I didn’t even know who Swastika was: Dibakar Banerjee

  • Debasmita Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 27, 2015 11:21 IST

Bengali actor Swastika Mukherjee might be turning heads in the trailer of Dibakar Banerjee’s ­upcoming sleuth flick, but the ­filmmaker says that he hardly knew her when he cast her for a role in the film.

"I didn’t even know Swastika then. I had seen one or two of her films, but I couldn’t put the face to the character when I saw her screen test," recalls Banerjee, who is all praise for her now.

"Among all, Swastika’s screen test stood out immediately, and we ­realised that here was a class actor. Swastika, at any other age, at any other time and in any other film industry, would have been as big an actor as she is today in Bengal because she’s got acting in her blood, in her DNA. She is, in my opinion, a world class actor, if given the right character," says Banerjee about the 34-year-old actor, who will be seen playing the character of a Frisian dancer, inspired from the life of the famous double agent, Mata Hari.

Recalling more about how he zeroed in on her for the role, Banerjee says, "Swastika herself didn’t even know that we were testing for this character. She happened to know my casting director, who called her for the screen test, and she just came in for half anhour, did the test and left, and I didn’t even know about her. When I was sent that whole screen test lot from Kolkata, then I saw her and I was really struck by her."

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