Actor Amrita Chattopadhyay on working with Naseeruddin Shah and Soumitra Chatterjee
A trained classical dancer and singer, actor Amrita Chattopadhyay always dreamt of being on celluloid. And for her first break in acting, she has to thank Tolly superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee, who spotted her during a chance interaction. Later, after an audition, she bagged the role of the second lead in the TV series Kanakanjali that was produced by Chatterjee’s production house Nideas.
Soon after, she got her first film role in the National Award-winning filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Hindi feature, Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa, which also starred Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi and Ananya Chatterjee. Despite screenings at prestigious international film festivals, the film never got a theatrical release and Amrita finally debuted in September 2014, in Aniket Chatterjee’s Janla Diye Bou Palalo opposite Arjun Chakrabarty.
The young talent, who has been a part of a mixed bag of films and web series, stars in a pivotal role in Saibal Mitra’s A Holy Conspiracy, where she shares screen space with two stalwart actors, Naseeruddin Shah and Soumitra Chatterjee. The film just got selected for screening at the prestigious Indian Film Festival of Stuttgart 2020 that commences from July 15, and we had a chat with the ecstatic actor about the same. Excerpts from the interaction:
How did A Holy Conspiracy happen?
I got a call in late 2018 from Saibal Mitra that they want to cast me as the female lead in this film. I was shooting a web series at that point and couldn’t show much excitement since others were around. But I was thrilled to bits to get the offer and said yes immediately.
What’s the film about?
A Holy Conspiracy is adapted from the American play Inherit the Wind, and is centred around the timeless debate on what’s more important — religion or science. In this movie, a teacher is arrested with a case lodged against him for not mentioning the role of religion while teaching science. It’s a courtroom drama where Naseeruddin Shah and Soumitra Chatterjee play the lawyers.
What’s your role like?
I play Reshmi, who hails from an orthodox Christian family. She’s a teacher too and is in love with the man who has been arrested. Interestingly, her father leads the group, which has brought the charges against the man, and she is under great mental stress as to whom she should support.
How was it working with Soumitra and Naseeruddin?
It was incredible to see them from such a close range. Soumitra underwent an eye operation just before the shoot and he was accompanied by a doctor and a nurse on the sets. But once he was on the floor, no one could guess that he was under so much physical strain. And Naseeruddin, despite being a top actor, would patiently wait at the sets to give cues to his co-actor, which is so humbling.
Any other upcoming projects we will see you in?
I will be in the thriller film, Rohoshyomoy, starring Saswata Chatterjee and Soumitra Chatterjee. Then there’s Rick Basu’s Rani, where I play the lead musician in an all-girls band. There’s also Shailendra Vyas’ sci-fi film JL-50 where I play Abhay Deol’s wife and Ranjan Palit’s Lord of the Orphans with Adil Hussain. Both will release on OTT platforms. Besides, I am doing a few web series on HoiChoi.