'I fear deadlines', says Tolly actor Sohini Sarkar before the release of her movie, Vinci Da
She panics when it comes to meeting deadlines or reaching somewhere on time. Compliments sit light on her and she possesses a great sense of humour. That’s Sohini Sarkar for you, an actor who doesn’t take herself too seriously. She is also one of the few talented actors in Tollywood who takes one assignment at a time.
“I cannot handle shooting for more than one role at the same time. It is too disorienting for me to handle several projects at a time,” says the bubbly actor, exuding confidence in a pair of dark blue denims, a striped shirt and red sneakers.
The powerhouse performer, who takes each day at a time, has come a long way since she debuted in television in 2006, while she was still in school. There was no looking back after her silver screen debut in Atanu Ghosh’s Rupkotha Noy in 2013, where she gave a stellar performance alongside stalwarts like Soumitra Chatterjee, Kaushik Sen and Radika Apte. Since then, Sohini has carefully chosen all her films including Indranil Roy Chowdhury’s Phoring, Kaushik Ganguly’s Cinemawala, Anindya Chatterjee’s Open Tee Bioscope, Srijit Mukherji’s Rajkahini, and Arindam Sil’s Durga Sohay.
Her innocent act as truth seeker Byomkesh Bakshi’s wife, Satyabati, in Arindam Sil’s movies on the popular sleuth, has won the hearts of the audience too. The actor, who will be seen playing an ordinary woman, Jaya, in Srijit Mukherji’s upcoming film, Vinci Da (releases April 12) opposite actor Rudranil Ghosh, speaks with us about her future projects and why she feels there’s nothing to regret about the dearth of female-oriented content. Excerpts:
From your first movie Rupkotha Noy to now, how has the journey been?
I have become more disciplined. But I still panic when someone sets a deadline or if I have to reach somewhere on time. It’s not that I reach late everywhere, but I often get nightmares that I won’t reach on time. That’s also one of the reasons I work on one project at a time — I cannot multi-task.
Do you think your act as Satyabati in the three Byomkesh movies since 2015 has connected more with the audience than other characters that you have portrayed so far?
I have done six other films in that span, including Durga Sohay, Bibaho Diaries, Rajkahini, Crisscross, Cinemawala and Shob Bhuturey. My roles in these films were appreciated, but only Byomkesh’s Satyabati comes up first thing in the mind of the audience, because those are the films watched the most. Detective thrillers are always more popular than other genres of movies, and that’s why Byomkesh as a franchise keeps returning on screen.
Do you think that despite content-driven films being on the rise, female actors still have less meaty roles?
I really don’t think like that or have any complaints regarding scope of work. I think content is dictated by what sells, and I don’t think my acting skills are less exploited. I don’t take myself that seriously as an actor. I try to do justice to the roles I play. Beyond that, there’s nothing in my hand. I think such frustrations set in when one crosses 40-45 years of age. Right now, I am in a very happy zone, enjoying what I do. Definitely, there are certain things that I feel should change, for example, our remuneration, which is really very low, but then again, there’s nothing I can do about it (shrugs).
You will be seen playing Draupadi in Arno Mukherjee’s new play, Mahabharata. Tell us about your role.
This play by Arno that will be staged on April 28, depicts the Mahabharata very differently. Draupadi is usually shown as a feminine woman and held responsible for the war. But Arno, who always does a lot of research, has shown the masculine side of Draupadi — strong, independent assertive and aggressive. It will be very different than what people are used to seeing her as. You will also begin shooting for Birsa Dasgupta’s Bibaho Obhijaan. I am totally looking forward to this one, since I have never played a housewife who is addicted to serials, believes in astrology and is God-fearing. In most of my films, I play independent and assertive women. So, this one will be fun.
You will also be playing heptathlete Swapna Barman in a biopic by Srijit Mukherji. How are you preparing for that?
This is one project I am really a bit scared of right now, because apart from acting, I have to physically prepare myself for this role. I have to tone up and build more muscles and look like an athlete and learn the sports. The shooting will begin sometime later this year.
Have you ever played sports?
Not in the strict sense of it, but I have always enjoyed outdoor games more than playing with dolls.
Fashion and fitness:
I love yoga and swimming rather than gymming. I am a whimsical eater. I can gorge on food at a stretch, gaining a few kilos before returning to a strict diet all of a sudden. I love coconut water and fruit juices. I usually stick to fish and veggies, though I eat everything. I simply heart egg dishes and also love mutton with plain rice. My eternal comfort food is aloo sedho dim bhat with ghee (boiled potato, egg and rice with clarified butter).