Friday, April 15, 2011

You need a school to hone your skills, says “Strings of Passion” actress Shirin Guha..

Shirin (Swatchatoa Guha) who embarked on a journey as an actress with Sanghamitra Chaudhuri’s Hindi feature film “Strings of Passion” is one lucky girl who got the role on a platter. However, that doesn’t mean that she dint have to struggle for making a niche or gather her foothold in this industry. According to this fiery actress, “Not everybody can be a Rabindranath Tagore and hence you need a school to hone your skills.” Shirin’s educational background thus has been completely acting oriented which is quite uncommon in this field, especially in the television industry where good looks are your entry tickets. Shirin in this case, is a 1st class hons grad  in drama from Rabindra Bharti University, after which she attended  a workshop in NSD only to later pursue her  post  graduation diploma in acting from FTII. Apart from acting and writing she also got herself trained in filmy fights, thang ta and dance, as she doesn’t want to leave any stone unturned on her way to success. Here’s presenting a feisty tete-a-tete with Soham, Editor of Films & TV World.

Films & TV World: Please tell us about yourself.
Shirin: Haahahaha I think this is the toughest question in this whole world! Well, I m born and brought up in a typical middleclass Bengali family in Kolkata. My father is an actor and my mom is a home maker. Ours is a typical joint family and have my younger brother and my grandfather and grand mother all staying together… I grew up in a joint family background. Right since childhood, I was lured into a world books, got an atmosphere where I could nurture my other talents including dance, painting, recitation etc… And I was always surrounded by friends everywhere. The best part is my parents never stopped me from pursuing anything that I really wanted to indulge in. So after 12th, when I decided a career of acting, my dad rather educated me on that front and asked me to educate myself through a proper training…At the same time, he also asked me to experience the journey of making an actor. If today I am here, it all for my family’s tremendous support.

At the same time, on my professional front I am thankful to Sanghamitraji who offered me the role of Julie in this film "Strings of Passion" that we shot in Kolkata in February. The second schedule will be happening in May. 

Films & TV World: 
Something about this film that is strange as well as beautiful?

The beautiful part is that I was offered the role of Julie that I am essaying - I came to know later on that it was originally offered to Rituparna Sengupta, who couldn't take it up for whatever reasons. But I feel lucky enough to have been chosen for a role that too of someone who is not only revered upon by me but is also a National Award winning actress. My co-actor in this film is Shubh Mukherjee who has done Aasma and the recently released Nakshatra alongwith Girish Nagpal, Trishaan and Sangita. I also feel honoured to debut in a film where I also get to share screen space with a renowned stalwart like Zeenat Aman (For me, she will always be the original Dum Maro Dum girl) and Raj Zutshi ji. 

Shubh Mukherjee, Zeenat Aman and Shirin...
The strange part is that I have scenes with nearly all the actors starring in this film, except for Girish Nagpal whose character commits suicide due to a strange incident that mars everyones life. My character is brought into his part of the story after his demise. Like me, even he too is debuting in this film along with Trishaan and Sangita. Though he is a wonderful actor, I missed the opportunity to work with him in this film.

Films & TV World: What made you chose acting as a career instead of something different?
Shirin: I remember when I was in the 4th grade, my English teacher asked us to write an essay on “your ambition” and I wrote that I wish to be a good human being and as a profession I chose to be an actor. You can say it’s a genetic thing as my parents were from the same creative field. Actually I am a very expressive person and I love to connect with people and lives, so I believe acting is the best professional choice for me. Acting was something I was very sure and sincere about, right from very beginning. It just did not happen to me one fine morning or I developed the craving to be in the limelight. I feel the arena of acting has a huge responsibility and cannot be taken frivolously.

Films & TV World: What do you think of today’s' trends in an “Actor's area of work”
Shirin: Nowadays a lot of new fresh faces are being launched in the market. Not only new actors but also new directors are coming up. The Bengali as well as Mumbai film industry is flooded with fresh blood, and the best part is that both the directors and the producers are giving chance to the new comers. People are taking chances and have become brave enough to experiment with new fresh ideas of film making. So as new comers, we should have the ability to return the money that is being invested on us. We should set high standards of work ethics to deliver good product, as bar of competition and challenge are being raised every second. So we have to be prepared for every type of challenge that is thrown on us!

Films & TV World: Who is your inspiration / role model?
Shirin: My first inspiration ofcourse is my father, and also all my veteran acting seniors from FTII like Jaya Bhaduri (nee Bachchan), Shabana Azmi, Naseer sir, Om Puri ji, Mithun da and many more. Even I want to be a part of the glorious history of my country’s film industry.

