Interview: Actress Pooja Bose on her Bengali film Macho Mastana (2012), Hindi movie Rajdhani Express with Leander Paes, & more

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Bengali Actress Puja Bose (Pooja Bose)Cleveland, Ohio, March 1, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) The sight of a young and pretty actress winning over viewers with charming performances is indeed refreshing. Director Reshmi Mitra’s (interview) big-budget (and hugely anticipated!) forthcoming release, ‘Macho Mastaana’ (which was previously titled "Macho Mustafa" till the government-controlled Indian film censor board decided that name was potentially derogatory to Muslims) would feature the Tollywood debut of Puja Bose, the latest among the current crop of young actresses hoping to make a mark in the Bengali film industry. In an informal chat with Arijit Chakrabarty of WBRi, Puja talked about her ‘Macho Mustana’ experience where she appears as the heroine opposite a eight-pack abs equipped Hiran Chatterjee (interview), her first forays into the movie industry, her forthcoming releases and many things more.

The conversation started out with the young actress exchanging pleasantries with the interviewer. It was also pointed out by the latter that, thanks to the stylized promos of ‘Macho Mustana’ (which are being extensively aired on all premier Bengali television channels!), Puja Bose had already become a known face among the moviegoers in Bengal. Thanks to the expertly thought-out media campaign of ‘Macho Mustana’, we had the good fortune to have an early look at this ravishing newcomer!

Speaking about her entry into films, Puja revealed that, since childhood, it had always been her desire to become an actress (a wish since ‘birth’, as the young lady put it!). Puja had been determined enough to follow her heart too, joining the showbiz industry soon after the completion of her studies.

While ‘Macho Mustana’ is, of course, the big debut film of Puja in Tollywood, the actress is, however, not at all a newbie in front of the camera. Puja said that she had already been working for three to four years in Hindi tele-films and serials (on popular channels like Star Plus and Imagine TV). She had also starred in a Telugu film (‘Veedu Theda’), which had gone on to become a big hit. The actress said that she was also shooting for a Bollywood flick, ‘Rajdhani Express’.

Puja sounded excited as she talked about the imminent release of ‘Macho Mustana’ (it’s her first Tollywood break, after all!). The actress expressed happiness with the manner in which she had been presented in the film by director Reshmi Mitra. Puja had directly come down to Kolkata to sign for the film and recounted the fun and enjoyment the entire cast and crew of ‘Macho Mustana’ had, during indoor as well as outdoor shooting schedules. The enormous amount of hard work put in by all the unit members, who had gelled beautifully as a team, was also mentioned by Puja.

Talking about her co-stars, Puja was full of praise for Hiran, the man opposite whom she is cast in ‘Macho Mustana’. Referring to Hiran’s all-new, eight-pack physique, Puja explained how difficult it was to maintain such a perfectly sculpted body throughout the entire making of the film and how Hiran’s fantastic work-ethic had helped him a lot in this regard. The actress was also vociferous in acknowledging the continuous help and support she had received from director Reshmi Mitra, before the shooting for ‘Macho Mustana’ had started, during the shots and even after the making of the film had been complete. Puja also had a special word of gratitude for the producer of the film, Mr. Tiwari. While all producers make monetary investments in their projects, Mr. Tiwari stood out for his sense of creativity and vision, which helped to lend the film an extra dash of style and sophistication. Mr. Tiwari had also helped in the choices of shooting locations and schedules, recounted Puja.

Trailer: Macho Mastana (Bengali, 2012)

Puja Bose also talked about how she had suffered a fracture in her hand, due to a freak accident on the sets of ‘Macho Mustana’. She expressed her heartfelt gratitude to everyone from the movie team, who had supported her during this period. In passing, Puja also talked about the high quality of music that ‘Macho Mustana’ boasts of. The actress said that, the six tracks in the movie belonged to six different genres and each of them had been quite beautifully rendered by the playback artists. The actress even went to the length of referring to the songs as the ‘life of the film’, in order to emphasize their significance in the movie. Overall, according to Puja, ‘Macho Mustana’ was a complete entertainer and she was confident that viewers would never (even for a moment!) feel bored, while watching the film.

