From the reigning queen of mainstream Bengali cinema to more meaningful roles, Rituparna Sengupta, has played a near-exhaustive gamut of characters in her over two decades long career. Here to RadioBanglaNet, Rituparna bares her chemistry with some of her leading men. Excerpts.
On Bhaskar Bandopadhyay: My first hero in Swet Pathorer Thala (1989). He still greets me with a ‘Hello madam’ and goes on to ask, ‘Have you completed your schedule with (Dustin) Hoffman?’ I reply, ‘What about yours with (Demi) Moore.’ Still calls me by my petname Chumki.
On Chiranjeet: A very dynamic actor-director. His Bastir Meye Radha (2000), Nagin Kanya (1995) and Sansar Sangram (1995) were all superhits. However he preferred a hiatus from directing. Despite our age difference we were well accepted by the masses.
On Mithun Chakraborty: Work becomes easy when an inspiring and positive person is beside you. Have done innumerable films beginning with Teesra Kaun (1994). A fantastic cook, his khichuri with coriander chutney can beat the best chefs in the world.
On Abhishek Chatterjee: Have done several films with him of which Sujan Sakhi (1995) was a big hit. Dahan (1998), of course, was well received by the critics. We share a bond beyond cinema. Though not much in touch now. A hugely underrated actor, he wasn’t properly exploited by the Bengali film industry.
On Ferdous: A true friend. Can call him up anytime, even at two in the morning. Have done numerous films together including many Indo-Bangla ventures. Most of them were money spinners.
On Dibyendu: Charulata 2011 was a big success both critically and commercially. I know how to make a hit with a newcomer. Dibyendu came across as a reserved and quiet individual on the sets. Passionate about his work.
On Nigel Akkara: From the industry superstar to a former convict, I have acted with them all. Nigel can make it big if he intends to do more films.
On Samadarshi: Have acted in two films—Aarohan (2010) and Khola Hawa (2014). Samadarshi has made his mark from his very first film Ichhe (2011) and followed it up with the brilliant Bhooter Bhabisyat (2012). Has the trappings of being the poster boy of alternate and middle-of-the-road cinema.
On Prasenjit: Nearly 50 films with him. Bumbada is a professional to the core and hardworking. He knows how to hold his ground in this dog-eat-dog industry. We have delivered box office hits like Sasurbari Zindabad (2000), Tumi Ele Tai (1999) and even Baba Keno Chakor (1997). The list is endless. Utsab (2000), however, still remains our best outing. Praktan (2016) was a money-spinner. Looking forward to working with him again in Kaushik Ganguly’s Drishtikon.