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Screen tests scare me, Pradeep da tricked me into one: Raima Sen

Films came easy to her and here is one actor who has no qualms acknowledging that -- in an interview with HT, Bollywood and Tollywood actor Raima Sen explains her fear of screen tests and how she had never had to try for a role.

regional movies Updated: Mar 12, 2017 10:49 IST
Anindita Acharya
Anindita Acharya
Hindustan Times
Raima Sen,Godmother,Daman
Raima Sen has acted in several films such as Godmother, Daman, Chokher Bali, Manorama Six Feet Under and Kolkata Calling. She is the granddaughter of legendary Bengali actor, Suchitra Sen. (Raimasen/Twitter)

You will often hear celebrities taking about their early life struggles. But seldom will you find one making a candid confession that he or she was given everything one a platter. Raima Sen is certainly one of those few. She has no qualms in admitting that she has been extremely lucky in life. "Honestly, I have been lucky because everything was given to me even before I tried for them. I have never tried for anything. Had I tried hard, maybe, I would have been somewhere else. I have never tried hard," smiles Raima.

"When I was doing Godmother (1999), I wasn't sure if I wanted to become an actress. I thought of giving acting a try and if I enjoy it, I would take it up as a profession. It was only after the film received critical acclaim and won awards, that I decided to become an actress," laughs Raima, who came up with powerful performances in films such as Daman, Chokher Bali, Anuranan and Manorama Six Feet Under.

It isn't known to most that despite having a background in films, Raima has a strange phobia of going for screen tests. She gets scared every time she is asked to appear for a screen test before a film. "The biggest producers and directors of the country called me for screen tests but I have never gone for one. I was asked to do screen tests for Mohabbatein, Gulaal and Delhi Belly but I never showed up because of this phobia. It's much like people directly judging you by sitting across the table. It scares me," says the granddaughter screen test Suchitra Sen.

Does she regret missing out on those opportunities? "No. Few people are happy with what they achieve in life and I am one of them. I am happy with what I have. At times I also feel that maybe I wasn't supposed to be part of those films for which I was asked to do screen tests," says Raima, adding, "I only did the screen test for Eklavya: The Royal Guard. Pradeep Sarkar knew about my phobia, so he called the cameraman and shot it like a real scene. I thought I was shooting for the movie. When I came out of the set and went inside the makeup van, I spotted two other actresses wearing same costumes like mine. They told me that they had come for the screen test. Pradeep Sarkar tricked me but I got the film," recalls Raima, who was also seen in a pivotal role in Sarkar's debut film Parineeta (2005).

That said, Raima has smartly balanced Tollywood and Bollywood and was recently seen teaming up with Parambrata Chatterjee in Roga Howar Shohoj Upay. This, however, isn't the first time the two have been paired on the big screen. The two have also recently shot for Kaushik Ganguly's Baastusaap. Interestingly, Ganguly's film brings together the 22 e Srabon trio of Raima, Parambrata and Abir Chatterjee. "It's always nice to shoot with Abir and Parambrata. I play Abir's wife, Bonya, in this film. She is a lonely housewife. Parambrata and Kaushik da play Feng Shui experts in the film," she says.

The actor, however, says that she doesn't believe in Feng Shui. Instead, both she and her sister Riya take active interest in astrology. "Baba doesn't believe in all these and with it maa (Moon Moon Sen), it depends on the circumstances. Riya and I have been to astrologers though we know no one can foretell everything in life. But at times predictions come true. I also read the horoscope column in newspaper. I don't believe in Feng Shui but I try to keep my room clutter free so that it reflects positive energy and I can move on in life," she flashes a smile.

The actor might have been lucky but she makes sure that she works with the right directors. "I accepted Baastusaap the moment I got to know that Kaushik da would be directing it. He extracts the best out of me. Same goes for Kamaleshwar Mukherjee, with whom I have recently completed a film (the film also stars Prosenjit Chatterjee and Paoli Dam)," says Raima.

The actor was also seen sharing screen space with her mother, Moon Moon Sen and sister Riya, in Mainak Bhaumik's Kolkata Calling last year. Though the film couldn't set the cash registers ringing, it earned critical acclaim. "Riya was very good in the film. Both Riya and I believe that people have seen our work and if they believe in us, they will take us," says Raima, who will be seen alongside Prateik Babbar in Ishq Kabhi Kariyo Na.

She is also excited about her upcoming film, Bollywood Diaries, alongside Vinay Pathak. "It's about a set of people, who want to make it big in Bollywood. It's an interesting concept," says Raima, who will also be seen playing a lawyer in Unforgiven alongside Parvin Dabas and Deepak Dobriyal.

First Published: Jul 13, 2015 14:23 IST