Aug 4, 2008

Indian Actress REVATHI Interview


‘I like doing something new’

Her’s is a face anybody in the country would recognise, thanks to the films she has either acted in or directed. As an actor this versatile performer displayed a rare combination of innocence, vulnerability and mischief, using her eyes and smile to maximum advantage.

Then as a film director, she made waves with her films ‘Mitr, my friend and ‘Phir Milenge’, dealing with bold themes in such a sensitive manner that she won both critical and popular acclaim. So it was no surprise that she won five Filmfare Best Actress Awards and a National award for Best Director (English). Yet she is still yearning for new forms of artistic expression. That’s where theatre comes in, she tells you.

In unchartered territory, Has she been busy with theatre since 2004 when she made the path-breaking ‘Phir Milenge’? No, theatre is a recent development, she confesses. After ‘Phir Milenge’, she has been busy making the Hindi film ‘Mumbai Cutting’. Unlike her earlier feature films, ‘Mumbai Cutting’ is a string of 11 short stories presented by 11 directors in what will be released this September. Here she is in the company of Sudhir Mishra, Jahnu Barua, Rituparno Ghosh, Anurag Kashyap, Shashank Ghosh, Rahul Dholakia, Ayush Raina, Ruchi Narain, Kundan Shah and Manish Jha to offer a glimpse of life in Mumbai and tries to find a reason why and how the city influences people who come there and survive adversities.

Short films are a natural progression for this creative artist. “I just cannot do the same thing again and again. I always want to do something new; in my film roles, in the themes I make films on, or now in trying to do theatre. I will definitely act in films if the role challenges me and I haven’t made a film in a South Indian language yet simply because I have not found a suitable subject. That’s just the way I am,” she explains.

Theatre, her latest venture

Elaborating on her move to theatre, Revathi says, “I have not been involved in theatre till recently, though I have been watching plays for some time. I met Arundhati Nag a few years back and followed her work through the building of Rangashankara. When she asked me whether I would be interested in acting on stage, I wondered ‘why not’ because theatre is an actor’s ultimate paradise. It is all part of an artist’s growth. But I was aware that theatre is a different experience, that you have to remember all your lines and deliver without retakes.

That’s why I wanted something small.” Which is why Chetan Datar’s original ‘1, Madhav Bagh’ which can actually run for 90 minutes has been abridged to just 35 minutes for her. Since her theatre debut with her solo act for this play in October 97 at Bangalore, Revathi has grown confident enough to consider another theatrical venture, if it excites her. Otherwise she is back on familiar territory, currently working on her next Hindi feature film.