Plabita Borthakur: Waiting for ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ to release was tough
After starting her career with ad films, Plabita Borthakur made her Bollywood debut with PK but she had to wait for three more years before her first major film ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ released
Tell us about VOOT’s new original series Fuh se Fantasy andyour role in it…
Fuh se Fantasy is an episodic show about the thin line between fantasy and reality. I am part of one of the episodes in which I play the character of Jyotsna who has her fantasies planned with her boyfriend whom she is soon going to part ways with. The episode titled Mile High Club is directed by Shraddha Pasi Jairath and stars Satyajeet Dubey opposite me.
How do you see the rise OTT platforms as far as the Indian entertainment industry is concerned?
I think it is great. I am just happy to see so much of work happening right now. Because of the growing popularity of web series, a lot of filmmakers, actors and technicians are getting more opportunities. Today new platforms are coming up and because of it the industry has opened up greatly.So for people like me who are just starting out there is a lot of interesting work available out there.
How has your life transformed since Lipstick Under My Burkha?
Ever since Lipstick Under My Burkha, I feel I have grown a lot. It was the first serious project that I did and I really worked hard for it. After that, I have started craving to do more good projects rather than doing TV commercials. So it has helped me understand myself as an actor better.Also, it has helped me in terms of opportunities as a lot of filmmakers have noticed me because of it.
You made your debut in PK but it was really a blink-and-miss role. So you basically had to wait for another 2-3 years before Lipstick Under My Burkha released. Did you face any anxiety during that period?
In those days I was doing a lot of ad films and I was also younger and so it was all about enjoying the moment. I would do a shoot and party with friends and so on. But after I had shot for Lipstick Under My Burkha, the waiting period before its release was really tough. I knew that I had worked on a very beautiful film and so there was a lot of restlessness about why it was taking so long. You see it took about three years to release and so the wait was really long.
In Lipstick Under My Burkha, you play a college girl who belongs to a conservative Muslim family. How did you prepare for your role?
It felt like a very difficult role to begin with. I did a lot of workshops with the director. My character Rehana is an introvert and I did not even know how to be like that because as a person I am the exact opposite. So, it did take me some time to understand the character. Also, I was required to read a lot of Hindi books in order to improve my Hindi.
How do you reflect upon your journey from Duliajan, Assam,to the Mumbai film industry?
I initially came to Mumbai to do my graduation. Now, two of my elder sisters are already settled in Mumbai and so I used to visit them very often. So Mumbai has always been like a home. While I mostly stayed in hostel during my college days, there were always my sisters to go to in case I needed anything. To tell you the truth, I am a traveler at heart and I am always ready to adapt to any new place. So when I first came to Mumbai from a small town, I was really happy and excited to have come to a new place and now I keep looking for opportunities to go to new place so that I can experience some other kind of life.
What are your upcoming projects?
After I had shot for Lipstick Under My Burkha, there was a phase in my life during which nothing substantial was happening as the film was still in post production. Then suddenly I got to read the script of Waah Zindagi and I found it very interesting. I got hooked to the character of a village girl. Many people had told me that I was too urbane to play a village girl. So, I was really happy to get this role and prove them wrong.
I am also doing Chotte Nawab which is being produced by Yoodlee films. While I had played an introvert rebel in Lipstick Under My Burkha, my character in Chotte Nawab is quite fun loving and quirky. I am basically playing an outright rebel capable of making everyone else dance to her tunes.