IBNS: Indian actress Anindita Bose, who started her career in Bengali TV and films, got her recognition in Mumbai after working in some popular OTT shows like Pataal Lok, Ray et al. She featured alongside Konkona Sen Sharma in Aparna Sen’s film The Rapist. IBNS correspondent Souvik Ghosh catches up with Anindita on her journey so far, Bollywood engagements and more…
Q. How are you juggling work in two cities, Mumbai and Kolkata?
A. It has been very easy because Kolkata for me has been like home. Everybody saw me growing and my life changed. It’s like homecoming when I return to Kolkata. I am still trying to find my place in Mumbai, which is my home city. So it’s like moving from one home to the other. When it comes to managing work, I haven’t faced many problems. I have no complaints.
Q. How different do you find the work culture in the two cities?
A. Ah… to be honest, it’s the same. Maybe the scale is a little larger in Mumbai because the projects there are more expensive in terms of budget as compared to Kolkata. Otherwise, the work culture is pretty much the same.
Q. How was the experience of working with Aparna Sen (in The Rapist) that too in your formative years in Mumbai?
A. It was a dream come true actually. I remember meeting Rina-di (Aparna Sen) and Koko (Konkona Sen Sharma) at a film festival in Kolkata years ago. I had a fan moment seeing them (laughs). I always had the feeling that working with these two would be a dream come true for me. It took time but did happen.
Not just working on a project directed by Rina-di but I also got to work alongside Konkona in the same project! It was almost like a ‘pinching-myself’ kind of moment for me. I got the real feeling during the workshop for the film. Rina-di doesn’t make one feel the kind of an icon she is. She interacts with everyone as a simple, warm lady with loads of knowledge. For me, it was a two-month learning class with her. It was an actor’s delight.
Konkona Sen Sharma (L) and Anindita Bose (R) in The Rapist | Photo courtesy: Screenshot grab from trailer video
Q. The film also deals with such an important topic!
A. The kind of subject being spoken of in the film is very relevant and important. The film has been screened at a number of international film festivals. I am really waiting for the whole of India to watch this film because it is such an important film to be part of. I am lucky to be a part of this film in a capacity.
Q. You started your acting career with Rituparno Ghosh and now got an opportunity to work under Aparna Sen. How do you see these two events in your career?
A. I absorbed everything that Ritu-da had taught me because I got to work with him at a very young age without any formal training in acting. I learnt from him how to show the reality of a character rather than just portraying someone. So my foundation in acting is based on the learnings during Gaaner Oparey days.
I got an opportunity to work with Rina-di at a very later stage of my acting career. With Rina-di, I learnt how to drain the entire emotion in me for a character and how to tap in those emotions when I am doing a scene. This is what I have learnt while working for The Rapist. Unlike my regular nature, I lived with my character for another month because of Rina-di who ensured I got immersed into the character completely.
Q. So how difficult was it to dissociate yourself from the character?
A. I painted. It was the only way of getting out of it. The emotions of my character felt very personal to me. Since mentally we had a difficult time while shooting for the subject, there was a counselling session post workshop for Konkona and I.
Q. How were your initial days in the Hindi film industry?
A. I don’t know whether I can call them struggling or not. Since I already have my place, family and all kinds of comfort in Mumbai, it never felt like a struggle. It just felt like I was trying something new. I had almost given fifty auditions in 2016-2017 and initially for ad films (advertisements). My takeaway from the auditions was getting aware of what kind of things work in Mumbai. It was almost like schooling for me.
Q. How did people’s perception of you change after some of the successful OTT shows like Pataal Lok, Ray, Tooth Pari?
A. Now people in Mumbai are aware of my presence after these shows. From being an unknown person, I have become a known face. It has helped me to get auditions for better projects and meatier roles.
Anindita Bose in Ray | Photo courtesy: Screenshot grab from trailer video
Q. You have had an interest in architecture and you are a painter too. Does painting act as the cushion when you get frustrated?
A. Yeah, yeah, definitely (laughs). I vent out through painting. I have got a bunch of friends whom I treat as therapists (laughs). I vent it out in front of them. My parents have been a support system for me. These are the media through which I can really be the most vulnerable and emerge as a stronger person.
(Images of Anindita Bose by Avishek Mitra/IBNS)