Having made her debut Godmother, Raima Sen has been shuttling an enviable repertoire of films and web series between Mumbai and Kolkata. In an exclusive interview and fashion shoot, she reveals the other side to her celeb life:
What kind of response have you received for Black Widows?
This was the first time I played a negative character and the reviews were good from all quarters.
What are the projects you are working on?
I have The Last Hour, the web series scheduled to be released on Amazon Prime soon. We completed shooting it in 2019. Also, I am shooting for a big production house in Mumbai, but the details are still under wraps.
Are you scared of being typecast?
After my debut in Godmother, I started getting offers for similar roles. Most of my films have been rather offbeat, but that has not been a conscious decision. I am happy because I have worked with some of the best directors and acted in some really good films.
I am not just a quintessential heroine, I explore all kinds of roles. I never look at the length of my role in a film. Even if I have three scenes where I can make an impact so that I know the audience would notice me, I feel my work is done!
How is shooting for a film different from shooting a web series?
It is actually quite different. In a film we shoot three or four scenes a day. In a web series we shoot 14-15 scenes on a single day. There is a deadline to meet and it adds up to 14 hours of shooting a day. The difference is huge. When I did my first series Hello in Bangla, I was actually a little scared, because the process was so new! However, at the end of the day we are actors and we have to deliver in front of the camera. Now, after completing quite a few series I can say I am a lot more comfortable.
With so much travelling between the two cities, how do manage your schedule?
I have worked on Hindi projects before. My debut film was Godmother followed by Parineeta did very well at the box office. I keep travelling between Kolkata and Mumbai because both industries are offering me a lot of interesting projects. I am also very happy that talent from all corners of the country is finding a strong foothold in Mumbai.
What is your take on the OTT platforms?
There are so many good actors who have not been able to showcase their full potential in all these years, and are finally getting to do that. Many old-timers are now back in business, owing to OTT. It is a great boost to the industry, especially actors and technicians. One doesn’t feel any difference in treatment though, as the respect is the same, only the language is different.
Such is the beauty of our country that we find unity and abundance of creativity in diversity! Also, the shows that we get to see now are so different and so great! International content is so readily available now. The pressure has shifted to mainstream movie-makers because there is so much to watch at home that unless we have something really nice coming up in the theatres, people will not step out of their homes!
Talking about the pandemic, did the unique situations, especially during the lockdown, have any long-term impact on you?
See, I got into Buddhism seven years ago and became an active member about two years ago! Yes, the lockdown did bring in more perspective thinking but I was already on that path. In a world when there is so much of stress and anxiety this actually keeps me calm and collected! It brings balance and peace of mind. At the end of the day, you need something to de-stress and this has really helped me. It makes you wise in a way that there is no outward solution to your problems. You have to reflect and find a solution within. It is a way to connect to yourself.
How does the negativity on social media impact your zen?
I think in a democracy everyone has a right to their freedom of speech. Having said that I am someone who has a strong distaste for trolls. The recent trolls about Greta Thunberg and Rihanna are complete nonsense! Also, highlighting the trolls is bigger nonsense, they shouldn’t be given that much of importance! The point is if I can’t feel free to express myself on my social media account, then what is the point of anything! Don’t follow me if you don’t like what I say! I do get trolled on social media but I just don’t react to it! I believe silence is the most dignified reaction!
Raima's exclusive photoshoot for Cinema Journal!
Actor Raima Sen was model for Abhishek Dutta’s Spring Summer Collection 2021, a collection designed in collaboration with visual artist Livia Dudoit from France with support from Alliance Francaise du Bengale. The colour palette is a mix of maroon, white, candy pink, yellow, pastel blue and olive. Digital prints have also been used to highlight architectural marvels on from both countries. “This is a special project and we will take it to Delhi and also showcase in Paris during their fashion week. Raima’s look is mostly lounge and resort-wear. She looks beautiful in all the four costumes,” said the designer. “Abhishek’s clothes are always different, which is why I love wearing them. This time too they are in lovely, vibrant colours and I hope whenever Paris happens, he will choose me as his showstopper,” she chuckled!
Location Courtesy: Hard Rock Café, Kolkata, Photo Credit: Somnath Roy, Costume and Styling: Abhishek Dutta, Model: Raima Sen,
Makeup: Babushona Saha, Hair: Gini Halder