Mumbai, (IANS): She says working in Bengali cinema not only teaches her the craft but also gives her a chance to collaborate with great filmmakers.
"I will never stop working in Bengali films; because I have learnt a lot of things as an actor from the Bengali film industry. I am fortunate to work with some of the iconic film directors like late Rituparno Ghosh who taught me a lot," Raima told IANS in an interview.
"I have worked with many young filmmakers in Bengal where the stories are very good, women-oriented films and very progressive interesting work...Bengali films have given me a lot," she added.
As her new short film, "Mehmaan" will soon be out on the OTT platform ZEE5, she gave a little insight into the character.
She said: "Since it is a short film, I won't talk much about my character but I am playing a wife who is loved by her husband very much. He is ready to do anything to keep her happy. But is actually a bizarre...how the story unveils that."
This is not the first time she acted in digital content as she mentioned, "there is a Bengali OTT platform called 'Hoichoi' where I acted in a web series. But, Zee is huge, it has the audience not only across India but overseas".
"So, when they approached me, I was more than happy. I think the web is the next big thing where we can do all the interesting things, experiment with our creativity. Digital audience is more receptive to experimental content compared to television."
Raima is one of those actresses who managed to get the best of both worlds -- regional cinema and Bollywood. Being the granddaughter of iconic star of Bengali cinema Suchitra Sen, Raima chose unconventional films to start her career with.
In 1999, Raima started her career as an actress with Shabana Azmi starrer Hindi film "Godmother". She went on to do films like "Parineeta", "Dus", "Eklavya: The Royal Guard", "Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.", "Children of War" among many others.
In between, she acted in some of the celebrated Bengali films like "Chokher Bali", "The Bong Connection", "Anuranan", "Khela", "The Japanese Wife", "Memories in March", "Noukadubi Maach Mishti & More" to name a few.
"I think I am really lucky that I always get good film offers and I choose best out of them. I am not getting 100 of films but fortunate to be part of the good content. I keep working in films which travel to various festivals and from there I get not only a certain amount of visibility but also good film offers. I think now makers know my potential," said Raima.
"I would say that I have worked with some of the best directors and that shaped up my craft, I think for an actress especially in cinema which is a director's medium, working with good directors helps a lot," she added.
Though she started her career in Bollywood, asked about what made her take a sabbatical of three years from Bollywood, Raima said: "See, I stay in Mumbai, I have my proper house, a dog everything here. But in between, I was getting a lot of offers from Bengal and as an actress, those roles were really lucrative. So I was just focusing a bit more on there."
However, she is quite excited about her upcoming films.
"This year, already my film 'Vodka Diaries' released. Two more films are in pipeline- '3 Dev' and 'Varanasi'. In '3 Dev', the casting is very interesting, it is an ensemble cast of KK Menon, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Karan Singh Grover where I am paired opposite Kunaal. 'Varanasi' is Om Puri ji's last film. I am looking forward to both the films."
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