What are your plans about working in movies?
I don't have any intention of doing ten films a year. I would like to do four, with gaps in between. From November, I am starting a project with Arefin Shuvo as my co-star. I am currently preparing for that role. For Aashiqui, I did a five-month long 'workshop'. It was a workshop conducted by me, for me.
Your first movie, Aashiqui, has recently been released.
Given that it is my first film, I was extremely nervous before its release, captivated with different worries just before Eid. Now, the film is doing well; the audience is enjoying watching it. I would have been very saddened if the response wasn't positive. There is a portion in the audience who are not theatre-goers, but had come to watch this film. This is my biggest achievement from Aashiqui.
Many people are saying that the film is not doing well. And issues have been raised - dialogues are in Hindi and the singer who was supposed to sing in the movie has been replaced with another.
The movie has been met with controversies since its inception. And it is continuing to be that way. The audience has in fact accepted the movie wholeheartedly. When you are doing something worthwhile, there will always be controversies.
And I really can't talk about the issues that are being pointed out. The production company will be able to clarify better. Perhaps these things arose due to the rush of completing the movie. I couldn't get enough time to work with some of the dialogues. The editing took place in Kolkata, and the same final output has been screened here as well.
Could you share your experience about the time when you first stood in front of the camera at Aashiqui's set?
I didn't meet the director or my co-star Ankush Hazra beforehand. And it was a new place for me. The first shot, which also had Ankush in it, was a scene where I had to cry. And I got tensed when I discovered that the hero would kiss me on that scene. The director tried to ease me, saying that it was just a kiss on the forehead. "But it had to be in my very first shot!" I thought. In the crying scene, I failed to cry, and the director yelled at me for that. And that yell made me cry like a baby.
You are now a film actor. How do you feel about that?
Responsibility has increased. I am not just acting. There is a lot of work, like branding and marketing. I have done everything that needs to be done to take myself to a larger audience.
How did you get the offer of playing a role in a movie?
I took part in a Channel i programme that was held in Qatar. There, I danced rather well in a song by Mila. Faridur Reza Sagor and Abdul Aziz were very impressed by my performance. Faridur Reza Sagor brought forward the idea of making me a movie actor. It was then when Jaaz Multimedia planned to take me up as a heroine. I will always be indebted to Channel i. I had to give an audition at Jaaz. After that, I had to go to Kolkata, and then, after different auditions and tests, I was selected.
Do tell us more.
For example, fitness is extremely important. I have spent three and a half hours of every day in the gym. I practiced my dance moves. I also put effort on speaking proper Bengali.
You are a heroine now. Do you actually have time to watch movies? Do you watch a lot of them?
I used to watch Hollywood movies regularly; but I didn't watch Bollywood and Bengali cinema that much. But I gradually started to watch Bollywood, and, since the time I became an actor, I started watching Bengali flicks. I watch movies whenever I get the chance.
Who's your favourite heroine?
I am a big fan of Kareena Kapoor.
What's your fashion mantra?
I wear whatever suits me. And I understand what goes with my personality and what doesn't. I have never imitated anyone when it comes to fashion.
Tell us your love story. Are you seeing anyone now?
At times, I am very emotional; and at others, I'm quite unemotional. Perhaps due to this duality, I fall in love quite often. I am always in love. I cannot work well when I'm single. Being in love is a secret source of my energy!
Interviewed by Zahid Akbar and Narrated by Himadri