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Agile and charming, Raima Sen is only eighteen films down in Bollywood, and yet has given some superb performances in films like Godmother, Chokher Bali and Parineeta. She will now be seen playing a Bong babe in Reema Kagti's multi-starrer Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. Read on, as she talks about her entertaining role in this comic flick.
You play a Bengali girl in the film Honeymoon Travels... Tell us something about your character and how much you could relate to it.
I could identify a lot with the character of Milly Sen. She is a bit dominant in the film, and I am also like that. It was also very easy for me to play the character as it required a Bengali-Hindi accent, and an overall Bengali appeal. So I was very comfortable doing this role as I am a Bengali myself.
Did you specially work on your look in the film?
My look in the film was a "married" look- with a saree, sindoor, bindi and a bun. It was very different from the looks I have sported so far. It was also essentially a Bengali look- married Bengali women dress very much like that. They wear shaka-pola and big bindis. And I had seen that before, so it was easy to adapt that look.
We heard you were parasailing in a saree. How was your experience doing this film?
It was really fun. I had done parasailing, but I had never done parasailing in a saree before! But it was great fun because I rehearsed the scene a day before the actual shoot. It was a hilarious sight for everybody else on the beach. Nonetheless, it was great fun. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
You play Kay Kay Menon's wife in the film. Tell us about your on-screen and off-screen relationship with him.
He is a great actor, and I think that helped my performance a lot. I would go to him when I needed hints with some scenes, and he would promptly help me out. Since we play a Bengali couple, he would also sometimes come forward and ask me how to sound like a Bengali. In the beginning, I was very intimidated with him, but later, I felt more relaxed working with him. He is a very chilled-out human being, and the twelve of us got along really well. After so many weeks of shooting, I think all of us bonded really well.
You made headlines when you proclaimed that you find Kay Kay hot!
Oh dear, the media just concocted that sentence to sensationalize this story. Kay Kay intimidates everyone with his imposing personality and acting prowess. I had just said that I find Kay Kay hot, nothing more!
Are there any intimate moments between you and Kay Kay in the film?
Yes there is one kissing scene in the film, but I won't disclose much, otherwise the story will be out. There are intimate moments between every couple, but none of them are vulgar or titillating. Either they are tender, like the one between Kay Kay and me, or they are comic like those between Abhay Deol and Minissha Lamba.
You have been portrayed as a very fun-loving, adventurous girl in Honeymoon Travels... Are you like this in real life as well?
Yes I am very much like that, and the director Reema would completely agree. Even when my sister Riya saw promos of the film she said - oh my God, you must have played yourself in the film. So yes, I am very much like that and when people saw the film they realized I can also be so funny.
How was it working with Reema Kagti?
Reema is a very good director and handling a film like this one is quite difficult. But considering this is her first movie she managed pretty well. She never shouted at the actors, she let us be. And because she was so chilled out there was no tension in the air, and we all had a lot of fun. And that fun shows through in the movie.
It seems like you had a lot of fun during the shoot of the song Sajanaji Vaari Vaari. Tell us about it.
Actually, Farah Khan choreographed the song in a way. She asked Kay Kay to just dance impromptu when she says 'action'. All of us had to just imitate his steps so we didn't know what was coming. Even when Kay Kay would do the rehearsals, we just had to copy him. So it was quite hilarious. Boman, Shabana, Amisha, all of us would just look at Kay Kay and dance. We had to trust Kay Kay and his dance but it has come out really well in the film. It looks like a well-choreographed dance.
Were there any other memorable incidents during the shoot?
Not really, but when the see the movie as a whole, you will realize that all of us have had a lot of fun moments while shooting.
Which is your favourite track?
I haven't seen the complete movie. They had a preview for the couples but I couldn't be there as I was shooting elsewhere. But I am sure everyone's role in the film is very different and unique. There is a Maharashtrian couple, a Bengali couple, a Parsi couple. So I think all of them will have their own importance. Without everyone's track gelling, the movie won't gel. I think everyone's track is funny.
So is it an out-and-out comedy film?
No, there are emotional moments as well.
What are your expectations from Honeymoon Travels...?
I have great expectations from the film - it is so whacky that it has to work. Personally, I hope to get more offers for comic roles!
Your next film, Eklavya - The Royal Guard, again is a multi-starrer. Is there any particular reason you are doing such films?
No, not constantly...I just choose the best of what I get. I have also worked with Vidhu Vinod Chopra in Parineeta and I was waiting to work with him again, as I think he is a great filmmaker. Even though I have a small role in Eklavya, I am very happy to be a part of that film. In Eklavya, I play the part of Nandani, a young woman with the mind of a 10-year-old.
Eklavya - The Royal Guard looks like a very royal film, set in that era.
No, it is a very contemporary film set in today's times. It is not a period film.
Was there any surmise in your mind that Eklavya - The Royal Guard is a male dominated film?
Yes, it is a male dominated film. But even if you do a good job with a small role in some way or the other, you are justified in doing the movie.
Tell us about your upcoming films.
I won't say much about my films, but I am doing a film called Manorama Six Feet Under which is a thriller. And I am doing a role that is very different than what I have done in my other movies. Japanese Wife is a beautiful love story and I am very happy to be a part of it. To prepare for my role in this film, I am attending a workshop with Sohag Sen, which is starting in March. The film goes on floors in April in West Bengal. I am looking forward to working with Aparna Sen. I also have a very small appearance in a film called Sunglass, and that is because of director Rituparno Ghosh. Anuranan, which means 'resonance' is a beautiful film based on relationships. I am doing it with Rahul Bose, Rajat Kapoor and Rituparna Sengupta. Then there are others like Khela, The Bong Connection (about Bengali NRIs), and Meridian opposite Arjun Rampal.
What about the festive film Yatra?
I haven't done that film; it didn't really work out with me.
And what is happening with films like The Bachelor and Mukhbir?
The Bachelor has still not been completed so I think it will never see the light of day. I was shooting for Mukhbir last year, so I guess it will release sometime this year.