Interview: Award-Winning Bengali Actress Sudipta Chakraborty on Nobel Chor: Mithun Chakraborty has Given Me a Nickname
By Shoma A. Chatterji
Calcutta, August 3, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Bengali actress Sudipta Chakraborty makes an entry into award-winning NRI film-maker Suman Ghosh’s forthcoming film Nobel Chor. She bagged the National Award for Best Supporting Actress for enacting the role of a maid in Rituparno Ghosh’s Bariwalli some years ago. So her mastery over acting is beyond question as she began when she was a toddler in her noted father Biplab Ketan Chakraborty’s theater group. She has performed in every media she could – theater, television and film and is currently a creative director for two software companies, RealReel Private Limited and Lookthrough Entertainment. She is currently playing a dramatic role in an electrifying Bengali play Bikele Bhorer Shorshey Phool directed by Debesh Chatterjee and written by Bratya Basu. In a freewheeling interview, Sudipta sheds light on her role in Nobel Chor.
We have just heard the news that Nobel Chor has been invited for screening in the Window on Asian Cinema section at the Busan International Film Festival. Are you happy to have been a part of Suman Ghosh’s film?
I am thrilled beyond words. Screening in some other international film festivals is also in the pipeline I hear and with a director like Suman and the kind of films he makes, anything is possible.
Video: On the set of Nobel Chor (via You Tube)
What exactly is the character you play in Nobel Chor?
I play the wife of a character portrayed by actor Saswata Chatterjee. When the protagonist Bhanu (Mithun Chakraborty) comes to Kolkata with the Nobel Medal Tagore had won and he has found, he lives with us in our modest flat. My husband is a good friend of Bhanu and works as a bell-boy in a luxury hotel in Kolkata. The character I portray is a simple, honest housewife who stands behind Bhanu when she realizes that Bhanu is being taken for a ride by politicians and other axe-grinders in Kolkata. The character is touched with subtle nuances I found wonderful to portray.
How did you get into the film in the first place?
I did not know Suman other than through his films. So, I was very surprised when he called me up and offered me the role. He said, “I have had this greed to work with you for a long time. I have been watching your work and wanted to cast you in my film.” He actually used the word ‘greed’ and that was exhilarating for me. It has been a wonderful experience as Suman is extremely confident and cool-headed. Working with him is a pleasure.
What about acting with the great phenomenon Mithun Chakraborty?
I have already worked with him in Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Kaalpurush where I play a girl who can never live down the crush she had on him when he was a much younger man. She tries to enter his life again when she meets him suddenly after many years. But he has never been in love with her. He is wonderful to work with and treats me like a little girl. He has also given me a nickname he goes around telling everyone much to my embarrassment.
You have two more films lined up for release other than Nobel Chor. Right?
Yes, that’s right. One of them is Urochithi directed by Kamaleshwar Mukhopadhyay (interview). I play Sonia, a non-Bengali fashion designer who has a lot of attitude, is a snob and looks down on people. The other film is Abasheshe directed by Aditi Roy. Mine is a very outdoors character of an educated young girl. It is a brief role but an important and intense one. There is an interesting twist in the plot. I enjoyed all the three films very much.