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“Often third or fourth time directors make disasters” - Konkona

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Konkona Sen continues working in films which stand out from the crowd. This time around, she is seen as a lead protagonist in Rohan Sippy's The President Is Coming, an English language film which is directed by first time director Kunal Roy Kapoor. While USA has just seen a change in President in recently held elections, The President Is Coming releases on 28th November and tells the story of a bunch of youngsters who compete with each other to have a handshake with the President. We caught up with Konkona to know whether she herself carries such aspirations amongst other things!

The President Is Coming - Did the title itself make you go for it?
Not really, I just heard one reading and was sold on it!

But didn't it make you wonder whether a title like this would restrict the market reach of the film?
I don't worry about things like that. That's too boring since it's the producer's job!

With a subject like this, how comfortable or worried were you about it's acceptance with the audience?
I really wasn't thinking of all that. First and foremost it has to appeal to me and it did, so I went ahead with it.

The movie derives itself from a play by the same name. Have you seen the play?
Yes, but I only saw it after the shoot was over. That's because most of the cast is the same and they were busy shooting for the movie to have any shows.

Didn't you feel apprehensive about the fact that a play was being adapted into a film?
No, in fact I was delighted to be considered for the role.

Most of the cast in the film comprises of actors who were in the play. Did you feel inhibited that you were an 'outsider'?
Well, I did feel a bit inhibited at first because they're all so talented and knew the content so well from before. But all of them are very warm and charming and it was great fun working with them because they're all mad!

However, it must have turned out to be quite helpful eventually with those people around who have been a part of the play. Didn't it?
Yes it was. They knew my character better than I did (smiles)!

Didn't it require some convincing for you to be acting in a film which is helmed by a debutant director (Kunal Roy Kapoor)?
No! I have worked with many first time directors who are talented. Often third or fourth time directors make disasters also!

Coming to the film, is it an out and out comedy?
Yes, but it's not slapstick humour.

The film is about the quest to meet President Bush. In real life do you carry such aspirations?
(Laughs) Are you mad?!

In real life, how far would you really go in your desire to meet someone, be it a celebrity or a common man?
Not very far, because I'm very lazy.

How much was it required for you to know President Bush to act in the film?
Not at all.

The film's language is essentially English. That must have come naturally to you, right?
Yes, I'm most comfortable in English.

Looking at reality TV making inroads into Indian home, doesn't it further help the film's cause?
I hope so but this is unlike any reality TV I've seen. However, honestly I haven't seen much of reality TV.

Coming to the work you are doing, do you feel that some of the most offbeat/unconventional projects keeping falling in your lap?
Yes, I've been lucky to have been offered these kinds of movies.

But after a Laaga Chunari Mein Daag or a Aaja Nachle, do you ever feel like being a part of a mainstream song and dance routine flick again?
Not really. It's not about the song and dance; it's about the script, the director, the part and the crew that makes a film fun and special.

Fashion just saw a release and has been seeing terrific acclaim. Though you have a one minute appearance in the film, didn't you ever feel - 'If only I could have bagged a larger part'?
Not at all!

On a parting note, can't help but ask this question - When are you and Ranvir going to say - 'I Do'?
(Smiles) I DO not know.

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