Her debut film Chitra made the audience appreciate her acting capability and great screen presence. With her upcoming Bengali film, Postmaster, Tollywood actress Pujarini Ghosh is all set to wow the audience yet again. Sholoana Bangaliana correspondent engaged the actress in a candid conversation. Excerpts…
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana- How did you bag the role in Postmaster?
Pujarini Ghosh- I was shooting for my last release Chitra when I got a call from Srijon my director for this film. I had no idea that it was on Rabindranath Tagore’s Postmaster. They just asked about my dates and said they would like to narrate the story to me. I just knew that Ritwick Chakraborty will be doing the male lead. It was only after I met them I got to know that they are planning to film Rabindranath Tagore’s Postmaster! When Srijon saw me he was quite unsure that I can pull of the look of Ratan. Every other day they would call me and say yes Pujarini you are doing the project and the next moment they were unsure. The impatience inside me was growing. So one day I got pissed and told them not to give me false hopes. Then they sat with our makeup artist Azad da. They had a long discussion with him regarding my look and then finally I got a call from them to sign the contract!!
Have you read the story? Did you like the improvisations made in the story by the director?
Pujarini Ghosh- Of course I have read it. Every Bengali I think have read the story or watched the film Postmaster. Like everyone I was also curious to know how they want to treat it to make it into a full length feature. This was a short story of Tagore and Satyajit Ray had already made it into a film which was also a short film and a part of his film Teen Kanya! I still remember I met Srijon at a CCD outlet when he narrated to me his version of Postmaster. And trust me I was almost crying. I loved it so much that I just wanted to do it no matter what. See you don’t always get the chance and the opportunity to be Tagore’s heroine. But as an actor I can only wish the rest depends on a lot of things. But I really wanted to be Ratan as I loved how Srijon has conceived the story keeping the essence of Rabindranath Tagore’s tale intact. But I knew it will be a very difficult character.
How did you prepare yourself for this role?
Pujarini Ghosh- Playing Ratan was not easy. I think it’s one of the most beautiful and difficult character to portray on screen. I am a very modern girl. I was born and brought up in a metropolitan city. I had no clue how it is to live in a village until I was there at Plassey shooting for Postmaster. It was a very difficult phase of my life to be Ratan. I had a month long workshop when Srijon helped me to understand the psyche of the girl. Her emotions, her situations, her innocence, her happiness, her sorrows!! As I had to look like a village girl they stopped all my hair and skin maintenance for over a month and I only had puffed rice (muri) and boiled chicken. But during the shoot as we shot at a remote location, I only survived on muri and later fruits as nothing were available. Even when I was not giving my shots I used to roam around in the village barefoot in that chilling cold. I had scenes where I had to run which we shot for like 10-12 days as we just needed the magic light. So after a point I couldn’t even walk as it was immensely painful and after every shot I used to soak my feet in hot water. I could not sleep for nights and I used to cry because of the pain. But after the first screening of the film at the Delhi International Film Festival I felt that the pain was worth it! So a lot of effort was put in to become Ratan.
How was the working experience with Ishaan and director Srijon?
Pujarini Ghosh- It was great working with both of them. Srijon is technically very sound and he knows what he wants. He has great sense of music. He is a gold medalist from London College of Music and also holds distinction in classical music. I am sure now you know why all the songs in the film are so beautiful. He was very strict on the sets. We hated him during the shoot but later when we saw the film we loved him more. And Ishaan is a sweetheart costar. He was super caring and super funny. We were a crazy combo. We share some of the funniest moments on the sets. The chemistry that you see between the postmaster and Ratan was all because of the lovely friendship we share.
You have a different look in the film. Did you give any inputs for your look in the film?
Pujarini Ghosh- Yes we had brainstorming sessions to create the look that Srijon needed. Even after the look test we were not happy. We wanted to make Ratan look authentic as it was not important to make Ratan look beautiful. The raw beauty was needed. They used to apply 3-4 layers of organic color on my skin to make me look tanned which they got for me from London, as any other color might cause irritation on my skin. We tried to make Ratna look as alive and real as possible.
Can you share any memorable incidents of working in the film?
Pujarini Ghosh- Everyday more than hundred thousand villagers used to come to see the shooting. As we shot at a virgin location it was the first time people got to see shooting. It helped many people as they started different business near the shooting spot. It was like a fair for them. A new toto-route started just for people who used to come and watch the shooting religiously. There were villagers who came from over 200kms just to see us. And we sometimes had to stop the shoot as it used to be difficult for the local police force to manage the crowd. All they wanted us was to wave our hands to the crowd. But they also helped us immensely. Without their support it was difficult for us to shoot in that remote location for so many days.
What are your expectations from the film, now that it has so well received at the film festivals?
Pujarini Ghosh- Right now I am not expecting anything. I just want my audience to go to the theatres and watch Postmaster for a complete cinematic experience. Since a long time, stories were missing from the narratives of any film. Postmaster tells a story which will be loved by all. It has a universal appeal. We were amazed by the response our film received at the Delhi International Film Festival. People from all over the globe loved the film. They don’t understand Bengali but they loved the film they lived a cinematic experience through Postmaster. That way I can tell you half our battle is won no matter what. But now I would like my city to accept Postmaster.
Are you happy with the kind of offers that you are getting now?
Pujarini Ghosh- Yes I am quite happy. Because I am getting challenging characters already which means I am getting noticed and directors are trying to experiment with my look and my characters. I am very young and I want to experiment with my looks, characters and push myself as much as possible. I am ready to do whatever it takes to make every character I do believable and alive. This is what every actor wants. I am scared of getting stereotyped. The actor in me will die if I have to keep on doing the same things in every film I do.
Do you have any dream role?
Pujarini Gh0sh- I have so many dream roles. Every good film I watch I imagine myself doing it and wish if someday.. I am one greedy actress I tell you!
So what are your next projects?
Pujarini Ghosh- I am doing my next film which is going on floor from 14th July. I am super excited as it is also one character I am really looking forward to. Right now I am busy with the promotions of Postmaster and the workshops for my next film.
We hope that the effort of Pujarini pays off and her film Postmaster strikes gold at the box office!!
Priyanka Dutta takes a keen interest in lifestyle and entertainment related news. She also enjoys interviewing celebrities and other renowned personalities. Priyanka holds a post graduate degree in English and Mass Communication. Journalism is her passion and she has reported for many a reputed international web portals.
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