Swastika Mukherjee, one of the most popular names in Tollywood, has been part of critically acclaimed and commercially successful films such as Bhooter Bhobishyat (2012), Mishawr Rawhoshyo (2013) and Jaatishwar (2014). Soon, she will be making her Bollywood debut with Dibakar Banerjee's next, starring Sushant Singh Rajput. Here, she opens up about her Bollywood plans, and talks about the state of Bengali film industry.
Was entering Bollywood always part of the plan?
Not really. Several successful Bengali actors have tried their luck in Bollywood. But I am not following the herd. I was not desperate for a Bollywood career. I accepted Dibakar's film as it is a meaty role. Some of my friends in Bollywood told me that one has to be in Mumbai to get offers, but I can't afford that as I am getting interesting scripts in Bengali films.
Between Tollywood and Bollywood, which industry do you think is producing more creative content?
That's a tough one, but I won't be diplomatic. Since film-makers in Bengal are making small-budget films which release only in a limited number of screens, they can afford to risk making intelligent cinema. Bollywood has a huge market to cater to, and a lot of money is involved. So they look at commercial aspects while making films.
Why do you think Tollywood, in terms of commercial value, is not growing as much as it should?
One of the prime factors is that Hindi films reserve enormous amount of screens, leaving Bengali films with fewer screens. Bollywood is restricting the growth of Bengali films. Many a times, a good Bengali film is given only one show while the rest are booked by Hindi movies.
Over the years, you seemed to have garnered the reputation of being controversy's child. It was reported that you attempted suicide after a fight with your boyfriend.
Link-ups are so boring. In Kolkata, if you are not part of a camp, and reject doing films with someone, you are inviting such trouble. So I don't react to such things.