The actress also recounted funny anecdotes from the time when she was shooting for ‘Macho Mustana’. Puja could hardly suppress a merry chuckle as she recalled how Hiran always used to hunt for shops (wherever they might be shooting!) to buy chocolates for Reshmi Mitra, the director of the film (and a lady with a distinctly sweet tooth!).

Puja also recalled another funny incident that had happened during one of their outdoor shooting schedules. The place where the ‘Macho Mastana’ team was based was some distance away from the actual location and the crew members had to wake up very early in the morning to travel to the shooting spot. On the way, the team had located a house, with a fruit-laden tree beside it. One fine morning, Puja and the others had (just for laughs!) decided to steal some fruits from the tree. The elderly lady, who was the owner of the house, had, however, caught them in the act! Puja positively gushed about the sweetness of the lady, who had, in fact, invited the actors over and gifted them with a lot of fruits!

When asked about the responses and feedbacks that she had been getting to the initial promos of ‘Macho Mustana’, Puja sounded supremely confident about the success of the film, since a lot of hard work had gone behind its marketing. The actress stated that the promos of the movie were being extremely well-received by cinegoers throughout Bengal (including North Bengal). The makers as well as those in charge of production had reported enthusiastic responses from audiences to the promos of ‘Macho Mustana’. As a newcomer, Puja sounded particularly excited to be a part of ‘Macho Mustana’, which is already making waves as the costliest Bengali film to have been ever made. In fact, the young lady revealed that she could not wait for the film to release!

Puja Bose sounded sincere as she talked about her plans to keep doing Bengali films (we, as viewers, are delighted to hear this!). The sheer professionalism and commitment of the debutante was for all to see, as she said that she did not want to fall into that category of actresses (arriving from Mumbai or other states), who were not fluent in Bengali and simply read off their dialogs, which were written on boards. Instead, from the very first shot of ‘Macho Mustana’, Puja had been making a constant effort to learn her own dialogs and deliver them in a natural manner (without any external aids whatsoever!). Whenever Puja felt that her expressions were not quite right during a particular sequence (which, initially, used to happen quite often, since the actress had a tendency to start thinking about her other dialogs!), she would always ask for a retake (Now, that’s what perfectionists are all about!).

Thanks to her sincere efforts to get a proper grasp of the Bengali language, Puja had never faced any serious linguistic problems while shooting for ‘Macho Mustana’. The lady was, of course, fluent in Hindi, with her prior acts in Hindi television serials. The actress also said that she could easily understand Telugu too (although she could not quite talk in that language yet!).

Puja also let the listeners know about the big Bollywood flick, ‘Rajdhani Express’, which would mark her debut in the Hindi film industry. The movie, which, incidentally, would also bring ace tennis player Leander Paes on the silver screen for the very first time, had a fantastic star cast, comprising of Paresh Rawal, Gulshan Grover, Jimmy Shergill, Priyanshu Chatterjee and Sudhanshu Pandey. While the young actress was, of course, excited to work with such established Bollywood stars, she never faced any reason to feel overwhelmed on the sets of the film. In fact, the senior actors had gone out of their way to put the youngster at her ease and Puja indeed sounded thankful for their support and co-operation.

The interview finished with Puja Bose being thanked for being gracious enough to find time to chat at the WBRi studio. The actress, on her part, requested all listeners (including the interviewer, Arijit Chakrabarty!) to watch ‘Macho Mustana’, since she believed that viewers would find the movie highly entertaining indeed.

Our best wishes lie with Puja Bose and the entire team of ‘Macho Mustana’. May the actress have a sparkling debut and may she attain success in all her future celluloid endeavors.