Actress Tillotama Shome, a prominent face in the film festival circuit, feels a bit stagnant when it comes to playing intense roles. But she says she’s still in the process of being able to command the diverse characters she wishes to portray on the silver screen. She is often slotted as a ‘serious actress’ by the mainstream Bollywood coterie. Does she feel caught in the stereotype?
Tillotama says, “I think intensity is overrated, and laughter is unexplored. At least in my career, most of the films that I have done have intense roles. Yes, I only agreed to do those roles, but I tried to choose the best from what I have offered.
“Honestly, I have no desire to play only serious characters. But as an outsider of the industry, it takes time to command, because one has to make a position to do so… I am in process.”
She played Alice in Mira Nair’s “Monsoon Wedding”. The actress proved her skill in some of the award-winning films like “Gangor”, “Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost”, “Children of War” and “A Death In The Gunj” along with some short films. She also featured in “Hindi Medium”.
“It’s not that I do not enjoy playing such roles, but just that one of my emotional muscle has been used overtly, whereas the others remain unexplored. As a complete actor, I want every muscle of emotion to be utilized in my performance. I think the industry has the tendency to repeat and formulate certain things like ‘no make-up looks’, ‘women-centric film’… Your creative flow shouldn’t be limited or trapped in trends.”
She was on board as a jury member of the 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival With Star earlier this month, for ‘Dimension’, a short film section. She watched around 17 short films for it and said she rediscovered the ‘city of dreams’.
“I realized how much of the city is yet to be explored, being a relatively new dweller of Mumbai,” said the actress, who settled in Mumbai seven years ago.