Monday, June 12, 2006
Tanishta Chatterjee - the name might not sound familiar in Bollywood but the actress has to her credits some interesting crossover work. She made her debut in Anwar Jamal's National Award-winning film Swaraaj: The Little Republic in 2002. The Delhi-bred National-School-of-Drama graduate has worked in Oscar-winning German filmmaker Florian Gallenberger's Bengali film Shadows of Time and also in Partho Sengupta's France-India co-production Hawa Aaney Dey.
Her next film isn't a typical Bollywood material either. With Sanjay Jha's Strings, Tannishtha continues her tryst with offbeat films.
You have come from a theatre background. How is it different
I think the basic exploration of a character is just the same. Preproduction process of theatre and cinema is quite similar. When you are performing for theatre, you have to reach out to the live audience. While in cinema you have to perform in front of a camera and you have to be really eternal and real to your experience.
Tell us about your upcoming film Strings
Strings means thread; it's a bonding between people. It's a bond between cultures and souls.
And what's your role in the film
I play a girl who is a daughter of a temple priest. She is spiritually inclined and is very sorted out person. She knows what her grounding is. She is a mixture of things that she imbibes from modernity and she is rooted to her culture on the other hand.
What made you go for this role?
The project was very exciting. And this was the first time that guerilla style filmmaking happened in India, where you can actually shoot in a Kumbh mela. Sanjay informed me that it's a story of a father and daughter and we will be shooting in Kumbh. I had never been to Kumbh and this was the best way to explore it through work.
How was the shooting experience at Kumbh?
It was mixed. Sometimes we had to face some problems and sometimes we had something really interesting coming up. We explored Kumbh while shooting there. That's the reason it is so real for three of us. It was a new experience for all of us, just like a unique balance between cinema and real life experience. When you bring in real life into film then it comes alive. So the energy of the film was really very special.
How is Adam Bedi as a costar?
He was fantastic. Both of them, Sandhya and Adam, were good. All of us had a blast while shooting in Kumbh. We experienced something new that excited us about the newness of that whole thing. We had a very good time. We had no other way but to stick to each other; otherwise we couldn't have made the film. Without working together it was an impossible project. It's not easy to just go out there and shoot.
How was it working with Sandhya Mridul?
I have a couple of scenes with her and it was really nice. We used to rehearse and come up with different things. I had a fantastic rapport with her.
And what about director, Sanjay Jha?
I was introduced to Sanjay by Vineet Kumar, who plays my father in the film. When I met Sanjay Jha, he said you are the one who I wanted for this movie. He evolved the actual script after our meeting. The script and some characters came much later. Sanjay is a very good director, who can hold a team together. He knows how to take best out of an actor.
Tell us something about the music of
Well Zubin is fantastic in this film. I am a fan of him from a very long time. His music has a spiritual undertone. I think Assamese folk tune has a very unique quality. It goes very well with the film. It's just beautiful. My favorite song is called 'Om' but it has not come on air. It's by a very famous Hindu poet called Nagarjun. I think he has done a fantastic job. He is a rock star and also acted in the film.
What is the USP of this film?
The unique locations of Kumbh.
Which will be your next film?
The film that I am shooting right now is a British film. It's produced by the producers that produced Elizabeth. It's a woman centric film so I am really excited. I am playing a central character of a Bangladeshi immigrant, who gets married to a 45 year old man. It's about her entire journey from 17 years to 35 years. This is a contemporary film about the conflicts and the identity problems of immigrants. It's a unique thing for me because I have not gone through the experience.
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