Interview Bengali

Want to do different kinds of roles in different kinds of stories: Tanushree Chakraborty

In an interview with us, Chakraborty discusses her role and the experience of working in the film.

Roushni Sarkar

Before she became an actress, Tanushree Chakraborty was a popular face as a model, posing for various magazines and commercials. With the Bangladeshi commercial for Pran Powder Spice, she turned into a well-known figure in both Bangladesh and Bengal. Chakraborty is currently the brand ambassador of Club Salon and Glamour World Ayurvedic Co. Pvt. Ltd. She has also been hosting a beauty and lifestyle show called Sampurna on Zee Bangla.

Chakraborty’s film career rose to prominence with Kamaleshwar Mukherjee’s Uro Chithi in 2011. Since then she has worked with famed Bengali directors such as Kaushik Ganguly, Birsa Dasgupta and Arindam Sil. She has already featured in completely different avatars in two films that released this year — Satrajit Sen’s Michael and Dr Humayun Kabir’s Aaleya.

Her next venture is Arindam Bhattacharya’s horror flick Flat No.609 in which she stars opposite Abir Chatterjee. The film released on Friday (31 August). In an interview with, Chakraborty discusses her role and the experience of working in the film. Excerpts.

This is your first horror film. How has the experience been?

Yes, it has been a wonderful experience to have worked in a horror film for the first time. There are certain critera that determine this genre. I got very excited when I first got the script. I really loved it and agreed to do the film at once. I have not worked in this genre before and the acting here has been quite different. It is a very crucial role for me. So, I am very excited about the film.

What kind of homework did you do for this particular role?

I am playing Sayantani, a housewife, in this film. There is a transformation in her character and in her acting as well, which is quite unique. I had to do a lot of homework to depict that transition on screen and, of course, to bring alive the horror sequences. The audience will understand how different my performance is from my previous ones once they watch the film.

In the trailer we can see that Sayantani is mostly at home alone and she is facing most of the scary situations.

See, Sayantani and Arka [Abir Chatterjee] are newly married husband and wife. They look for a flat for rent, with usual requirements. They eventually find a comfortable and pocket friendly apartment and begin to stay there.

Flat No. 609 trailer: A spine-chilling thriller with a few clichéd moments

Sayantani is a housewife. She mostly stays at home while Arka, who works in an IT company, often goes out on trips. As she spends lonely days at her flat, she begins to encounter queer incidents and when she confides in her husband, he doesn’t believe her.

However, the occurrences lead both of them into deep worry. Sayantani inquires with her neighbours, played by Soumitra Chatterjee and Mamata Shankar, about the strange incidents. However, despite knowing some secrets they refuse to disclose anything to Sayantani and hence, the plot begins to take more twists. I think the plot of the film is quite intriguing.

What effects are these scary incidents having on the couple?

Well, of course, the incidents are affecting the relationship. When one of the two people is not happy and is not being able to live in the flat peacefully, then the other is worried and anxious. I will not reveal the incidents, for that, one will have to watch the film.

Do you like to watch horror films? Which one is your favourite?

I get scared but I do the watch if the film is a good one. One of my favourite horror films is Jaume Collet-Serra’s Orphan (2009).

How was the experience of working with Arindam Bhattacharya?

It was quite enjoyable. He gives a lot of space. There are many subtle changes in my character in this film. Arindam da, along with his entire unit has helped me a lot in imbibing and portraying those nuances onscreen.

We have seen you in completely different avatars in previous two films this year. How are you choosing the characters?

Oh yes, I am trying to choose characters that I have not enacted before. I make sure to do different kinds of roles and appear in different kinds of stories. I try to keep that in mind.

In Aaleya, I portrayed the character of a very rough police officer. I had to work on my physical appearance and gestures a lot for that role. On the other hand, in Flat No. 609, the psychological aspects of the character are more important. In Michael, my character was far away from these two. Meher Khanna is a serial artist and the daughter of a millionaire, who likes to publicize her background around the entire city. She goes through a different kind of transformation after she meets Michael in the film. Sayantani’s journey in the Flat No. 609 is nowhere near to those of these two characters. That is why I have chosen the film.

How has been your experience of working with Abir Chatterjee?

We share a very playful bond. Of course, we are not mischievous while working! Abir is very easy to work with and he co-operates a lot on the sets.

How has been your journey so far from being a model to an actress?

I don’t think I have achieved anything great yet, there is a lot to be done, that is all I can say.

We see a lot of actresses appearing in films one after the other. Why don’t we get to see you so often?

I did two films Durga Sohay (2017) and Samantaral (2017) in the last year. This year, Flat No. 609 is going to be my third film. Soon, I will start shooting for Rajarshi Dey’s Shubho Noboborsho. The film also stars Raima Sen, Arpita Chatterjee and Sudipta Chakraborty in the lead roles. I think so far this year has been good for me. I want to do quality work and act central characters.

So you do not want to be part of ensemble cast?

No, it is not that but the film has to have a unique story.

What about commercial films?

Yes, I am definitely looking forward to doing commercial films. I was supposed to do Katmundu, however, the project got shelved. I think I will start shooting for one nearing the end of this year.

Who are the directors you dream to work with?

I want to work again with all the directors I have already worked with, for example, Kamaleswar Mukherjee, Kaushik Ganguly, Arindam Sil, Arindam Bhattacharya, Birsa Dasgupta and Mainak Bhaumik.

Don’t think my films can be categorized into a particular type: Srijit Mukherji

I also want to work with Srijit [Mukherji] da and Rina di [Aparna Sen].