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Diorama 2019: As actors we all look for stuff that gets noticed, says Arjan Bajwa


During a chat session at the Diorama film festival, artistes Divya Dutta and Arjan Bajwa spoke about the elements of a script that excite them and propel them to accept projects.

Arjan Bajwa at Diorama 2019

Sukhpreet Kahlon

In a chat session titled ‘Actors too look for good scripts’, artistes Divya Dutta and Arjan Bajwa were in conversation with Diorama film festival director Manoj Srivastava on the search for good scripts to showcase their talent.

Talking about what she looks for in a script, Dutta said, “I work intuitively. I hear a story and I know... the length of the role doesn’t matter to me. Rather, it is about how much impact the role will have and how much the audience will take back of me.”

She added that a single element does not dictate her choice of taking up a particular role: “I go by the entirety of it, the director and how much both of us are on the same page regarding the role.” 

Divya Dutta at Diorama 2019

Bajwa said, “The foremost is your craft as an actor and the second is the impact of a role... I don’t differentiate between unconventional and conventional cinema. As actors we all look for stuff that gets noticed.”

He added that there are times when actors work on projects simply for creative satisfaction without bothering about remuneration.

Both artistes said they sometimes feel apprehensive while taking up unconventional or challenging roles. Dutta spoke of her brief role in Manto (2018), in which she played Kulwant Kaur in the story Thanda Gosht. While she wanted dearly to do the role, she nonetheless sought a sounding board that would offer some reassurance that her decision to accept the role was right.

“Sometimes you need someone to just pat you on your back and encourage you in the direction that you have chosen,” she said.

In a similar vein, Bajwa shared the trepidation he felt in playing a character with negative shades in Rustom (2016): “The conviction to take that role came from the director himself, who explained that none of the roles in the film were black and white, they all had shades of grey.” Bajwa played the man who has an affair with his friend Rustom Pavri's wife.

Dutta and Bajwa have acted together in the short film The Playboy Mr Sawhney, directed by Tariq Naved Siddiqui, which was screened at the festival.

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