‘I do not get a lot of roles offered any more’
...says Konkona Sen Sharma, whose first digital short film A Monsoon Date, directed by Tanuja Chandra, has released on Eros Now. She also talks about portraying an LGBT character and how people should make the most of the digital platform
In the last couple of years, we have seen very few of Konkona Sen Sharma’s films on the big screen. In 2017, she was part of Alankrita Srivastava’s Lipstick Under My Bukha and last year, she made her feature directorial debut with A Death In The Gunj. Is this because she is being choosy about her work? “I must be choosy. But I do not get a lot of roles offered any more,” says Konkona.
The actor-director, known for critically acclaimed films like Mr and Mrs Iyer, Page 3, Omkara, Life in a..Metro, Wake up Sid, Goynar Baksho among others, says that most of the scripts that are being offered to her are not very good. “I like to choose things that are interesting, exciting or different for me. In addition to that, my interaction with the director also matters. I can usually tell whether I will have a camaraderie with the person, if they have any vision. Because you can have a bound and tight script and still the film can be crap.”
The actress says that she likes to play characters that are going through some kind of change or growth. “The ones who are at some stage of transition are very interesting to play,” she adds.
Konkona’s first digital short film — A Monsoon Date, directed by Tanuja Chandra and written by Gazal Dhaliwal, released on Eros Now. The actress, who is playing an LGBT character in the short, says that she had never played a character like this before. “I had never had the opportunity to play such a character and on top of that, I really enjoyed collaborating with Tanuja and Gazal. They were absolutely wonderful people. We were all on the same page. We had the same attitude and approach and we had mutual respect and admiration for each other. They helped me understand my character better,” she says while promoting the film.
Not everyday an actor gets to play an LGBT character since the number of such characters in Hindi films are still evolving. So did Konkona have to be extra careful so that her character did not look over-the-top. “Generally, you have to be careful while playing such characters but in my case, that danger wasn’t there because it was not written like that. I believe it starts with the writing, if somebody is trying to stereotype a character, it comes across in the writing itself,” says Konkona, adding, “But it didn’t show in this script, so I knew they had taken a very sensitive, subtle, evolved and compassionate approach to the character. Tanuja has in fact brought out the character in a very beautiful and moving way.”
The actress believes that the sensibilities of the director also matter while writing such characters. “By and large, in mainstream cinema, the depiction of LGBT community, has been very offensive. Very rarely has it been sensitively portrayed. But as I have also said before, it starts with the writing — how are you showing the character, in what context, what are the specifics,” says the director, who is yet to make an announcement about her next directorial.
As the conversation moves towards the digital platform, she says the medium is absolutely wonderful. “Firstly, I love the short film format because it gives a chance to experiment with your subject matter and you have lot of creative freedom, you are not bound by box-office and funding responsibilities. Also there is no censorship. So it’s a great medium right now. We should take advantage of this because we have a lot of liberty to tell the kind of stories we want,” says Konkona, who also enjoys watching content online.