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|April 9, 2002||
'I don't believe in images'
Seven years ago, she created history by playing the gutsy Phoolan Devi in Shekhar Kapur's controversial Bandit Queen.
The film marked a new chapter in Seema Biswas' career as she went on to win a
Adulation and acclaim came her way for her sensitive portrayal of a mute,
deaf grieving mother in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's
Adulation and acclaim came her way for her sensitive portrayal of a mute, deaf grieving mother in Sanjay Leela Bhansali'sKhamoshi - The Musical.
Though Govind Nihalani's
Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa was touted as
Jaya Bachchan's comeback vehicle, Seema got a chance to display her
histrionics as well.
She bagged the V Shantaram Award for Best Actress in the Malayalam
She bagged the V Shantaram Award for Best Actress in the Malayalam filmShantam.
Now, the actress is excited about her latest film, Ram Gopal Varma's
Company, on the
underworld, which hits the marquee on April 12
In a conversation with
In a conversation withSukanya Verma, Seema talks about her role, her co-stars and the film's director.
Tell us about your role in the film
I don't like talking about my role. *laughs* Well, I play Vivek Oberoi's mother. I played a mother in Khamoshi, too. But that was different.
I don't mind doing 'mother' kind of roles. The prospect of working with Ramu (Ram Gopal Varma) was exciting enough. He is an inspiring director and working with him was a good experience.
Even before the film's release Vivek Oberoi is being touted as the next best thing. What is your opinion of him?
Before I met Vivek, I saw a 90-second scene from Company. I told Ramu that instant that this boy was a great actor.
When I started working with Vivek, I realised I was right. I even told Vivek that he is a sensitive, thoughtful and hard-working actor. He's bound to go places.
After Khamoshi, Company is your second film with Manisha Koirala. How was it working with her once again?
I love working with her. She is cooperative and a very good actress. One could just keep looking at her flawless, no makeup beauty.
She is an extremely understanding person, without ego hassles. When I meet her, it's always Manisha the person and not the star.
You know, I thought Ajay Devgan was egoistic. He turned out to be a wonderful person. There wasn't much interaction between us though, since we had only a couple of scenes together.
Luckily, Company boasts of the best actors. I love working in an atmosphere that is non-filmi and creative.
How different is Ram Gopal Varma from the previous directors you have worked with, like Shekhar Kapur or Sanjay Leela Bhansali?
Everyone has his own style of working. The experience makes the difference.
Ramu isn't the kind to stick to the script. There are constant impromptu improvisations. He is not a rigid filmmaker. He believes in extracting the best.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a good friend of mine. Khamoshi was a challenging experience. Recently, Sanjay had come to see me at Filmistan Studios, Mumbai. He always keeps saying, "Seema is my favorite actress."
Whenever he has a role for me in mind, I am sure he'll offer it.
What are your expectations from Company?
Everyone is expecting a lot from Company. While dubbing for Company, I was astounded by what I saw. All I could say was, "My God! It's too good." I haven't seen the entire film yet.
Ramu has worked hard. Irrespective of the length of my role, I feel Company has shaped extremely well.
Tell us about your forthcoming films.
I am working in Anees Bazmee's Deewangee, Ghaav - The Wound. Then, there is Malayalam filmmaker Jairaj's Vibhatsa. He is making a film on the nava rasas (nine emotions). The earlier one in the series was Shantam. I won the V Shantaram Award for Best Actress for Shantam. The film also won the National Award for Best Picture.
I am also busy with theatre. I am now working in Anahita Uberoi, Vikram Kapadia and Rahul da Cunha's Going Solo, in Mumbai.
From Bandit Queen to Company, how has the journey been?
I cannot compare one film or one role to the other. Being a theatre person, I don't believe in images.
But here in Bollywood, one tends to get stuck with stereotypical roles. I am waiting for challenging roles to come my way. But I can't just sit and wait for such roles to fall in their lap all the time. I am lucky that I got to play a strong, dynamic character in Bandit Queen.
There are those who might think bechari, chhota sa role kar rahi hai (Poor thing, she is accepting character roles). But I like to give my best shot in all the roles I play.
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