From Bollywood to Hollywood, 2023 sees actor Sheena Chohan exploring avenues in more ways than one
Besides the web series The Good Wife, Sheena is all set to act in a big Hindi biopic, Sant Tukaram, starring Marathi superstar Subodh Bhave
Actor Sheena Chohan, who kickstarted her career back in 2011 in the Malayalam film The Train opposite Mammootty, has become a very popular face courtesy of her strong presence in series like the Fame Game, City of Dreams 2, and Ex Mates. The artiste, who was raised in Kolkata and also acted in Hindi films Patralekha and Mukti by National Award-winning late filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta, is all set to act in a big Bollywood biopic Sant Tukaram starring Marathi superstar Subodh Bhave. She will also be seen in a pivotal role in The Good Wife -- Kajol's big web debut series -- besides a feature film Justice by late director Bappaditya Bandyopadhyay.
A quick chat with the busy bee.
You are really busy with a lot of projects this year...
It started with a bang - I'm the main character in one of the episodes of The Good Wife. Also, Sant Tukaram by Aditya Om where I play the lead opposite superstar Marathi actor Subodh Bhave just got announced and the Hollywood film I shot last year, Nomad by Taron Lexon, is getting huge attention in the US. Last, the film Justice is finally being screened in international film festivals.
How did Sant Tukaram happen?
I met Aditya Om at the IFFI Film Festival in Goa and we stayed in touch. He saw one of my works and he narrated Tukaram's script to me. The moment I heard the story I was fascinated - the main concept is that God is within you, and I couldn't be happier to be a part of the project.
I play Avalai Jija Bai, wife of Marathi saint Sant Tukaram. For the role, I watched other films that my director recommended. Reading historical books and visiting places where Sant Tukaram lived and worked and meeting with women who live there helped in shaping up Avalai Jija Bai's character.
Give us a little idea about your role in The Good Wife.
I play a Christian girl from Bandra who gets into some trouble and lands in court. She's very traditional - a practising Catholic, so, she's really out of her usual world when she finds herself amidst lawyers in a major case. It was a lot of fun because my character is nothing like myself. I created the character by spending weeks visiting the churches in Bandra and becoming friends with a girl who visits the church. I got so into the character that in between takes when I went back to being myself, people were surprised as I was so different than who I had been for hours during the takes. I can't go into more details, but if you are a Kajol fan it's a must-watch as she's incredible in it.
How was it working with Kajol?
Kajol is an icon. My takeaway was her professionalism and spontaneity towards her craft, which inspired me to a great extent.
Tell us about Justice and your role in it.
It's such an unusual character. I play a ghost in search of a coffin! My director, the late, Bappaditya Bandopadhyay, was a very unusual director. He was always asking me for ideas and using them to rewrite the story as we went along. One day he asked me what I could do to make my character have an unusual habit, and as the film was somewhat to do with death and beauty, I said that my character should always be picking flowers everywhere she goes - because when you pick a flower you kill it, but you enjoy its beauty. So he built it as her main characteristic.
I see fashion as an art. I always wanted to exude my sense of individuality, I want people to see me on the outside and have a sense of what it’s like on the inside. My style mantra is a mix of old-school glam, Indo western and boho. My ideal outfit for a fun party is a shift dress and a killer pair of sneakers! A formal work setting is high-waisted black trousers and a crisp white shirt with a pocket square. For a casual day out with friends it's a maxi dress with charming accessories. For a hot date, I go for a cropped blouse and skirt with wedge sneakers. I love androgynous clothing.
A crisp white shirt, a pair of basic blue denim, a powerful black suit, stylish everyday trainers, a pair of nude stilettos, and a go-to bodycon dress that never fails.