Bizli marks your debut as a producer. Don't you think it's a bit of a risk to step towards production all of a sudden?
In truth, the story of Bizli would be considered “risky” in itself. We usually don't see producers invest in this kind of concept in Bangladesh, and that is why I had to go ahead and produce the film myself. I, however, believe in the script and am sure that our audience is very open to the concept of a supernatural-themed film. We see it in Hollywood and Bollywood all the time, so why not here?
There has been a lot of talk about the current state of the industry, and many have complained that there is still a lack of audience in movie theatres. What is your take on that?
Well, it is true to a certain extent. In recent years, we have seen a surge of great films which are worthy of the audiences' time but unfortunately; the turnout is not what we expect. But I do believe that it is very possible to bring back the audience to halls with good content. The problem is, it won't happen overnight. If people compare 1-1.5 crore budget Bangladeshi movies with overseas ones which cost a hundred or more times to make, they're likely to disappoint themselves. Change is coming, but the audience has to give us a chance.
Tell us about how you got into films.
Iftekhar Chowdhury, the director of my first film Khoj: The Search had seen me in a TVC and was very impressed. He called me and made me give a screen test, after which I was selected. I didn't actually tell my family that I was doing a film, they only got to find out after it was released. They did not support me at first, and it is only the audience's love that had convinced me to stay in the industry and keep doing films. Unfortunately, they still did not accept me as a mainstream actor! That never stopped me and it never will, though. I've been a geek for films since I was a child and can work as hard as it is required to continue doing what I do!
You come from an educated background. I wanted to know what exactly your friends and family think of your profession as an actor.
I think a lot of people secretly want to be in this, but just never admit it. Our problem is that we love films and actors from industries such as Bollywood, but aren't ready to give our own industry a chance. We judge it too fast. There is good and bad in any sector, and acting isn't excluded from that. However, I feel like there is no progress without haters!
Have you ever been subject to gossip? How do you react to them?
(Laughs) I just generally brush them off my shoulder. You can't be paying attention to them and focus on your work at the same time. However, it does affect my family as they are not used to it.
Why did you choose to produce a film with a female-centric plot?
I didn't really think of what-centric this film is. We should not think of films like that at all. I have acted in other female-centric films before and I thought to myself: if other producers could place that trust in me, why shouldn't I trust myself?
Do you have anything you have to say to the audience?
Well, we worked extremely hard on Bizli, which was shot around four locations. There is action, drama, romance and supernatural powers. Moreover, the story is based in context of the society so it should be very relatable to the audience. I would urge everyone to please go and watch it, and I promise you won't be disappointed!
Interviewed by Rafi Hossain in “Uncensored with Rafi Hossain”