Learning in the process

Learning in the process

Riddhi Sen, who has entertained the audience with his acting in critically acclaimed Bengali and Bollywood films in recent times, became the youngest actor to receive the national award. After receiving the award from the President, the 19-year-old talked about his experience. Here are a few excerpts...

What was your first reaction after hearing that you have won the national award?

I got the news while I was in the middle of a shoot. I think the best possible thing which happened was getting back to the shoot. I was shooting for the next three days. It was the best way to celebrate the win because I got the award for the craft and my love for it.   

How do you feel about being the youngest actor to get the award?

It feels great. Who doesn’t like an award? But then again, there are some amazing artistes all over the world who haven’t received much recognition, yet they keep going because of their passion for acting. For instance, Christopher Nolan hasn’t got any Academy awards and nothing has stopped him. So, I guess it is ultimately the innate love towards the profession that keeps one motivated. 

How tough was it to play the role of a transgender in ‘Nagarkirtan’?

It was quite tough to get into the state of mind of a gender which is not mine. So, I guess there lies the mastery of the director, Kaushik Ganguly, as a writer and a teacher, as he guided me through the process. Apart from that, I feel that my upbringing has helped me a lot with regard to accepting different ideas in life. Sometimes, parents don’t sit and teach, yet one draws perspectives from their actions. This is my first step of preparation for doing a character. I believe that the kind of parenting and education I’ve received plays a huge role in my work. 

Did you go through your own preparation for this role?

Yes, I have my own process of preparation for each character. But then again, the most important thing is observation and drawing inspiration from life. This is the biggest motivation for an artiste.  

You were part of a Bollywood film, ‘Parched’. How did it help you grow as an actor? 

 I think working with different directors helps me. It is not just about completing a project, rather it is about drawing inspiration, learning, and getting to see things in a different way. So, every director and film was like an individual class for me which kept on building me as an actor.

Do you watch your films? 

Yes, I watch them repeatedly and hate my performances. This allows me to see where I have gone wrong and prevents me from making the same mistakes in the next film.

Is it an added advantage to have parents who are also actors?

Yes, that’s a huge blessing because there are a lot of people who go to acting schools or struggle. But I have an acting school at my own place. It can’t get better than that. 

Tell us more about your next Bollywood film.

I am shooting for Pradip Sarkar’s Ela, produced by Ajay Devgn and starring Kajol. We have shot 80% of it. It is releasing very soon.

How has the shooting experience been so far? 

The shooting is still going on. The best thing was working with Pradeep Sarkar because, in a platform like Bollywood, it is very difficult to get through. This man trusted me as an actor so much that he cast me for the film without any audition. That is quite exciting. 

You have tasted success quite early in your life. Is there an extra pressure on you? 

No, because it is your love for acting that matters. As long as I am enjoying my work, it doesn’t have to be about stress or pressure. But, if it becomes about it, then I will understand that I am not a good actor anymore.

Who is Riddhi Sen to you?

A person who is very afraid of death. Someone who thinks that life will end and all the fun will be over. He really wants to utilise his time well. 

Trans World Features