Interview: Tolly actor Darshana Banik leaves nothing to chance, from acting to looking good
After debuting in January last year in Arindam Sil’s detective thriller, Asche Abar Shabor, model-actor Darshana Banik has been spotted in an eclectic range of films including Argha Deep Chatterjee’s horror movie Jojo, Anjan Dutt’s Ami Ashbo Firey, Telugu suspense thriller Attagallu and Kamaleswar Mukherjee’s Mukhomukhi.
The ravishing beauty, who possesses an uncanny resemblance with former Miss World and actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, will also be seen in a major Bollywood commercial film, Ezra, where she is paired with none other than Imaad Shah. The supernatural thriller, which is slated for a February release, also stars Emraan Hashmi and Nikita.
But despite her steady rise and recognition in the industry, Darshana feels there’s a long way to go before she gains a foothold in the industry. The extremely softspoken actor sat down for a heartfelt conversation with Indulge about her journey so far, and her dreams going ahead...
How has your personal journey been, so far?
I don’t think it’s over yet. It is still very difficult for a person like me, with no connections in the industry. To make it worse, I don’t go out with friends, meet people, attend parties or curry favours. But now, I do feel that I need to be seen more in the right circuits, to get noticed, as people tend to forget faces easily. But all said and done, I also believe that if you show good work, that alone can help you get more work.
For a young and new female actor, are there enough roles to choose from?
Though in Bollywood, we are seeing an increasing number of female-centric movies being made, the trickle is yet to turn into a pour in Tollywood, and the rest of the country. Be it in the South or here, women have very little screen-time in a movie to showcase their acting skills. Commercial movies like Mitin Mashi do raise hopes. Also, the kind of movies that filmmakers like Aparna Sen or Rituparno Ghosh used to make, had a lot of scope for female actors. I wish that more such content-driven films are made with women in mind.
How do you react, if you don’t get a role you wished for?
Previously, it used to really hurt if I couldn’t bag a role, despite a good audition, and I would get further disappointed if the role went to some senior actors. But now, my reactions are different. Recently, I auditioned for a very important role in a web series, for a big production house in Mumbai. I was among the top two, but finally, the role went to someone else. I simply felt that she was more deserving, and lucky, to live the life of such an interesting character.
Could you share your biggest learning experiences, from these last few years?
I am slowly learning the nuances of the camera, and I have also realised that besides acting, it’s equally important to take care of your costume, hair and make-up during shoots — it’s really important how you look on screen. I have learnt from my experience in Bollywood, and the South, that you can’t afford to be careless about anything — from dialogue delivery to looks.
What are your parameters for choosing a role now?
Besides a great script and a good filmmaker, what’s most important is the character I play. Previously, I would have said yes if the role was meaty enough, but now, it has to be either the lead role or a very crucial character, without which the story doesn’t make sense. Playing the lead role is more important than being a character actor.
How many people can recognise such superb actors as Mrunal Thakur or Tillotama Shome? It was only after Super 30 that Mrunal became popular. Besides, it’s also important to know if the distribution and marketing of the film will be good or not, otherwise, all the hard work goes in vain.
What are your upcoming movies?
There’s Abhimanyu Mukherjee’s Hullor, opposite Om, where I play a girl from the bylanes of North Kolkata. I play an aspiring crooner in Ayan Chakraborty’s Shororipu 2. Besides, there’s Rajib Biswas’ Pratighat, where I play an orphaned Christian girl, who’s the love interest of actor Soham Chakraborty. It’s a love story where they get married, and the girl dies after that, due to an incident. I am also going to work as the lead in a big commercial Tamil movie very soon.
What’s the best part of acting?
Play different roles that are challenging and interesting. Also, I always wanted to be different people at the same time — and acting gives me the chance to live many lives.
Any dream role?
I have always wanted to play a teacher, I wish I get the role of a teacher sometimes. And, I want to be a part of Pretty Woman, Debi Choudhurani or Kahaani — if they are ever remade.
Whose social feed do you like the most?
I like actor Ritabhari Chakraborty’s social feed as she talks about so many things, and her wall is full of interesting and different works.
Is there any one change you wish for, in Tollywood?
I wish Tollywood gives more opportunities to newcomers.
Fashion, fitness & diet
● ‘I am most comfortable in jeans and tees, paired with sneakers or flats. I love nicely-fitted clothes and red, pink, white and black are my favourite colours. For evening or night outs, I prefer fitted short dresses, preferably in black. But if it’s a formal occasion, then I opt for a dhakai jamdani sari or a South Indian silk.’
● ‘I am not a fitness freak at all. I love doing yoga or zumba at home. I don’t follow any strict diet, and I usually avoid junk food. It’s always homemade food for me, with daal bhaat (rice and pulses) being my comfort food. My daily diet comprises a healthy dose of fresh fruits and nuts apart from plenty of water including coconut water. My only weakness is, perhaps, icecreams and pastries, and I indulge in them once a month.’
Make-up & more
‘Left to myself, I am just a lip balm and sunscreen person, and I don’t wear make-up at all, if I am not shooting. I always prefer the fresh, dewy look. To take care of my skin, I religiously follow cleansing, toning and moisturising. Also, once a week, I scrub my body with a homemade paste of almonds, turmeric, neem, orange peels and olive oil.’
One overhyped make-up product: Kajal.
Five essential make-up products: MAC Studio Fix, lip balm, sunscreen lotion, eyebrow pencil and mascara, blush on.
One product you can’t do without: Lip balm.
Styling & accessories: Tanvi Shah Pictures: Siladitya Dutta Hair & make-up: Abhijit Paul Location courtesy: Hyatt Regency Kolkata