Naseeruddin Shah inspires Tannishtha Chatterjee | india | Hindustan Times
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Naseeruddin Shah inspires Tannishtha Chatterjee

Actress Tannishtha Chatterjee, who won rave reviews for her performance in Brick Lane, says that she has learnt a lot from Naseeruddin Shah.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2008 18:38 IST

Actress Tannishtha Chatterjee, who won rave reviews for her performance as the repressed Bangladeshi housewife in Brick Lane, worked with Naseeruddin Shah in forthcoming film Barah Anna and says she learnt a lot from the "inspiring" actor.

"Naseerudin Shah has been my teacher. I really adore the way he keeps re-inventing himself. His passion and dedication for his work is so inspiring," Tannishtha told IANS.

Tannishtha and Naseer play the main leads in Raja Menon's controversial film Barah Anna that takes a brutal look at how the poor in Mumbai, a teeming metropolis of extremes, cope with their everyday problems.

Barah Anna is said to be inspired by Booker Prize Winner Aravind Adiga's novel White Tiger, but Tannishtha said: "The film is not an adaptation of Aravind Adiga's novel. However, I won't deny its uncanny resemblance to the book."

The film is slated to hit the screens later this year.

Tannishtha came into limelight with her performance as a subdued Bangladeshi wife in director Sara Gavron's Brick Lane, which was based on Monica Ali's novel of the same name. She was even nominated for the British Independent Film Awards in the best actress category.

She has walked the red carpet with international stars like Judi Dench and Anne Hathaway but says it is an uphill task for Indian actors to find success in the global arena.

"It's very difficult to create a niche for yourself internationally. There is so much competition from around the world. However, it's not impossible since India is being recognised now. We are respected abroad," said Tannishtha.

Apart from Brick Lane, Tannishtha proved her acting prowess in several critically acclaimed international and Indian films like German movie Shadows of Time and Indo-French film Let the Wind Blow.

She also played powerful roles in Strings, Kasturi and Bibar.

So far Tannishtha has been associated only with parallel cinema but says it wasn't a conscious decision to do only arthouse films.

"It was not planned that I will only be a part of parallel cinema. In the beginning of my career itself, I got some very strong women-oriented roles and opportunity to work with great international and Indian directors. I can say that I was lucky to get such strong parts. So I didn't want to give up such meaty roles," Tannishtha said.

"Usually people start with mainstream commercial films and then move on to more serious cinema but in my case it has been the opposite," she added.

Tannishtha is excited about her role in Sudhir Mishra's Sunrise and says she would love to do a comedy with Priyadarshan.

"I'm very happy to work with Sudhir Mishra in a film like Sunshine. It's a silent film and I'm playing a very complex role of a girl who is stuck in time. It's a great part," she said.

She is also working in films like Bhopal: A prayer for Rain, Bombay Summer and White Elephant.

First Published: Nov 12, 2008 15:02 IST