First look: Tolly starlet Koushani Mukherjee on her latest release, Jaanbaaz
Filmmaker Raj Chakraborty has gifted Tollywood many a glamorous actor over the past few years, and Koushani Mukherjee definitely happens to be one of them. This svelte and lively millennial with a smile to kill for debuted in Raj’s Parbona Ami Chartey Toke in 2015. Since then, she has been seen opposite popular actors including Dev, Jeet, Soham Chakraborty and Ankush Hazra apart from her partner, Bonny Sengupta. Frequently cast as eye candy in her films, Koushani says she’s ready to break that mould this Diwali with Jaanbaaz, which releases today. In this movie, directed by Anup Sengupta, she plays a tough cop who beats the goons black and blue. Thrilled about her role, Koushani, who has over a dozen films in her kitty in four years of her career, sat down for a chat with Indulge to speak about the movie, her career plans, and what she expects to do this festive season. Excerpts from the interview:
This is for the first time that we will see you as a cop.
The entire experience was fantastic, more so because, in this age of women’s empowerment, I always wanted to play a role that exudes the strength of a woman. In a way, I was bored with playing a character that doesn’t have to do much, apart from wearing good clothes, and being arm candy to a hero. This particular character in Jaanbaaz gave me scope to explore myself beyond singing and dancing. I did all my stunts without the help of any dummy, and since I believe in equal opportunities for both the genders, I poured my heart out into the character.
Tell us about the character in Jaanbaaz.
I play Priya Sarkar, who in the first half, plays a very affectionate younger sister, whose brother, Abhijit Sarkar — a tough IPS officer played by Tota Roychoudhury — gets killed in an encounter. So, my character vows to become a cop too, to get justice for her elder brother and to finish his incomplete assignment.
There’s Bonny Sengupta, who plays your love interest again...
There’s a bond brewing between Bonny and me in this film, but no full-blown romance. It’s more of an action film than a romantic one.
In most of your films, you’re paired opposite your boyfriend Bonny. Does that bore you?
Not really, I have worked with other actors of repute as well, but I think people just love to see us together. Bonny and I are extremely popular as a young pair, and filmmakers love casting us time and again.
Where do you see yourself in the Bengali film industry, in the coming years?
Right now, it’s not a very happy situation for the film industry here, with an increasing number of standalone halls closing down and commercial movies not running well. The audience nowadays have a very preconceived notion about commercial movies and tend to have a set mind. Even before they give the film a chance, they feel that either the movie is a remake or has bad content. I feel one should at least watch the movie before passing judgements as technicians and actors pour in a lot of hard work. In the next five years, I see myself doing more meaningful cinema and working with good scripts. I also plan to open my own production house, and make women-oriented content.
Is there any filmmaker you really wish to work with?
I would love to work with Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy. I once got the chance to audition for one of their movies, but as I was shooting for Baccha Shoshur, I couldn’t make it. I really want to work with them in the future.
FASHION, FITNESS, DIET AND MORE
I am very fitness-conscious, and I also post several fitness videos of mine on my social pages regularly. My daily fitness regimen usually comprises three days of intense cardio with yoga and three days of weight training. I am a big foodie, but I usually eat healthy, and I do not have any set diet. If certain movies require me to shape up in a certain way, I train accordingly. Apart from that, I am a conscious eater and include a lot of fresh veggies and detox green juices in my diet. I am in love with berries, especially blueberries and almonds, and always keep a handful of them with me, to munch on at intervals.
I also take care of my skin and hair and pamper myself with a facial at least once a month. When not working, I prefer to let my skin free and use no make-up at all. I love wearing clothes in trend and wear anything that suits me, but I am most comfortable in my joggers and casual tees. Among accessories, I simply hoard watches — the big chunky ones with leather straps — and I have a fascination for big shades in retro styles.