Raima Sen is excited about her small cameo in Mira Nair's latest film 'Aids Jaago", which is a compilation of four films directed to bring about AIDS awareness amongst the masses. Besides Mira, the other three directors who have made the four films package are Santosh Sivan, Farhan Akhtar and Vishal Bharadwaj. Informs Raima,“I have acted in the short film called 'Migration" for Mira Nair. It has been made to spread awareness on Aids."
Raima adds, "I am ready to pay back to the society what it has given me. I readily agreed to be a vehicle to spread awareness of Aids which should be the concern of every citizen today in our country if we have to build an aware nation tomorrow. Mira has cast me with Shiny Ahuja in the film. I play Shiney's rural wife while Sameera Reddy plays the frustrated wife of Irffan Khan who passes on the disease to Shiney. I have also done a short film for Ruchi Narayan who had directed 'Kal". It is a part of the series on the city of Mumbai for 'Mumbai Ten' for Sahara One."
Looking back at her career, Raima feels that she could do a lot more of meaningful films. "I feel that it is getting better every year. I have learnt a lot. Had I done many commercial films in the beginning of my career, who knows, Aparna did may not have even considered me for her films? I could very well have done some six silly commercial projects and then burnt out myself as an actress."
Raima is frank enough to confess that there are movies which she wants to do desperately but she does not get them at all. She adds, "There are movies which are offered to me but I do not want to be a part of them. As an actor, I make it a point to just rely on my instinct. I want to be here in the film industry for at least the next ten years."
Raima says that post films like 'Honey Moon Travels Private Limited" and 'Manorma Six Feet Under", she is happy that she is getting a lot of offers from Hindi filmmakers though earlier she was doing a lot of Bengali films. "As an actor; I feel that it is very important to do all kinds of roles instead of restricting yourself to one genre. I concede that 'Choker Bali" projected me as a simple girl. You will see me as a simple girl even in 'Japanese Wife."
So what"s her role in 'Japanese Wife" like? Pat comes the reply, " Like in 'Choker Bali", I am playing a challenging role which needed me to apply less of make up. In 'Japanese Wife" I have been teamed opposite Rahul Bose. I play the role of a young widow with an eight year old son in 'Japanese Wife". It is being made in English and Bengali with Aparna Sen as the director. To prepare myself for the role, I did an extensive fifteen days workshop with Aparnadi. Besides the fact that it is a challenging role, it was an exhilarating experience to work under her direction."
Raima adds. "Japanese Wife" will be my fourth film with Rahul Bose. I have worked with Rahul in 'Khela" directed by Parto with Manisha Koirala and Prosenjeet and am doing a guest appearance in 'Sunglass", with Rahul Bose. Konkana Sen Sharma is playing the main lead in the film. 'Sunglass" is being directed by Rituparno Ghosh. 'Khela" is a film within a film. I play a costume designer in the film in which Prosenjeet plays the director. I had also acted with Rahul in the Bengali film 'Anuranon."
Raima is, after a long time, geared up to show her versatility as an actress by taking up a comic role with Tushar Kapoor. Says Raima, "Sachin Yardi who had written 'Kya Kool Hai Hum" is directing the film for Balaji Telefilms with Tushar and me in the lead. It is not a sequel to 'Kya Kool Hai Hum."
Raima is also acting in a cameo role in Mani Shankar's Mukhbir. "The thing that I can divulge at this moment is that I am just doing a guest appearance in Mani Shankar's Mukhbir in which my co-star is Sameer Dattani. It is a character driven film which also has Om Puri in a stellar role."
Raima is now glad that people have stopped comparing her with either her mother Moon Moon Sen or for that matter her sister Riya Sen. "Though no producer has thought of casting me with my mother as yet, Riya and I were cast together in Ajay Sinha's 'Bachelor". It is sad that the film may not be able to see the light of the day for reasons best known to Ajaiji and the producer," Raima quips sadly.
Which among her films does Raima think are her best five? She replies. "Among the films in which I have acted till date , I think the best five are 'Choker Bali", 'Nishi Japon" directed by Satyajit Ray's son Sandeep Ray, Pradeep Sarkar's 'Parineeta", Aparna Sen's 'Japanese Wife" and 'Manorama Six Feet Under."