Fenil and Bollywood

The film is not about me-Rituparno Ghosh

Posted on: October 3, 2009

Rituparno Ghosh speaks about playing a bi-sexual filmmaker in Just Another Love Story; scoffs at rumours of undergoing a sex change operation

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 02, 2009)

First things first, Rituparno Ghosh’s sexual orientation has got nothing to do with the role of the homosexual filmmaker he is playing in Kaushik Ganguly’s Just Another Love Story.

Ritu says, “There’s so much interest in this film because I’m playing a gay filmmaker but everyone has assumed I’m playing a real character. The film is not about me. Why are journalists trying to find scandal in an actor’s life through the character he plays? The subject matter on sexual orientation is far more important than the strange connections that are being made between the film and my life. I find it distinctly distasteful that the actor’s sexual orientation is being extended into the character he’s playing. At least I’m courageous enough to confront my own sexuality. I don’t need to engage in an art form to address my sexuality. It’s indecent and humiliating.”

Rituparno Ghosh

Ritu plays a double role in Just Another Love Story. One is that of Abhiroop Sen, a gay documentary filmmaker from Delhi, whose bisexual lover is the DOP of the film in the film. They visit Kolkata to make a documentary on the life of the real-life legendary Jatra actor Chapal Bhaduri. Ritu also essays the role of Chapal in his youth.

Ritu was initially apprehensive about the role but was convinced of the director’s motives after watching his telefilm on a lesbian couple. “To play two parts, that of the director Abhiroop Sen and Chapal in his youth wasn’t easy. Abhiroop is neither a man nor a woman, he belongs to the third sex. As for Chapal, he always felt that he was a woman trapped in a man’s body. These two different concepts of androgyny and sexual identity had to be brought out. There’s no external factor of femininity in Chapalda. Only when he speaks do we hear a woman’s voice. I loved the two roles because they challenge the stereotypical image of gay men,” says Ritu.

Ritu insists that he doesn’t want to play gay roles any more. “I liked the process of acting but I’ve the fear of being typecast in homosexual characters. One reason why I did this role is because I knew any other actor would make a spoof of it. You can’t play gay if you have no empathy for homosexuality. Indraneil Sengupta and I have played the gay couple with such ease. Those looking for tantalization will be disappointed. They’ll find us disappointingly normal,” says Ritu.

Ritu had to undergo extensive preparation for the role. “I had to look very delicate for the role for which I lost 14 kgs. I had to undergo an abdominal plasty because after losing weight, my stomach sagged. The waistline had to be proper because I was playing a man 10 years younger than I am. The surgery wasn’t easy with my blood sugar problem. I also had to learn to smoke, which was horrifying,” says Ritu.

Rituparno thinks that Indian actors shy away from gay roles. “I think actors who refuse homosexual roles are homophobic and probably latent homosexuals. They aren’t afraid to play rapists but they’re scared of playing gays. When I offered Aftab Shivdasani and Kunal Kapoor a gay role, they freaked out.”

On the day that Rituparno first got into women’s clothes to play Chapal it was Ritu’s birthday. He says, “I went to my father to take his blessings. He looked at me and said I looked exactly like Ira (my mother) when she was young.”

Chapal Bhaduri, now 75, plays himself in the film. “I play his young avatar and I also play the filmmaker who’s come to do a candid interview with the 75-year-old Chapal. So it’s a film within a film. Women were not allowed to take part in Jatra. Men played women’s parts” says Ritu. That’s where Rituparno’s feminine look comes in.

“The film makes us realise that taboos about sexuality haven’t changed that much. This film will lead to a very important cultural conversation. One can’t sit complacently and wait for a change in society,” adds Ritu.

“There’s a very important line in the film, ‘What is more important? The way we want to live our lives, or the way we actually live our lives?’ I want my role to reflect my beliefs and ideologies. Thank God, producers Cinemawala had the right intentions.”

The film is expected to release at the end of this year.


4 Responses to "The film is not about me-Rituparno Ghosh"

For more info, plz visit to http://www.gtex-int.com/gallery.html and never forget to bookmark……


Hi,,Rituparno sir,,i am a biggest fan of you…. .

Sir,,can you give me a chance in your any film….

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