How did it all happen?
I dreamt of seeing myself on television and in films since I was very little. That dream is what pushed me to give show business a shot. The Veet Channel i Top Model competition gave me the platform to enter the field. I watched the first season of this program and after seeing Hasin apu win, I decided that I would try out for this as well. When I found out about the second season of Veet Channel i Top Model, I applied. I submitted my picture on the last day of the submission, and got a call for an audition only two days later. The day long audition involved over three hundred other girls. They managed to whittle that massive number down to 20 contestants and they took us to the camp two days later. I must say I felt blessed that I made it through that challenging screening process.
How would you describe life in the boot camp?
In one word: Hard! Don't get me wrong though. The camp has been beneficial to all of us because that's where we were trained to succeed in the media. It's just that many of the things we had to do were very difficult for me. We spent over 3 months in that camp, during which time; contact with the outside world was very limited. We were all allowed to visit our families maybe twice or thrice. Every day we had to wake up around 6am and the rest of the day was a scheduled learning experience where we were taught everything from cat walks, expressions, acting, dancing, posture etc. by grooming instructors who'd come in every day. Through these lessons, our abilities were honed and tested and those who could not meet the expectations were eliminated from the competition.
Do you think coming to the media through a platform is important?
Yes! It is! For a newbie, it definitely is. I have been interested in the media for quite a long time. During this time, I have tried to get into the media using various sources, but it wasn't happening. I was clueless. With Veet Channel i, not only did I receive top class grooming, but I also received guidance, which really made a world of difference. With my training and guidance, I am much more effective that I would have been on my own.
HERE AND NOW
What were some of your first works before you joined the film industry?
My first work, after the Top Model contest, was a TVC for Grameenphone, directed by Shoraf Ahmed Jibon. After that I also acted on TV dramas as well, but to be honest, I got my recognition from TVC's. Through TVC's I also got my first chance to work alongside the Bangladeshi superstar Shakib Khan, whom I learned a lot from. One would think that since he is a superstar, he would act all high and mighty but amazingly, he is very down to earth and very professional and friendly. During the shoot, we also discussed a possible future film project that we could work on.
How did you join the film industry?
This was during the time I was still in the Top Model Competition. We went to Channel i, where we met Bobita Apa. While there, I met Gulzar Bhai who asked me if I wanted to work in films. When I said yes, he gave me a contact of a director from FDC, who was then looking for someone new. However, due to unavoidable circumstances, I didn't get to work on that director's project. Through all these connections, I slowly entered the world of cinema.
How many films have you done so far?
I have done three films until now. The first of these films will be released this January from Impress Telefilms. It's called “Ghashful”, directed by Akram Khan. Since this was my first film, I couldn't have asked for a friendlier director that Akram Bhai. He made this first experience memorable and I must say I've grown through the experience. The second film I did was an art film, directed by S.M. Shakil, called “Dorjar Opashe”. The third one in a mainstream film directed by Omar Faruq and the production team just finished shooting it a few days ago.
Do you find any difference working in TV dramas and Films?
The way I see it, TV dramas uphold the daily life. The story, the scenes, the dialogue, everything is set so as to reflect real life and real situations. So there is a bit of freedom there as you have to act in a natural way and the dialogue isn't set in stone. Film on the other hand, is a bit different. The story, the characters and the dialogue have to be a bit more brash, outstanding and appealing. The director has his own vision of the scene, which you have to live up to.
I am here to work in films and that's the only thing I plan on doing. Many actors have previously given up or shifted to another sector when things weren't going well for them but I don't plan on doing that. I want to work with more accomplished members of the media so that I can learn from them and apply these experiences to my work. I owe that to my audience. This has been my dream ever since I was just a little girl and I don't plan on quitting on my dreams!
Tell us some of your likes and dislikes
I love to sleep, and I am a bit of a foodie, I love to go out a lot, I love to read and I love listening to music. Things I don't really like starts with the typical Bengali family tradition of being denied to go out somewhere with friends. Another thing I don't like is the fact that my father lives abroad, because I miss him very much. I also don't like being pestered when I am in a bad mood.
Catch the uncut and unabridged version of Showbiz's Cover Interview and more on Radio Shadhin 92.4 FM Every Saturday, 11 PM onwards.
Interviewed by Rafi Hossain
and narrated by S.M. Intisab Shahriyar