Suchitra Bandekar used to act earlier in Ektaa Kapoor’s shows. Now, she is following in the footsteps of the Balaji Telefilms head honcho by producing shows herself. On the acting front, her latest Marathi film Baipan Bhaari Deva has set the cash registers ringing at the box office. The Free Press Journal caught up with her for an exclusive chat.
Baipan Bhaari Deva is doing well in comparison to Hindi films at the box office currently. Talking about this, Suchitra says, “Hamesha Hindi hi Maharashtra mein chalti rahi hai. Iss baari Marathi chal rahi hai successfully toh ek baari hamein bhi toh chance milna chahiye. We also do hard work. Our films may not be made with heavy budgets like Hindi films, but still we give good content.”
She adds, “We are happy that people are still coming to theatres even in the second week. There has been a huge box office collection so it feels great that our regional film has done well because we make good content.”
Every female actor at the age of 40 is playing the lead these days. Suchitra agrees and explains, “This is really an unexpected transition as well a new thing as at this age we are all playing the lead. Usually at this age female actors don’t get such roles. When we were doing this film, we felt the concept is good and we’re giving our best. But we never expected that we would get such huge appreciation. The characters are well shaped. Audiences have related to the story.”
Opening up about her acting journey, she recalls, “I have done a lot of Balaji serials. I’ve also worked with Rajshri Productions. Now, I have started my own production house. I’m doing Marathi serials. I’m not acting but only producing serials.”
When asked how she feels about production, Suchitra gushes, “It’s a superb process. I have been acting for almost 25 years, but now I am enjoying producing as it’s a different ball game. It’s interesting to learn about this sphere of creative work. Giving away creative input feels like giving back to this field as it has given me hugely. I am giving my hundred percent in its creativity that is what keeps me going. It’s teamwork.”
Suchitra is all praise for Ektaa. “Hats off to Ektaa. When I was working, I remember Ektaa was making so many serials and she would put in her efforts in every serial. Hum Paanch was a new show then. She is so aware about the thought process of her audience and also very intelligent as she knew her target audience very well. She watches the edit directly and gives her final output. I am also following in her footsteps since I became a producer,” she says.
"I remember she would ask me, 'Tu train se travel karti hai toh tujhe audience ka kya reaction dekhne milta hai?' I have learned to be aware about the product we make and also our target audience so that they relate to our stories. I have also been told that Ektaa works very hard on the scripts," she adds.
When asked what about acting in Hindi films, pat comes the reply, "I get a call from Rohit Shetty's office only then I go and shoot...waise koi kaam nahin dete. I don't like to go and ask for work. Singham was my latest film I did. I'm happy as I'm producing about 12 serials for my production house. This keeps me very busy."