Talent and versatility make her. Charming and charismatic, there is no denying that Rituparna Sengupta is one of the most successful and sought-after stars in the Bengali industry. The actress, who has racked up a string of memorable characters, is entering Mollywood through Sohanlal’s ‘Kathaveedu’, and the Bong beauty is all gung-ho about her south innings. “Malayalam films have always fascinated me, they have their own flavour and class. More than the regional glory they have made it into the global map banking on their quality and content. So I was really keen on taking up something down the south,” says the national award winning actress.
Rituparna says she was drawn to ‘Kathaveedu’ by its sensitive storyline and being a film conceived by an icon like M T Vasudevan Nair, she couldn’t have asked for more. “I would call the film a poetic portrayal of relationships. My character Rita is a very intense one and the narrative will remind you of a painting coming alive on canvas.” It’s not the first time she is offered a Malayalam film as Sasi Paravoor had wanted to cast her in ‘Kadaksham’ opposite Suresh Gopi. “At that time it was practically impossible to wriggle out of my schedule as I was busy with a handful of projects. This time also the situation was similar, but I somehow managed it,” she says.
Starting from Rituparno Ghosh and Aparna Sen she has worked with the best of the lot, be it Tarun Majumdar or Sandhip Ray. The actress says it’s the parallel filmmakers who have wrung out the best in her. “My last three films featured no larger-than-life heroes or had the backing of any big production house. But they could make an impact among the masses as the content and performances were excellent. ‘Muktodhara’ deals with a socially relevant subject and was watched by the President. ‘Teen Kanya’, a psycho-thriller and ‘Charulatha 2011’ too were well received.”
The actress says rather than basking in the stardom and being a screen goddess at her home ground, she prefers to spread her wings. Her filmography features a lot of female-centric films including Rituparno Ghosh’s ‘Dahan’ which won her the national award for best actress.
“I go by my instincts and I always look forward to reinvent the actress in me. So if the content appeals to me I don’t think twice before signing an out-of-the-box project. I am not obsessed with my image and have made no rule that I will do only goody-goody roles. Nothing intimidates me when it comes to playing an unconventional role. I am a professional artist and I am here to act. As an actress I look up to intriguing roles,” she says.
Though her name is often associated with art-house films, her Bollywood career shows she is a star with certain glam quotient. “Bollywood is yet to tap my talent. It’s a different world with cut-throat competition and commercial formulas. I won’t say I am totally content about my on-and-off work there, but then, I got an opportunity to associate with filmmakers like Amol Palekar and Madhur Bhandarkar which is fair enough,” says the actress who was part of films like ‘Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji’, ‘Do Knot Disturb’ and ‘Main Meri Patni Aur Woh’.
She confesses that she is not quite plugged into mainstream Malayalam, but is a huge fan of Shobhana. “Then I have worked with Priyadarshan for ‘Bumm Bumm Bole’ and for another film ‘Ek SRK’ which had an all Malayali crew. When I was in Kerala I picked up nearly 100 DVDs. I want to see them all so that I will get a real feel of the industry. I understand that a wave of change is sweeping through Malayalam cinema and I am really upbeat to be part of it,” she winds up.