Off camera: Babita | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 28, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 28, 2008

Off camera: Babita


Babita is associated with the golden era of our cinema and she's still going strong. The glamorous Babita attained fame for her histrionic skills in films such as Satyajit Ray's “Ashoni Shanket”, Amjad Hossain's “Golapi Ekhon Train-e”, Subhash Dutta's “Arunodoy-er Agnishakkhi”, attaining numerous national and international awards.
The Daily Star (TDS): Introduction to the film industry...
Babita: I was hell bent on avoiding the film industry. This was partly because I saw my elder sister Suchanda returning home drained from her shooting, day in day out. But my fate was sealed when acclaimed director Zahir Raihan cast me in his film “Sangsaar”. I was still a teenager then. It was all the more difficult to refuse him, as he was my brother-in-law. He once more requested me to work in the film “Shesh Porjonto”, co-staring Razzak. After that it was the point of no return...
TDS: Embarrassing moments?
Babita: I can think of quite a few. In one of my initial films, Razzak bhai was cast as my father. In the next film, I was to play his love interest! As luck would have it, I was to render some very romantic lines. Naturally I was tongue-tied. Zahir Raihan's scolding didn't help either. Razzak bhai thankfully came to the rescue, asking me to say it naturally (whatever that meant!!). The day finally ended well.
TDS: Any overwhelming experience?
Babita: In the film, “Raater Por Din” I was cast opposite Wasim, one of the most popular actors of the time. He was 'Mr East Pakistan', so for me it was like being cast opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger! How do you do romantic scenes with a bodybuilder? Fortunately the movie was a success.
TDS: Remarkable experiences...
Babita: The most remarkable experience has to be working with Satyajit Ray in the film "Ashani Shanket". One day, while shooting I had to cross a small bridge on foot. I had to take my slippers off and forgot to pick them up. When I turned around, I was shocked to see that Ray was carrying my slippers! This was a lesson in humility that I'd never forget.
TDS: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Babita: I dream of becoming a director. That'll be a nice change after 30 years of acting.
TDS: Favourite actors?
Babita: Sophia Loren hands down. I also admire Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Julia Roberts, Amitabh Bachchan and Suchitra Sen.
TDS: Rapport with co-actors...
Babita: Zafar Iqbal and I were a great hit. Our clothes were in vogue. Zafar was a fantastic singer blessed with good looks. Another winning combination was with Faruque. Typically I would play the innocent village belle and he would be the fiery young man.

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