Bollywood actor Rimi Sen is back in the groove and wants to do meaningful roles
The name Rimi Sen has been a part of the industry for decades now. Although contradictory to what Wikipedia might say, she didn’t debut as a child artiste in the Bengali film Damu; the only Bengali movie that she has been a part of being National Award-winning Swapner Din by Buddhadeb Dasgupta.
The model-turned-actor, who instantly shot to fame with a Coke ad with Aamir Khan, debuted in Hungama and was seen in successive hits including Dhoom, Garam Masala, Dhoom 2, Hungama 2, Phir Hera Pheri, Dewaane Huye Pagal and Johnny Gaddar. But after a row of hit movies, Rimi suddenly vanished from Bollywood around 2011 followed by her movies Thank You and Shagird that failed to impress the box office.
The actor, however, returned in 2016, this time around as a co-producer, and won the 63rd National Award for Best Children’s Film for Budhia Singh — Born to Run. Back in shape, Rimi wants to play a second inning, with a will to make a mark as an actor this time around. Excerpts from the chat:
So what kept you busy over the last decade?
Honestly speaking, all these years were spent discovering the real me and getting a grip on myself both mentally and physically. I learnt in all these years that it’s extremely important to develop oneself in every which way. And in all the past years that I was working, I never really got the time or scope to do the same. I started off at a very young age when I had no inkling as to how to shape my career. I was very happy doing whatever films were coming my way as long as I got paid well. But I observed that I was getting typecast and was offered roles only in comedy flicks. I felt I was not growing as an actor. I also realised that I wasn’t in my best shape or style and that‘s when I decided I should take a really long break. It was a journey of self-discovery and a great one.
What brought you back after this hiatus?
My hunger for good work. As an actor, I want to have a great body of work that I can be proud of later. I am lacking that. I want to satiate my appetite as an actor. Also, with the OTT platforms offering plenty of opportunities for artistes, I feel it’s a great time to make a comeback. Earlier, female actors had hardly any role to play in a movie except to be arm-candy for the hero. But now with the spike in volume of work, meatier roles are being written for women, even for those who are well above their 50s. Look at Shefali Shah in Delhi Crime or even Vidya Balan in Kahaani and Shakuntala Devi. I too want to try my luck and essay such roles.
You said you lacked good PR. What are you doing to change that?
I still lack good PR and I also don’t want to look desperate. I am sure all of the right people know me very well and will keep me in mind, now that I have expressed my desire to work again. But this time, I am not doing it for survival but for my wish to prove myself as an actor. Hence I am in no hurry and will wait for the right roles to come my way.
You say you have changed completely in these 10 years...
Yes, besides being mindful about how I look, I have changed immensely as a person and have matured a lot. I also realise in hindsight that I could have been a little more patient and not given up. If I would have waited a little longer, perhaps I would have made the switch into serious content easily. By the time I left the industry around 2011-12, filmmakers like Shoojit Sircar and Sriram Raghavan were making content-driven films. I feel that was not the right decision on my part to give up then.
Your Instagram account is buzzing with your ravishing pictures. Tell us the secret behind this awesome transformation?
Well, Bengalis as you know are blessed with great genes and age slowly. Besides that, a lot of hard work went behind my transformation. I follow intermittent fasting with a gap of 20 hours. So, I have one big meal and a small meal in a span of four hours. Besides, I work out rigorously with weights at the gym for 45 minutes every day.
Things I adore...
Wardrobe essentials: Western outfits and make-up
Accessories: My Rolex
Expensive splurges: I love buying expensive cars every three years
Outfit: Knee-length dresses
Beauty essentials: Lipstick, kajal and perfume
Comfort food: Biryani