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With acting, I want to breathe again: TMC MP Satabdi Roy on her comeback film

Acting is my passion and whatever I am, whatever I do, I owe to my art, says Satabdi Roy, the three-time sitting TMC MP from Birbhum constituency

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“Why I got back to acting? Well, I wanted to breathe again. As a creative person, I feel like a phoenix rising from the ashes when I get back on the set. Acting is my passion and whatever I am, whatever I do, I owe to my art,” answers Satabdi Roy, the three-time sitting TMC MP from Birbhum constituency, West Bengal.

A decade after she took a sabbatical from acting, Satabdi Roy, known for her work in Bengali cinema is making her foray into Hindi films with Debaditya Bandopadhyay’s ‘The Jangipur Trial’, a courtroom drama that boasts of actors like Kabir Bedi, Amit Behl, Javed Jaaferi, Rajesh Khattar, Zakir Husain, Vrajesh Hirjee and Kannan Arunachalam among others.

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Roy plays the character of Diya Haldar, a lawyer who reopens a 35-year-old case and all hell breaks loose.

Stressing that the film came at the right time when she could afford to balance her political life and cinema, this two-time BFJA award recipient said, “For many years, I could not divide my time, as my parliament session and my constituency took all my time.”

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For someone who debuted with Tapan Sinha’s much-acclaimed Bengali film ‘Atanka’, Roy says that she is looking forward to working with directors with fresh ideas who offer multifaceted characters that have not been explored before. “The kind of immense talent these contemporary young directors boast of is mind-blowing. It is a treat to watch their work. In Bengali cinema, I would love to work with Srijit Mukherji, Shibu Mitra and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury. In Hindi, Raj Kumar Hirani and Kabir Khan are doing exceptional work.”

Talk to her about the fact that Bengali cinema continues to churn out excellent films by directors of different generations year after year, and she asserts that it has always been a creative cauldron that churns out path-breaking work. “I would say not just other regional cinema, but world cinema has a lot to learn from it in terms of technique, creative skill and choice of subjects.”

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For her, the OTT revolution has brought with it opportunities for unique creative talent. “Not just unique subject matter, it has given us some wonderful actors as well. It was much needed, as it has brought to the fore subjects, stories, styles and techniques that would not have found space in a cinema hall release.”

Stressing that being a die-hard romantic, she would love to make love stories, Roy adds that as an actor she is on the lookout for roles that she has never portrayed before. “Fresh scripts and out-of-the-box plots excite me.”

All for creative freedom and against the ‘ban’ culture, Roy says, “I have always believed that an artist or for that matter, any creative person should be respected. One should not try to curb their independence and freedom. If his freedom is tethered, he feels caged. He withers and dies.”

–By Sukant Deepak

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