My earlier choices in film career are now paying off: Saayoni Ghosh
Actor-politician Saayoni Ghosh plays the lead in upcoming dark comedy by filmmaker Sayantan Ghosal, L.S.D.- Laal Suitcase Ta Dekhechen? which releases on Feb 10. In a candid conversation with IBNS correspondent Souvik Ghosh, Saayoni speaks about the film, life after joining politics, Projapati controversy and more
Q. Are you extra careful in choosing scripts now after joining politics?
A. I have always done films with social messages and women empowerment. Now my responsibility has grown. I remain careful on certain things like usage of explicit languages, doing bold scenes because now I work for lakhs of people and not just me. There is a huge group of people who perceive me in a certain way. So I have certain barriers, which are not imposed by my party but I am conscious of my image after joining politics.
Image Credit: Avishek Mitra/IBNS
Q. In this context, L.S.D. must have been an easy choice for you since it has a social message.
A. This film is about drugs and how to control oneself. L.S.D. teaches us that happiness comes from within and not from any substance. So it is true that L.S.D. has a social message. The film shows how virtue wins over vice. Being in politics never restricted me from doing this film.
Q. How is your life right now?
A. Crazy. It's a hell of a ride if I can say. I had a pattern in life being an actor. Earlier I had a social life which is almost zero right now. A political layer has added to my life. Contrary to working behind the camera, now I am working in close contact with people. I feel I am doing something very important in life. Politics is the only way to help a large number of people. It is not a community service but a service to the motherland and the state.
Q. Do you miss social life?
A. Miss? Ummm... I don't because I am in a different groove where I feel the greater cause is far more important than my personal enjoyment and desires. My perception towards life is making me more simple. I am enjoying politics and I want to prove the notion that 'artists do armchair politics' wrong.
Image Credit: Facebook/Saayoni Ghosh
Q. Your attires after joining politics too have changed!
A. Two things. Firstly, the Chief Minister's simpler life inspires me a lot. She motivates me to lead a life of service. Secondly, I realised clothes are important to reach out to people in the rural areas. Women in villages are able to relate to me when I wear a simple saree and not denim and a shirt. It is a challenge for me to attract people and create a bond with them. So my outfit is very important. I will never be one of them (women in rural areas) if I don't look like them.
Q. Much like Anik Dutta, Soham Chakraborty said you were roped in because you were the best fit in the role. Do you think the choices you have made in the earlier part of your acting career are paying off now?
A. It's paying off I guess. If someone like Anik Dutta, who can cast anyone he feels like or Soham with whom I have never worked commercially, are saying I would do justice to the respective characters, it means people had noticed my works and recognised my growth over the years. I think it's a win-win situation. If someone feels roping me would get the job done super smooth then I feel I have something to take back from the industry.
Q. Do working with co-actors, who are also in politics, help in matching wavelengths better?
A. Yes, now we can understand each other's commitments and pressures. Since we are in the same sphere, we no longer crib about dates and shooting schedules. We now understand and respect each other more.
Image Credit: Avishek Mitra/IBNS
Q. You have maintained your stance on issues related to the film industry throughout. Do you think comments by your party colleagues against film actors like Mithun Chakraborty were unnecessary?
A. These are more created. Everything in our country is now politicised. There are some people, who have nothing to do, run certain campaigns. People read too much into everything. A committee and not the Chief Minister decides which film will be screened in Nandan. We always vouch for Nandan because a lot of people can watch a film. But anyways, every film has its own destiny.
No matter how much the industry has been politicised, there always remains an unsaid understanding and camaraderie among the artists. I will not hesitate to work with any actor who belongs to the opposition political party. Some buzz was created (by the controversy) but we are very much unaffected by all these things.
(Images by Avishek Mitra/IBNS/Facebook/Saayoni Ghosh)