By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | July 25, 2017
Swagata Naik is a newcomer in Bollywood. No, she has no godfathers or any relatives in the industry but she is confident that talent does find its place here [“Talent lies in ones craft as much as ones soft skills.”] Chucking away a comfortable job as a lawyer, [“I was working as a corporate litigator with Zia Mody’s firm, AZB & Partners,”] Swagata took a leap to pursue her passion.
Those who know her think it was an imprudent decision, her friends and family “call it brave.” But once she decided to spread her wings and fly, Swagata realized that it gave her creative freedom. “It felt right to me although it was unknown waters I was testing,” reveals the actress adding. “If you don’t take the leap, you may never know how far you can go. And I intend to go very far.”
A short film Shatika, The Undraped produced by Y Star Cine and Television Entertainment in association with Shamrock films is due to release soon and going by the teaser trailer, Swagata seems to be here for good. Playing a beggar in her first ever appearance, the one-time corporate lawyer digs deep into her character, in tattered clothes and a shabby appearance, to tug at your heartstrings with a heart-warming performance.
The short film stars Milind Gunaji and Sushmita Mukherjee and is directed by Sritama Dutta. “Playing a beggar was a challenging role; to live that life even for the short duration of the shoot was physically and emotionally transformative. Lali (the character I play) is close to my heart because she is a daughter ready to go to any lengths for her mother. I am grateful that Sritama pushed me and the unit to the limits that she did,” reveals Swagata about her very important role.
Speaking on the experience of working with Shushmita, Swagata says, “Sushmitaji is one of the most versatile actors of Indian cinema. It was an honour working with her and learning everything that I could as an actor. I’ll always cherish the experience, she is a powerhouse performer and sharing screen space with her was humbling.”
Apart from the short film, Swagata is also gearing up for the release of her first, full-length feature film directed by Janak Toprani which should be out next month. Not allowed to speak much about the film, Swagata says, “All I can say that it is a fun film and it’s called Call For Fun, produced by Filmquest.”
Detailing how she bagged the role of Lali in the short film, Swagata says that she saw the call on Facebook, and auditioned for it. As for the film, she auditioned for it twice and “Janak sir confirmed me.”
Here’s looking to a complete outsider, one who has turned her back to the comfort of a steady pay package to venture into unknown waters. Like she says, “I intend to go very far.”
All the best, Swagata!
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