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Aparna Sen: There are no stars in theatre, everyone is an actor first

Filmmaker Aparna Sen says that unlike Bollywood, theatre is democratic, does not follow hierarchy and treats everyone equally.

bollywood Updated: Apr 20, 2017 18:19 IST
Anjuri Nayar Singh
Anjuri Nayar Singh
Hindustan Times
Aparna Sen,Sonata,Shabana Azmi
Filmmaker Aparna Sen says it was great to direct Shabana Azmi and Lillete Dubey in her film Sonata, as they always had suggestions for her.(Waseem Gashroo/ HT Photo)

Filmmaker Aparna Sen, who comes from a theatre background, says there is a sense of equality in theatre as it follows no hierarchy. “Theatre has democracy. Everyone is treated as an equal. There are no stars in theatre, everyone is an actor first. There is a lot of discipline in the medium. Whereas, in cinema, half of the casting is done based on how a person looks. The rest is acting,” says Aparna, whose next film Sonata, stars Shabana Azmi and Lillete Dubey, both with theatre background.

The filmmaker says it was a treat to work with Shabana and Lillete as they are well versed with the craft. “It is such a relief when you don’t have to train newcomers. Plus experienced actors always give their inputs,” says Aparna, who has made films such as 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981), Mr and Mrs Iyer (2001) and 15 Park Avenue (2005).

Meanwhile, Aparna, who is actor Konkona Sen Sharma’s mother, says she was impressed with her daughter’s directorial debut A Death In The Gunj (2016). “She would often consult me while she was making the film, but I never told her what to do. She would take all the decisions. It was so great to see that she had the entire film chalked out. She was so clear about what she wanted in her film and how she wanted it. I was so impressed with her,” she says.

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First Published: Apr 20, 2017 18:17 IST