have just decided to give myself some breathing space. I don’t work on more than two or three projects a year. Things change over time; one’s priorities change. My personal life takes up a lot of time, so I can’t find the time to act regularly.
Rafi: How do you feel about the success of your recent drama, ‘Pata Jhorar Din’?
Ishita: Pata Jhorar Din is very dear to my heart. I am grateful to the director, Redoan Rony, for considering me for this project. Rony is a very capable and popular filmmaker. When he offered me this role, I took it very seriously. Even though I wasn’t well acquainted with Rony, I was moved by the story, and instantly agreed to join the cast. I had high expectations from this drama because of its moving storyline, and my expectations were met when the audiences embraced it with open arms.
Rafi: When did you realise that acting was not your main priority?
Ishita: Whatever I do, I give it my all. I graduated in 2004, and worked for Channel i for eleven years. I had to invest a lot of time there. After that, I left my job and completed my MBA. Later, I got busy with my personal pursuits, so acting had to take a backseat.
Rafi: What made you decide to quit acting?
Ishita: I have been acting from a very young age; grade one to be specific. That’s why I tried to steer my career towards a new direction. I joined Channel i right after graduation. They provided me with the creative freedom that I craved. I directed dramas for them, and wrote scripts as well. I am a restaurateur these days. I also teach at a private university, which I enjoy immensely. All things considered, in order to do something different, I had to distance myself from acting.
Rafi: You have been an actor and a director. Tell us, why does the showbiz industry in Bangladesh lack good female directors?
Ishita: I have been greatly supported by my office, Channel i, in my directing pursuits. They provided me with all the opportunities and logistics that I needed. Sadly, most people aren’t fortunate enough to get such opportunities. To be honest, I think we have more directors in our industry than we need, and most of these directors are male. One needs to muster a lot of self-confidence before entering a career, and I see that in the female directors of today. I see many talented female assistant directors these days, and they are on the path of building their career as full-fledged directors in the future.
Rafi: Would it have been difficult for you to become the Ishita you are today if you hadn’t been affiliated with acting since childhood?
Ishita: Very early on in life, I realised that life is run through discipline. I wouldn’t have grown up as an actor if I hadn’t been involved with acting since childhood. All things considered, I can confidently say that acting has been an essential part of my life.
Rafi: How supportive have your in-laws been regarding your involvement with the media industry?
Ishita: My husband has been very supportive of my career choice. Moreover, almost half of my in-laws are involved with acting in one way or another. Also, singer Feroza Begum is my aunt in-law. She was the one who introduced me to my husband. Our family is very culturally influenced; so they have always been very positive about my involvement with the media.
Rafi: Did you ever consider marrying someone from the industry?
Ishita: Media is my family, and the people of the showbiz industry are a part of my extended family. That’s the reason why I never got married to someone from the media. This thought never even crossed my mind.
Rafi: Who is your favourite actor?
Ishita: I like the work of almost everyone who has worked and are currently working in our industry. Among the senior celebrities, I really admire the works of Suborna Mustafa, Ferdousi Majumdar, Aly Zaker, Asaduzzaman Noor, and Afzal Hossain. Amongst the actors of this generation, I like the works of Siam Ahmed and Sabnam Faria.
Rafi: What made you switch to acting from dancing?
Ishita: We don’t really have enough options in our country to consider dancing as a career. If someone wants to continue dancing because of their love for it, they must struggle a lot. Acting is a little different from dancing. If someone really wants to spend their entire life as an actor, they can. I learned dancing as a child. I have utmost respect towards dancing. However, it never enticed me much. To be honest, I have a softer spot for acting than I have for dancing. That’s why I chose acting as my profession.
Rafi: You sing well. Have you ever considered music as a potential career choice?
Ishita: To be honest, I find musical collaborations difficult. I really enjoy singing, and in the future, if I can manage everything properly, I might do a music related project.
Rafi: What are your future plans?
Ishita: Direction is a very challenging task. I have had a four-year break from the media. The industry has changed a lot over the last few years; new technologies have been introduced, and new faces have taken over. Although the basics of filmmaking remain the same, I will need time to adapt to the changes. As of now, I do not have anything concrete in mind. Let’s see what the future has in store for me.
Transcribed by MD Ridwan Rahman
Make-Up by Farzana Munny, Que Bella