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“I am drawn towards stories about the people on the periphery” – Konkona Sen Sharma

She is widely regarded as one of the best actresses in the country. In this interview, Konkona Sen Sharma talks about her new short film ‘Monsoon Date’, the representation of the LGBT community in Hindi cinema, reflects on her cinematic journey so far and talks about the kind of films she would like to make as a filmmaker.

Karan Johar had said in an interview that six big actors rejected ‘Kapoor & Sons’ as they did not want to play a gay character. With mainstream actors like Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and you playing LGBT characters in films, do you think there has been a shift in the mindset?

I would hope so. Even though I am not really a mainstream actor, I am happy to represent the community in this short film and I hope I have portrayed it in the right way. I think we are getting more progressive with time and that is a good thing. We are often used to see thin, fair-looking, heterosexual people in films. Everybody falls in love and we were earlier not representing the LGBT community properly.

Gazal Dhariwal has written ‘Monsoon Date’. You had earlier worked with her in ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’, which she had co-written.

Actually, I did not get to interact with her during ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’. She had written the dialogues and was not really a part of the shoot. We had a lot of interactions while making this film.

You started out as a child actor in the Bengali film ‘Indira’ (1983). How do you look at your journey?

Honestly, I do not look at my own journey as I feel what is done is done. I do not reflect upon my past work. The audience has a certain image of me which is far removed from the kind of person I am. I live in the moment and look ahead all the time.

You made your directorial debut with ‘A Death In The Gunj’ in 2017. What are you making next?

I want to direct a film soon but I have not found the right script yet.

Why did you not act in that film?

I did not act in the film as I felt there was already a lot of work on my plate. It was the first time I was directing a film, so I was quite nervous. There were a lot of things to manage and if I was also acting in the film, I would have probably gone mad (laughs).

Would you like to remake any of your mother’s films?

No, I do not want to remake any of my mother’s films. Honestly, I do not like the idea of remaking a film. If I love a film, why would I want to make it again differently?

Are there any particular kind of stories you want to tell as a filmmaker?

I like intimate stories. I am drawn towards stories about the people on the periphery. I think all of us like to see stories depicting the underdog. I personally find war and fantasy films very generic. I know a lot of hard work goes into such films and they are loved by so many people all over the world. It is just that those kind of stories do not appeal to me.  

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