Konkona Sensharma has two interesting films coming up. Alankrita Srivastava’s Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare and Seema Pahwa’s Pind Daan.
“I am not here to change the world. It (acting) is not a cause. I am in my own space, which I am going to try and make interesting in my own way,” she says, but her choice of films narrates a different story. Be it Page 3, Luck By Chance, 15 Park Avenue, Talvar or Lipstick Under My Burkha, most of her films have something pertinent to say. They make you think and almost always leave their indelible mark.
In a freewheeling conversation on a languid Mumbai afternoon, the 39-year-old talks about it all, from her upcoming films to working with Bhumi Pednekar for the first time, her work equation with her mother, actor-filmmaker Aparna Sen, and her next directorial project.
It’s been two years since your directorial debut A Death in the Gunj. Are you planning to direct again anytime soon?
I would like to but I have to find something that is interesting enough. So I am kind of vaguely working on it. Since I also act, I don’t have this need to take up something that I don’t want to do. I’d like to direct something which again comes from a personal space.
You will next be seen in Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. What is the film about?
It is about two women. My character lives in Noida, she has a family and her younger cousin comes from the small town in Bihar that they are from to stay with her. It’s about the way they affect each other’s lives. They both want to give the idea that their lives perfect but they are far from it.
How was it working with Alankrita again after Lipstick under My Burkha?
I love her. I had a wonderful time working with her on Lipstick under My Burkha but I couldn’t work with her as in-depth then because there were four characters.
When she told me about Dolly Kitty, I loved the script. Whether it does well or not, whether anybody watches it or not, whether it releases or not, I am just happy that she wrote it and I got to be a part of it.
The film also has Bhumi Pednekar, with whom you’re working for the first time. How was the experience like?
From the start, it was important for both Bhumi and I to make the other person feel comfortable and happy. We were always looking after each other in small and big ways. It was wonderful to have that kind of support on set.
You’ll also act in Seema Pahwa’s debut directorial Pind Daan…
Yes, she approached me. It’s again a lovely, interesting character which has some shades of grey. It’s an ensemble cast. So it’s got a lot of wonderful actors, right from Naseeruddin Shah to Supriya Pathak, Vinay Pathak and Vikrant Massey.
Vikrant features in both Dolly Kitty and Pind Daan. How is it like working with him again after A Death in the Gunj? Has anything changed?
No, no. I feel like he’s my adopted child. Because he was my Shutu (the name of Vikrant’s character in Gunj), I think I’ll always feel like that. Shutu was so me and then he took on Shutu and made him so amazingly him. I feel a lot of affection for the film’s entire cast. I feel like they are my children.
You’ve been very selective with your acting projects lately…
It’s because I haven’t got many interesting offers. I don’t get as many offers as I used to. I think it’s because I’m older now. Even among those I get, I have to choose what I like.
When will we see you in a commercial film like a Wake Up Sid or a Laaga Chunri Mein Daag again?
This is not a question to be asked to me, because I am not saying, ‘Now don’t come to me anymore’. In an ideal world, I would like to be offered many interesting kinds of roles so that I can choose. But in most Bollywood films, the protagonist is a younger woman.
Now I can’t play early 20s all my life. I am interested in playing women in their 30s. But we don’t talk about them as much. You will still find women in their 50s or 60s in the very stereotypical role of a mother. But women in their 30s and 40s don’t exist. In the web space, may be. But not in films yet. Except for the peripheral roles of a mother or a bad sister-in-law, we are not really interested in older women’s lives.
Of all your acting roles, which is the closest to your heart and which one you found the most challenging?
It will have to be 15 Park Avenue, which was directed by my mother Aparna Sen. I play a schizophrenic in it. It’s also the closest to my heart because it was based on somebody in my extended family, whom I have known since my childhood.
How is your working relationship with your mother?
I have been very lucky to have worked with her on so many films. And I hope to work with her again. Both of us come from a very similar space where we understand, trust each other.
As a director-actor, we started working together when I was in my early 20s. As both of us acting, we started when I was a child. She directed me in a telefilm called Picnic. I have worked with her for many years and on many projects. Our equation has also changed from when I was young to my 20s and now.
You’ve done short films, but no web shows yet.
I am in talks for an acting assignment as well as a directing assignment in the web series space but I haven’t finalised anything yet.
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