Nusraat Faria is one of those actors who can undoubtedly be described as a perfectionist. Well prepared ahead of each take, she never misses a step in a dance routine; no matter how many times her co-star may mess up his moves. She even goes as far as pointing out to the director if something isn’t working in the scene,or watching replays in the monitors to see if she is happy with her shots. The actor speaks to the Dhaka Tribune Showtime’s Sadia Khalid about acting alongside Shakib Khan in a new movie and a mega-budget commercial
When is your film with Shakib Khan coming out?
It’s coming out next year hopefully, maybe March or April. It’s called “Shahenshah."
Where is the film shooting?
We have shot the songs in Thailand and in India. Now we’re shooting the rest of it in Dhaka. Almost 75% of the shooting is done by now.
How was your experience co-starring with Shakib Khan?
It was good,because the team is very powerful. It’s my second film with Shamim Ahmed Rony, the director. We have great coordination. It’s my fourth film with a script from screenwriter Anshuman Pratyush, from India. So, I’ve worked with the whole team, even the DOP (director of photography), before. I have that comfort zone with them. The combination is really good. When the technicalities fall into place, the production organically turns larger than life. It’s my first official Bangladeshi film.
So far you’ve worked in Indian and Indo-Bangla productions. Now you’re acting in a Bangladeshi film. Do you find any difference in the professionalism of these two industries?
It all depends on you. Of course, there are some differences. We’re in a progressive mind-set now. People make films because they love films and they respect this profession. They really want something great out of it.
What I found really positive in this film is that everybody has an enthusiasm for doing the best and looking the best; starting from the lightman to each and every technician. They want to give it their best shot. I really appreciate this positive mentality. This film contains the hard work of a lot of people. In “Shahenshah,” there’s a touch of positivity in every scene.
Everyone always tells me that whenever Faria comes to the screen, her presentation is “Wow.” They kept the glow and the glamour part intact in this film. Starting from my intro, each and every one of my scenes was choreographed. That’s why it’s looking very nice. I’m very hopeful.
Five or six years back, when Bangladeshi actors started going to Kolkata regularly to act, they said there’s a huge difference in the professionalism between the two countries. Do you think the gap is shrinking?
It’s nothing like that. I’ve done eight films. Five of them are officially Indo-Bangla, three are also somewhat mixtures of Bangladeshi and Indian. I think it depends on how serious you are. They are very serious. They have a different way of looking at stuff. We have a different way of looking at stuff. They’re very strict; we’re very emotional. But we both love our work. So, I won’t say that they’re professional and we are not. We’re also professional. Otherwise, I couldn’t survive here, because I’m too professional. It all depends on how you look at things.
What was the first scene you shot with Shakib Khan in “Shahenshah?"
I’m very chilled out as a person. Whenever I’m on set, I’m only concerned about how I’m looking and if I’m doing my acting right. My “equation” is with my director, my DOP and my light team. As a co-artist, of course he’s very good. He’s very co-operative.
I’m very professional and calculative on set. I’m focused on my work. It’s almost 2019, we don’t have that thing (stars acting like divas) anymore. It’s an extremely friendly environment. We all work together. I think it’s very important to be friendly on set. That’s healthy for work.
We met for the first time in Thailand,where we were shooting a song. We started with a romantic sequence and that was it. We said “Hi. Hello,” shot the scene, we saw the monitor, looked at each other and agreed that the shots were OK. It was a done deal. We knew the chemistry was working well, the shot was looking good. So that was our concern as artists, whether the chemistry looked good on screen.
You released a song “Pataka." Will you release more songs soon?
Yes. I’m planning on it. “Pataka” wasn’t so much “me.” Pritam and I were discussing the kind of songs we can do. And he said, let’s do something that’s really rough and not mellow and doesn’t go with your image. I said “OK. Let’s take the risk.” We did take the risk and in some way, I am successful I would say… Now, I am coming up with something different. So, let’s see; maybe in the beginning of next year.
How did you handle the criticism of “Pataka?"
Well, it comes with the fame. I think that’s completely fine. Your actions will have a reaction. If I think it is logical, I appreciated it and learn from it. If I think it is not logical, I will not pay attention to it.
What is the next film you’re working on after “Shahenshah?"
We are reading a couple of scripts. I am very picky about my films. Because, thanks to Allah, I don’t have a flop.
Tell us about the Banglalink commercial you are shooting now. You haven’t appeared on TVCs in a while.
It’s my comeback in commercials. I shot two commercials back to back with the same production house, Run Out Films, one was Huawei and now this. I have always had a good relation with mobile phones and telcos. The last commercial I did was also with Banglalink. It was the first time they tried “Phantom Shots." It was four years ago, when I was still hosting radio shows.
It (this TVC) is kind of massive. I am looking forward to it. I am hopeful. The arrangement they are providing is quite big. I have worked with this team before. They are from Bombay (Mumbai). It is very comfortable for me to work with them.
We started shooting at 11am in the morning. We started with a close-up of me. There is this superstition that if the heroine’s close-up is looking nice, then the day will go swimmingly. I asked the DOP, “Are you happy,sir?” He was happy. Everybody was vibrant. Hopefully, it will be a good TVC.