Tolly heartthrob Raima Sen wants to concentrate on Bollywood more
Stylish and sexy as ever, actor Raima Sen speaks about her work, and why she is a high-maintenance girlfriend
She is one of the most elegant beauties in Tollywood with a great legacy. She’s fun, she’s vivacious and she’s known to be one of the naughtiest actors on a film set. She is also one of the lucky few actors to have been mentored by the late filmmaker, Rituparno Ghosh. Granddaughter of Tollywood’s first known diva, Suchitra Sen, and the elder daughter of actor-turned-MP, Moon Moon Sen, Raima Sen has come a long way since her debut in a minor role in the Shabana Azmi-starrer Hindi film Godmother in 1999. The petite actor got noticed in 2003 in Rituparno Ghosh’s Chokher Bali, for a stunning performance alongside Aishwarya Rai and Prosenjit Chatterjee.
Since then, she has been a part of many Hindi and Bengali films including Parineeta, The Bong Connection Antar Mahal, Anuranan, Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, Manorama Six Feet Under, Khela, and The Japanese Wife, among others. Last seen in Reunion along with Parambrata Chatterjee, Raima also impressed us with her remarkable performance in the web series, Hello Seasons 1 and 2 for the Hoichoi platform.
The actor, who plays one of the main characters in Churni Ganguly’s second film Tarikh, which is running in cinemas now, is busy in Mumbai shooting for a major web series in Hindi. According to sources, she’s shooting for the first season of Amit Kumar and Oscar-winning director Asif Kapadia’s web series, The Last Hour for Amazon Prime, though she is staying tight-lipped about it. The actor sat for a chat with us, amidst an engaging schedule to talk about her upcoming films and what she wants in her man. Excerpts:
Tarikh is your second film with director Churni Ganguly. And you are getting such great reviews. How was it working with Churni?
I am extremely comfortable working with Churni, and we share a great working rapport. We are both women and relate to each other a lot, and discuss problems and share many things which we can’t with men. She understands me as an actor, and explains the script to me and understands my mood. The best thing about Churni is she never shouts or screams while shooting. As for my performance in Tarikh, it feels great to get so much praise. The movie is about how social media affects our lives in good or bad ways, and I play a professor’s wife here.
How much of a social media addict are you?
I am not quite an addict, and I use it to upload my pictures and to be generally seen. But I never express my personal or political opinions on the web. I use Twitter a lot and usually retweet if something catches my fancy.
How effective, do you think, was the recent #MeToo movement?
Well, I’m glad that it happened. These things have been happening in the industry and elsewhere for many years now, but no one had the courage to speak about it till now. At least, it will keep everyone in check, I hope. Though whether it will be entirely effective... I have my doubts. But it’s a good thing and it will help a lot of people.
Has it affected the film industry?
I think everyone is now pretty scared to even flirt, in case you get them wrong (laughs). Yes, I guess everyone is very scared now after #MeToo.
How was it to be shooting for Vinay Pathak’s Alia Gayab Ho Gaya?
We got the rights from the British film The Disappearance of Alice Creed, a crime thriller, and I play the girl who gets kidnapped by two men — one a gay man and the other a straight guy. It’s a dark action-comedy and Vinay Pathak plays one of the men, besides Salim, who acted with me in Bollywood Diaries. It was really a very tough shoot and I had to scream and shout so much that I lost my voice for five days. I had to also do a lot of action sequences, including holding a gun and fighting.
What are the other movies that you will be seen in?
There’s 3Dev, 2006 Varanasi: The Untold, and I just finished Anya, which also stars Atul Kulkarni and Bhushan Pradhan, among others. Anya is a movie about busting a trafficking trade, and I play a journalist. In Sitara, I play a girl, who gets into prostitution when she crosses borders, and how she ends up joining politics. There’s also Hansle Pagli, where I play a stand-up comedian and it was one of the most difficult roles to play. I have also completed shooting for Mahesh Manjrekar’s short film on relationships, where I play his wife. And currently, I am busy shooting for a big Hindi web series.
That’s more than a handful. But you are missing in action from Tollywood...
Well, I have become choosy about films and want to do only good films with good directors. Right now, I am concentrating on doing a lot of work in Mumbai, and acting in quite a number of web series there. There’s a huge difference when it comes to budget and working style in Mumbai and here. Here, we shoot 10-12 scenes for 15-16 hours a day, while in Mumbai, we shoot only two to three scenes a day for a web series. I just finished watching Made In Heaven and I loved it.
Both are good co-actors and friends. I party with Param and detox with Abir (laughs).
Your sister Riya has already settled down... when are you getting married?
As soon as Mr Perfect arrives on a white horse and sweeps me off my feet.
And what are your conditions?
There’s no such thing. He has to understand and love me unconditionally and accept me with all my faults. It’s very easy to understand me, but very difficult to keep up with me because I don’t make it easy for anyone. I am a very high-maintenance girlfriend, but not in terms of money. You don’t have to take me to lavish dinners or buy me expensive gifts. But I have high emotional expectations and my man has to be always one step ahead of me in terms of intelligence and a sense of humour, which is rather difficult to find (laughs).
Favourite food: Biryani, noodles and phuchka
A staple food you can’t miss: Rice and potato
Favourite workout: Jogging or walking on the beach, weight training or swimming
Favourite song: Romeo and Juliet
Favourite movie: La La Land
Right now reading: Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy
Pictures credits: Tathagata Ghosh '