'I was like the daughter that Rituparno Ghosh never had'
Raima Sen has known late director Rituparno Ghosh since she was 12 years old, and has worked with him in several films.
The actress regards him as her mentor and claims that he had a hand in shaping her career.
Raima talks to Patcy N about her relationship with the multi-award winning director and what she owes him:
I have worked with Rituparno in most of his movies -- Chokher Bali, Antarmahal, Khela, Noukadubi and Sunglass.
I last worked with him in Chitrangada (Ghosh's last release in 2012).
We both acted in the film Arekti Premer Golpo.
He wasn’t sick. He was directing a film till right now. This is sudden. I am shocked.
Image: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Raima Sen in Choker Bali
'Rituparno Ghosh had immense faith and belief in me'
I’ve known him since I was a child. He knew my mother (Moon Moon Sen) very well. He directed her in Hirer Angti (1992). He would sit in our drawing room having coffee while we (Raima and her sister Riya Sen) played.
I met him later when I was doing a photo shoot for a magazine. He was the editor of the magazine. He looked at me and said, “Oh my god, you have grown. You are my Choker Bali,” and that’s how I got my first Bengali film.
I was very close to him, and we got along very well. I took his advice on anything and everything, like what films I should do, and other things in life. He was my mentor. He told me he had immense faith and belief in me that’s why he took me in every film of his.
I was like the daughter that he never had, that’s what he would tell me.
As a director, he was a perfectionist. He could make anybody act. I think that was his huge talent. He could take a tree and make it act.
He was very professional. He would finish his films very fast. He would never make you slog 24 hours. He was very precise about everything.
He was a one-man show. He would know about the sets, he would know about your acting, your costumes, he would even know where you have placed your bindi, he was that talented.
Image: Raima Sen in Noukadubi
'He was very good with women characters'
He was extremely knowledgeable and his death is a great loss to Indian films. No one is going to make these beautiful films any more.
He was very good with women characters; he understood and studied women perfectly. In my opinion, no one could portray women on screen like he did.
He was a very soft human being; I would also say that he was vulnerable.
He would sometimes get angry if you were not competent on the sets, but no one ever took it to heart because we all knew he was just doing it for the film and for our own betterment. As an actor, I trusted in him completely.
When I was working with him in Choker Bali, I remember there was an intense crying scene that I had to do. I wasn’t able to do it, so he helped me out. He was crying behind the camera and I was crying in front of the camera -- I was imitating him. Now, when I think back on it, it was a hilarious sight. Such small things touched you about him.
I just found out about his death so I can’t travel today but I will try and make it for his funeral for sure.
I have worked with him in so many films and I am very sad I will not be able to see him any more and that he is not there for me any more.
It is extremely unfortunate that I was not working with him in his last film.
Image: Raima Sen in Khela