Every director and film was like individual class for me: Riddhi Sen
Riddhi Sen, who has entertained the audience with his acting in several Bengali films in recent times, became the youngest actor to receive the national award. Ahead of receiving the award from President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday, IBNS/TWF correspondent Souvik Ghosh interacts with the 19-year old actor
What was your first reaction after hearing that you have earned a national award?
I got the news while I was in the middle of a shoot. So I think the best possible thing which could have happened was to getting back to shoot. I kept on shooting for the next three days. So that’s the best way to celebrate such a news because I got the award for only acting and my love towards it. It is the blessing for any actor to just celebrate it amidst shoot.
How do you feel becoming the youngest actor to get the award?
It feels great. Who doesn’t like an award? (smiles) But again there are amazing artists all over the world who didn’t receive any proper recognition but nothing stopped due to it. For instance, Christopher Nolan didn’t get an award but nothing had stopped. I guess it is ultimately the innate love towards profession that keeps one driving. So I am really happy and elated to get this award (national award) but as long as I am enjoying it, nothing else matters.
How tough was it to play the role of a transgender in Nagarkirtan?
It was definitely tough to get into the state of mind of a particular gender, which is not mine. So I guess there lies the mastery of director Kaushik Ganguly, both as an actor and writer. The entire guidance he provided me on set along with my upbringing helped me to learn to see different things in life. Sometimes parents do not sit and teach one something but he can draw ideas, perspective from their actions. So that was first step of preparation for doing any character. The sort of parenthood and education I get from my family plays a big role.
Did you go through your own preparations?
Yes I have my own process for separate characters but again the biggest process is to draw inspiration from life and what is happening around us which is the biggest motivation for any artist.
You had been a part of a very different kind of film in Bollywood- Parched. How the film helped you grow as an actor?
I think working with every director helps me. It is not about completing a particular film but also drawing a lot of inspiration and learning and getting to see a lot of things in a different way. So every director and film was like an individual class for me which kept on building me as an actor.
How do you access your works? Do you watch it?
I watch my film repeatedly and hate my performances. This allows me to see where I went wrong and prevents me from repeating the same mistake in the next film.
Is it an added advantage to have parents who are also actors?
Yes, that’s a huge blessing because there are lot of people who go to acting schools or struggle. But I have an acting school at my own place. So nothing can be a bigger blessing for me.
Tell me something about your next Bollywood film.
I am shooting for Pradip Sarkar’s film Ela produced by Ajay Devgn. Kajol ma'm (Kajol, actress) is also in the film. We have shot eighty percent of the film and twenty percent left. The film will release very soon. I thoroughly enjoyed the shooting.
How was the shooting experience so far?
The shooting is still going on. The best thing was working with Pradeep Sarkar because in a platform like Bombay (Hindi film industry), it is very difficult to get through. This man (Pradeep Sarkar) trusted me as an actor so much that he cast me for the film without any audition or such process.
You have tasted successes quite early in your life and career. Is it an extra pressure for you?
No because it is your love towards your acting (which matters). As long as I am enjoying my acting, it shouldn’t turn out as a pressure. If it turns out as a pressure, then I will understand that I am not a good actor anymore.
Who is Riddhi Sen to you?
A person who is very afraid of death. He is a person who is afraid that life will end very soon, so all the fun will be over. So he wants a proper utilisation of time.
Images: Facebook page of Riddhi Sen,Twitter handle of Kaushik Ganguly, Avishek Mitra/IBNS