National award winning actor Riddhi Sen is not in a rat race
Youngest National Award-winning actor Riddhi Sen speaks about playing a teenage girl trapped in a man’s body
The youngest recipient of the coveted National Film award for Kaushik Ganguly's Nagarkirtan, 20-year-old wunderkind Riddhi Sen's rise can only be described by the overworked adjective, meteoric. In a camel coloured jacket and round neck, maroon tee paired with a light blue ripped jeans and white sneakers, Riddhi looks every bit like an iPhone swishing Gen-Y member.
But you tell this rather precocious young man, with curly hair, that he resembles the younger version of actor Naseeruddin Shah, he will humbly stress that he can never be Shah even after several rebirths. We chatted over cups of tea at a popular South Calcutta cafe -- intermittently interrupted by curious onlookers for that mandatory selfie -- about Riddhi's future plans.
You must be very happy with the reception that Nagarkirtan got at IFFI Goa?
I was overwhelmed. We had the screening at Inox2, and it was a packed house. The response was tremendous to say the least.
How different was your character?
My character in Nagarkirtan is a beautiful 19-year-old girl trapped in a man's body. It's a mellifluous love story that brews between her and a flute player. It's not only about the make-up and attire, but to become that person in essence in a month's time was the bigger challenge. For that I read books and interacted and observed a few transgenders.
The film is releasing on January 18, was the long wait frustrating?
Initially it was, but it feels great that during that long wait the film got so many laurels at various international and national film festivals of repute.
What reactions did you get for Helicopter Eela?
My acting was appreciated and I am getting a few other offers. Actors of my age don't often get meaty roles, but, I have been lucky to bag pivotal roles since age 15. I have age on my side and hence not in a haste to do films indiscriminately.
You just returned from London after a shoot.
It was a work cum holiday time for me. We were shooting for actor director Parambrata Chatterjee's six-episode web series Sharate Aaj, a thriller around Durga Puja, for Zee5.
Which directors in Tollywood do you want to work with?
I want to work with Srijit and I have told him so, recently, when I shot for a special appearance for his upcoming movie Vinci Da. I want to work with Soukarya Ghosal, too.
What are you busy with now?
I am gearing up to direct my first short film based on author Nabarun Bhattacharya’s short story, Cold Fire. Besides that I will also be seen on stage again in April in a new production that my father Kaushik Sen will be staging. It will be an adaptation of Utpal Dutta’s play,Ekla Cholo Re on Gandhi’s assassination, a nail biting political thriller on set. The cast is very interesting with my dad playing M.A. Jinnah, Ashok Mukhopadhyay playing Gandhi, Surojit Bandyopadhyay will be seen as Jawahar Lal Nehru, Debshnakar Halder as V.B. Patel and Reshmi Sen as Kastuba Gandhi and me as Harilal Gandhi.
Nagarkirtan is releasing on January 18.