How did cinema happen to you?
I was a model and then I switched to television, where I did short films. Eventually I starred in Tepantarer Math, a so-called Bengali ‘dogma film’. That’s when it all started.
What is Ludo about? Why the name?
It is a horror movie. Most of us love the genre, whether it is mainstream or avant-garde. Ludo is actually a board game that Bengalis play a lot. It entails a lot of mind games too. In the film, the characters play a lot of mind games. Hence, the name.
There is always a risk of getting typecast as a hyper-sexed character when doing films with sexual content. Does it bother you?
I think by now I have gotten over that tag. There is only talk about hyper-sexed characters played by women but no one talks as much about, say Anita Kanwar or other great actors who were so much more than just ‘sexy’.
You have acted in films that garner critical acclaim abroad but don’t get much recognition in India…
Teenagers are super energetic about our films. What angers me are people from the film fraternity who may have seen our films but are shy to admit it.
What’s your view about the depiction of sex and nudity in Q’s films?
Actually, I am naturally sexy so I never had to try hard to be that way in films. I don’t have any qualms about going nude or doing any sex scene. And I don’t think Q’s films overdo sex at all. We only see the act of intercourse on screen, but what about the politics behind it? We are okay when Katrina Kaif shows her waist? Ask these Bollywood actors if they can do a film like Gandu. We worship our deities, but there was complete debauchery then. Through the ages, we have drawn a curtain over those things and have only highlighted aspects that deal with marriage or children.
You had a troubled childhood. Did that matter?
I feel like I am an outcast when it comes to society, social norms and conventional behaviour. Actors usually tend to have a family or support system to fall back on. I had none of that, as my family was never appreciative about my work. But thanks to that I have become completely free as an artist. I don’t have to answer to them about what I do and that makes me free to do what I want.