Films & TV World: What are your best skills? What is your major weakness?
Shirin: I think the unique combo of workaholic with a complete family person is my best skill and my major weakness is trusting people easily…

Shirin utilising her time for reading in between shots..
Films & TV World: How is it going from a total unknown to fast becoming a celebrity - being covered in news and all. Has it changed the fabric of your daily life?
Shirin: Not at all. I am absolutely taking it like shifting to a new locality. People will watch u from their windows and balconies. They will come to your house too, to welcome you as you are a new neighbour! Now whatever you do your neighbours will know. Sometime they may appreciate sometime they will criticize. You have to be ready for it. But ya, one pressure has suddenly surfaced nowadays in my life, i.e. “responsibility”. If media is covering me, people automatically will start expecting much more from me. But I am enjoying that hard work in disguise of pressure!

Films & TV World: Where do you see yourself / your work in next 3 years from now?
Shirin: In next 3 years I would love to see myself as an established actor in the industry, whom people love and respect.

Films & TV World: Tell us more about your typical day. What do you do when you are not shooting / or not auditioning?
Shirin: My typical day starts with workouts, then watching films and films… At times I watch 3 to 4 movies in a day… Im an absolute a film buff. My day is incomplete without 3 things - reading, writing and watching films. Sometimes I try my hand on cooking as well. I love to make continental dishes & bake cakes! And ya, I’m a bigg bigg biggg foodie!! So sometime when I feel very bored or I’m upset, I order a pizza and sit in front of my laptop with an English comedy!!! That’s absolutely a party time for me .. I also Love to décorate my room and also enjoy my household works like brooming, cleaning, washing clothes etc…I love to concentrate on my job instead of hanging around without any reason!!! I even love to spend my time with dogs!!! I am a dog lover.

Films & TV World: What's been your most memorable moment, as an actress, so far?
Shirin: In my final year exam of graduation I acted in a play named “Chandragupta” as “Helen”. The external judge didn’t like the play much, but he liked my work and he told my director friend that “your actress was the savior of your play”. He even told me separately “never give up your acting”…I can’t remember his face or his name but I will never forget his words…his words ring still work in my ears like a magic mantra in times of crisis. Another memorable moment was when I got the chance into FTII - I was in tears. Its altogether a different experience when you crack the deal only by talent and hard work…

Films & TV World: What's harder, pretending to be normal or pretending to be an actress?
Shirin: (Lol) I think pretending to acually live life, is itself not easy.

Films & TV World: If you didn't become an actress, what everyday occupation would you have liked?
Shirin: I just cannot be anything else but an actor. I am destined to become an actress. Either film or theatre, but I would definitely earn my living by acting - it cannot be anything else. Acting is the only thing that I believe I can do with all my heart and soul.

Films & TV World: One thing that you would like to change from your past
Shirin: Sometime I feel I would like to change but then I think that why should I? We should not forget or ignore our past. Our past is basically the primary steps taken to lead our present and walk gloriously into the future.

Shirin & Trishaan on location
Films & TV World: What vehicle would you like to buy after you hit it big or got that first big ‘paycheck’?
Shirin: Let me first have my “big paycheck” !!! Actually I am not into vehicles, I would rather prefer to invest in property.. Home Shanti Home!!! ;)

Films & TV World: What’s in your personal DVD collection? What is your favourite movie?
Shirin: I love to collect old movies as well as new movies, but in my collection I have films of Satyajit Ray to Ingmar Bergman to Abbas Kiaroatami, Kislowsky, Pedro Almodovar, Majid Majidi to David
Dhawan, Aparna Sen, Tapan Sinha, Budhhadeb Dasgupta, Mrinal Sen, Rituparno Ghosh…ufff my mouth is aching !!! I believe this space is too small to tell about my collection of films.

Films & TV World: If you could be any video game character, who would you be and why?
Shirin: I don’t like video games at all. I prefer books /family or pets to spend time with

Films & TV World: What’s harder: College/ High school dating or dating now as a celeb?
Shirin: First of all I don’t think I’ m a celeb yet. I think for me it will take time to believe that I am a “celeb”. And if u ask about what’s harder then I would say that life in general is not easy. Whatever it may be, it was hard when I was in high school or colllege and its not easy yet.

Mohan Das, Shirin, Girish Nagpal & Trishaan
Films & TV World: What is your favorite holiday spot / food / gadget?
Shirin: It’s an absolute pleasure to announce that I LUV GOAAAA!!!! That’s my fave holiday destination till date and I LUV PIZZAAA!!!!! And I love my laptop, ipod nano etc..

Films & TV World: Last book you read? Last movie you have seen?
Shirin: Last Book I read was Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime & Punishment and recently saw Memories in March.

Films & TV World: Tell us one thing about yourself that no one knows?
Shirin: I can do very good mimicry...

Films & TV World: Sum yourself up in three words
Shirin: Good, Bad and Ugly!!!! ;)

Today, being Bengali New Year, we all at Films & TV World take the opportunity to wish her "Shubho Noboborsho" and pray that may she excel and shine brightly on the horizons of acting..

No comments:

Post a Comment