Debutante actress Swati plays the female lead role in director Tapan Banerjee’s romantic science fiction movie ‘Rajdrohi’. Miss Kolkata 2006 Swati in an intimate interview shares her experience working in the film, her views, thoughts, and future plans. Please read the interview exclusive at Calcutta Tube.
Calcutta Tube: When and how did you think of coming into acting?
Swati: I have always wanted to be an actor. My father Rajat Chakrabarty has worked in Bengali films with legendary film persona like Shakti Samanta, Uttam Kumar and many others. I was always attracted towards cinema and wanted to make a place in the heart of the audience through good acting. I am not much concerned about the glamor. Nor do I want to be a mere heroine in films. All I am looking forward is to prove my potential as a good actor. I have always been influenced by the acting of Suchitra Sen, one of the greatest actor of all times the film industry has ever seen. She is my idol.
I won the Miss Kolkata contest in 2006 and started getting offers to act in films. Then I was a student in Delhi, busy with my studies. Somehow, I liked neither the roles, nor the working environment. So I was kind of waiting to get an acceptable offer. Then I got work with director Tapan Banerjee. He is an excellent director and teacher esp. for newcomers. I was often surprised by the way he would explain things to us. He always had faith in me and believed that I would be able to do the the character of Raya just the way wanted. I am playing the female lead role in the movie, the heroine. Manali is playing the supporting female lead. By the grace of God, everyone has appreciated my work in the film. I have been able to meet the expectations of my director and the whole crew. And I am eagerly waiting to know the reaction of the audience, since they are the ultimate judge of a movie.
Rajdrohi is a different kind of a film with new technologies and I am very optimistic about it.
Calcutta Tube: Have you ever attended acting classes or have a background in theater?
Swati: No, I have never attended any classes. In fact, when I took the auditioning test with Tapan Banerjee, he had the same thoughts. I think when someone likes something from the very core of his/her heart, it comes naturally, no schooling is required. Acting is my passion and I have always been confident about my acting potential. I also watch a lot of movies made in different languages, and try to learn from them. Even though Rajdrohi is my first movie, I never had any problems working in it.
Calcutta Tube: Do you watch Bengali movies of recent times?
Swati: Of course, I do. I think it is important for me be updated about the works of recent period, since I am going to work here. It is also necessary for me to know the preferences of the audience of this time.
Calcutta Tube: The mainstream Bengali movies have lots of dance sequences. Have you ever taken dance lessons?
Swati: No, I have not. The film ‘Rajdrohi’ has quite a few dance sequences picturized on me. I completed four dance shoots in eight days. My choreographer in the movie and others in the crew have appreciated my dance. It came to me naturally, just like the acting.
Calcutta Tube: ‘Rajdrohi’ has a lot of new technologies and computer graphics. Please share some of your experience working in this film.
Swati: It was a great experience working in this film. In many scenes, I had to act without anyone in opposite to me. It was a different kind of feeling. I can recall a scene where I go to a coffee shop to meet the hero, but he is invisible and we could just hear each other.
Calcutta Tube: How difficult was it?
Swati: It was more fun than difficult. Acting is my passion. All the time I was acting in the film, I was enjoying my work. I got hurt when the shooting was going on. But I continued with my work, since I did not want the shooting to stop just because of me. In one of the scenes I had to walk along the railroads, which was another difficult shot. I gave the shot myself. Anyway, I am doing just fine and am very excited about the release of the film.
Calcutta Tube: Would you like to share some other important incidents or memories during the making of the film?
Swati: When we were on an outdoor shoot in Visak, one of the local people was taking my pictures. Our manager over there had told him several times not to do so, but he won’t listen. So he had to take the camera from that person. After some time, that guy came back with the local people who had sticks in theirs hands. They were in extreme rage and violently beat some of our crew. We had to run for our lives. It feels funny now when I recall that incident. But at that moment, it was so scary.
Calcutta Tube: What are your future plans?
Swati: I would like to work in all many different kinds of roles, not just be a ‘heroine’. I would like to explore the dimensions of acting and work in different genres of films.
Calcutta Tube: Is there any favorite director of yours who would particularly like to work with?
Swati: It is very difficult to name someone. There have been several instances of a famous director making a bad film, and a no-not famous or a debut filmmaker making an amazing film. I would like to be part of a good movie with a nice script and direction. And it also does not matter if it is a lead role or a supporting one. As long as the role offers good scope of acting I am willing to do that. That is what I am here for. The role is important to me, not the accessories. I would rather do a good role, than than just appear on the screen with a micro-mini skirt on.
Calcutta Tube: Talking of attire, what kind of clothes did you wear in ‘Rajdrohi’?
Swati: I have wore different kinds of costumes in this film, sari, salwar, mini skirt, jeans. I was given the freedom to make suggestions about my outfit. So, with the help of my director, I chose my costumes.
Calcutta Tube: What is your favorite outfit?
Swati: My favorite outfit is sari. I think women look the best in sarees. No matter what we look like or how we are built, it is one unique outfit that makes any woman beautiful. Even little girls look so cute when they wear sari. A woman may look not good in jeans, but she will always look gorgeous in a sari.
Calcutta Tube: Please tell us something about your fitness.
Swati: I have always been a very health conscious person. I maintain a healthy diet and practice yoga. I think it is something everyone should do, not just the people related to the glamor or acting world. Staying healthy should be a part of our lives.
Calcutta Tube: Please say something for the audience.
Swati: The audience is the ultimate judge. I would like them all to watch the movie, since we all have worked so hard for this film and so many new things have been introduced in the movie. If the audience supports this new venture, we will be inspired to give something new again in the future. Else we will be stuck with the same old stories told many many times in the Bengali cinema.
The producer has made a very high investment in the film and has shown the courage to support this innovation. Now it is the turn of the audience to support the new thing ever made in the Bengali cinema.
The making of Rajdrohi is superb and has a lot of entertaining factors. I do not think the audience will have much complains after watching the film. This is my speculation after watching the movie. It is not for me to say anything about the commercial success of the film, but the audience will not be bored for sure. ‘Rajdrohi’ is definitely a new addition to the genre of the Bengali cinema.