Bidita Bag opens up to Nikita Wadhawan about her first big movie after a long struggling period, dealing with failures and her outspoken attitude
Actress Bidita Bag is extremely excited for her first commercial movie after struggling for over 10 years. For the model-turned-actor, it was a golden chance to bag the lead role in her upcoming film Babumoshai Bandookbaaz after actor Chitrangda Singh left the film. Chitrangda had complained about that Kushan’s used to say things like, “Tange ragdo aur sex karo” during her intimate scenes with Nawazuddin. Unperturbed repeated comparisons to Chitrangda, Bidita says, “Whatever she did is good for me. This role is meant for me.” Excerpts from the interview:
Your first Bollywood movie is releasing soon. How does it feel?
It feels great. Although this is not my first Bollywood movie. I have been part of other independent Bollywood projects. This is my first commercial Bollywood movie and that too with Nawazuddin Siddiqui. I am looking forward to that part.
How was the experience working with Nawaz?
Before we started shooting, I thought that he would be a very boring and serious person,but he is not. He is a very energetic, down to earth and an encouraging person. He even cracks a lot of jokes, and tries to make the environment friendly. It was not difficult for me to work with him, he was very supportive. The most important thing is that our mental frequency matched. Irrespective of what scene we were doing, whether it was romantic or funny, because of our comfort level it become effortless.
What did you learn from Nawaz as an actor?
Nawaz and I have a similar story. He was struggling for 20 years I was struggling for 10 years. We have a lot of common friends and we were bitching about them. That was our favourite thing. But more than acting, his life lessons were more educational. So, I used to ask him how he dealt with failure, depression, joblessness and his answers were also unique.
Before Babumoshi…did you ever go through depression?
Yes, I went through depression a lot. My first film had flopped and I was flooded with offers at that time and after the film all the offers went away. Even my health deteriorated. Luckily, I came across positive people who encouraged me to live a healthy lifestyle. I also read positive books and travelled that made me come out of that phase. We should practice to be happy.
Were you apprehensive of bold scenes?
I had a kissing scene in my first Bengali film as well, which was eight or nine years back. I had the courage and boldness. But this film is set in a rural background and it wouldn’t look real if we had a French kiss in the film. And I had never seen Nawaz kissing on screen (laughs). But it was fun to see him kiss on screen. Also, I had full trust in the director that the scene will be shot aesthetically and it was.
What went through your mind with the censor board’s reaction to the film?
It was mixed reaction. This is my first commercial release and we all have been working really hard on the project. A film is like a building and if you remove one pillar of it the whole building will collapse. It is a very rooted story where people are very grey, manipulated and they do use such words. We have just reflected our society. We have justified the use of everything in our film.
You are doing a role which Chitrangada Singh was supposed to do. So, were you apprehensive when you knew she was offered the role first?
Initially I was, but when I read the script I was very sure that I have to do this role. When I reached on set and saw Nawaz performing I was even more charged up and forgot all this. I don’t think anyone will miss Chitrangada. Whatever she did is good for me. This role is meant for me.
Are you afraid of being typecast after this film?
No, I stared out as a fashion model and then also a face of Fair and Lovely and after traveling for a while especially in a lot of tribal places. I understood that skin tone is not a parameter to judge a person. As an actor, I want to be like a chameleon and blend into my character.
You are very outspoken and people in this industry don’t appreciated outspoken actress.Are you afraid people might take your frank attitude as an insult?
Let them feel bad, I know what I am saying. I take full responsibility of my words. I am ready for any kind of backlash and eventually people will know that I am saying the truth.
You took a sly dig on Radhika Apte about her working in Bengali cinema, do you not like that she is working there?
No, I think she is a very versatile actress and I love her. But if she can do Bengali films even I can do Marathi films. All I am saying that language barrier should not be there. I would not mind screen space with Radhika Apte, even don’t mind doing a lesbian scene with her
How different is it working in Bollywood and regional cinema?
Mostly budget is the main difference. Regional films have better content, but the good thing is that many regional directors are also working in Bollywood. So, content does not lack in Hindi cinema. Actors and directors should not look for money they should look for story.
What would you prefer doing then regional or Bollywood masala?
If the story and the people are good I will do any movie. This world is my village.