National Award-winning actress Divya Dutta, who has been appreciated for “Music Teacher”, says she is choosing scripts wisely as the tags of “unconventional heroine” and “character actor” have finally gone from the psyche of the film fraternity.
Divya told IANS in an interview here: “Thankfully, I have managed to come out of those tags that industry people have always given me…like ‘unconventional heroine’ or ‘character actor’.
“I understand their situation too because in our film industry, in the commercial zone, people tend to categorise talent. They can see that in some films, I am playing the lead role, so they can’t call me a ‘character’ there… But on the other hand, when I am playing an important part in a big budget film, they see me as a character actor.”
In Divya’s opinion, people neither have to call her a heroine nor a character actor.
“Just call me an actor because that is what I am… keep it simple,” said the versatile actress, who was seen in films like “Fanney Khan” and “Blackmail” last year.
Whether it is “Veer-Zaara”, “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, “Delhi-6”, “Chalk and Duster”, “Welcome to Sajjanpur”, “Badlapur” or “Manto” — Divya has always managed to make a mark with her performance.
It’s the same with “Music Teacher”, which released on Netflix on April 19.
She says she plays a character most close to her personality in the film, which also features Manav Kaul.
“She is romantic, broken from within, yet does not show her scars to the world. And of course, the favourite R.D. Burman song ‘Phir wahi raat hai’ is picturised on me. I had to do such a poetic film,” Divya said.
So after working with several popular Bollywood filmmakers, who are her favourites?
Divya picks Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Sriram Raghavan and Neeraj Pandey.
Explaining why, she said: “In typical terms, they are not ‘filmy’, and as filmmakers they have a vision towards storytelling that is so amazing. When they have to cast me, they call me on a separate level, and that is not because I am a friend or I am an actor.
“They see me as who I am. With Mehra, I have done only two films and he has made seven… But those two characters are remembered forever.”
Apart from acting in films, Divya has also penned a book titled “Me And Maa”. She says her mother’s demise was life-changing for her.
“I think I am still the same as an individual… I like my normal life. I have kept the child in me alive and I am grounded. Though it is great to see that people have taken me seriously as an actress and I am loved by my audience, but admiration does not make me arrogant.
“Life teaches you a lot…especially after my mother passed away. Earlier, life was a dream because if there was any problem, my mother used to take care of everything. She would say, ‘Don’t worry beta, I am with you, things will be fine’. After her death, now I say this to myself.
“Perhaps, I have become better friends with myself.”
On the big screen, Divya is awaiting the release of “Ram Singh Charlie”, “Gul Makai” and “Jhalki”.
(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
-By Arundhuti Banerjee, IANS