‘I Was Waiting for the Right Opportunity All This While’

She was missing from the Bengali screen for a long time but is now back in Kolkata to shoot for a web-series. In a brief chat with RBN, Riya Sen talks about her upcoming projects and what’s keeping the Style actress busy these days.

You have returned to Kolkata after a pretty long break

Yes. It always feels great to be back in the city. I miss the warmth of the people here. But I make it a point to visit Kolkata as and when I get time.

It seems you are concentrating only on web-series now

Well, I won’t say that I’m doing ‘only’ web-series. I am open to offers from the big screen as well. But right now web-series are taking most of my time.

You will be seen in Mismatch2 in a lead role. What are the other projects that you are working on now?

I just finished working for two web-series in Hindi. One is ‘Poison’ which premieres on 19 April and the other is ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’ for which I just completed the dubbing. The latter one has been shot in a cinematic style. Apart from these, talks are on for a new film as well.

What made you sign Mismatch2?

The plot of the series is like the urban Hindi sex-comedies. It’s bold and uninhibited. I am happy that such a series is happening in Kolkata. Production houses are thinking out of the box and coming up with great content that is usually not done here.

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You never worked with Soumik Chatterjee (director, Mismatch2) before

No. But Raima (Sen, sister) did and she said he is an extremely pleasant man and fun to work with.

Why were you not seen on the Bengali screen after playing major roles in Rituparno Ghosh’s Noukadubi and Abohomaan?

I really don’t know why directors here never cast me in their films. You have to ask them for that. Maybe they are apprehensive that since I am settled in Mumbai I won’t come down to shoot here. Maybe they believe I won’t fit into a Bengali film. But I am always eager to do Bengali films and open to good scripts that come my way.

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But you seem to enjoy working on the web platform

Oh yes, absolutely. These days you can’t differentiate between the production quality of a film and a web-series. In Mumbai, the budget for a web-series is almost as big as a film. Big banners are coming up with great digital content and the reach has increased manifold in the last couple of years. I am thoroughly enjoying my work now.

Leaving aside Bengali films, you were not much seen in Hindi films either all this while

I have a lot of friends in the industry who work in big production houses or are channel heads. Around 8-10 years back, they advised me not to sign whatever films came my way. They asked me to wait and said that the web market will hit India in a big way. They told me to have patience. I mentally prepared myself to work for the web and waited for the right kind of opportunity to come my way. And when it did, I was ready.

Besides Hindi, a lot of work is happening on the web in regional languages as well. Do you think that web has emerged as a disruption and will affect film production going ahead?

See, there’s no denying the fact that the web-series market will grow larger. More platforms are coming up with interesting stories to tell, which in fact has caused films to rethink their content. A time will come when all forms of entertainment will merge into one big platform. I think film production will go down since people are already visiting theatres less. Today’s generation doesn’t want to spend an entire evening going to the theatres to catch a film. Entertainment is instant these days. You can watch a film while going to work or during a break. The web has opened up a big market for production houses, directors, artistes and everybody connected to the business of entertainment.

Pic: BizAsia

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Foodie, lazy, bookworm, and internet junkie. All in that order. Loves to floor the accelerator. Mad about the Himalayas and its trekking trails. Forester in past life. An avid swimmer. Also an occasional writer and editor

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