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I started films because of boxing: Mumtaz Sorcar

Shoma A Chatterji |

Mumtaz Sorcar exudes magic in her very persona with irrepressible charm and a lack of airs that actors are normally prone to. She is an excellent dancer, a trained boxer and has magic in her genes. With her outstanding performance as a talented boxer in Saala Khadoos, she has pushed the edges of her career to make her presence felt in national cinema. Excerpts from an interview:

Q  After a reasonably long stint in Bengali films, you landed Saala Khadoos. Would you count it as a turning point in your career?

After 25 films and six years, Saala Khadoos has definitely been a turning point. I knew that I wanted to sharpen my edges as an actor before I stepped into the bigger arena. Though I still need to learn more and experience more to achieve perfection, I guess I was ready to slowly get into the bigger picture.

Q This is perhaps for the first time that your training in boxing came into play in your films. How was it?

Boxing has always been a magical element in my life. I started films because of boxing and it is really surreal that it was boxing again that introduced me to the national market as an actor. I took my first step as an actor because of boxing…. and again the next career changing step was because of boxing. Yes. I was a bit rusty. I had to practice again for the film.

Q You belong to the illustrious family of PC Sorcar. Is the family name a sort of pressure or does it function as an asset?

A huge tree gives shade and protects a sapling from hazards but it also can stunt the growth of a newborn by its shadow. But that is what keeps me going. It helps me work harder to truly be worthy of the name. I am extremely proud and grateful for being a part of this family. It is a blend of pressures and challenges to prove myself to be the right beneficiary of the traditions my family has established.

Q You are a magician yourself. But your magic skills have never been called for as far as my knowledge goes. Would you not wait for a role of a magician in one of your forthcoming films? Or dancing roles as you are also a dancer?

I would love to play a magician on the silver screen. It would be a dream-come- true. As far as dancing is concerned… I do get few opportunities to exploit my talent in films. But I would love to do a film that would require me to truly explore the world of dance.

Q You do not know either Tamil or Telugu. So were your dialogues dubbed for the Tamil and Telugu version of Saala Khadoos?

I had to learn both the languages for the film.

Q Salaa Khadoos had you in a role with a great graph. How did you react to it and what kind of homework did you put in?

I loved my character. Lux is the most humane and realistic character in the film. Everyone has two sides — a negative and a positive side. Lux explored both of them and that made her more realistic and believable. It is always more challenging and interesting to play a character with various shades.

Q In Bhooter Bhabisyat, you play a ghost with a lot of verve, bubbling with energy for a girl who jumped off the 10th floor. You were wonderful. How did you essay it?

That was another career changing film for me and it is one of the dearest projects of mine. I could relate to the character (other than the committing suicide bit) completely. I think playing Koel was pretty easy for me.

Q Among the 25-odd films you have featured in till now, please pick five personal favourites and explain why you hold them close to you?

All my films are special to me because I have worked equally hard for all of them. Each one has helped create myself as an actor. But if I have to name a few, I would say 033 as it was my first film. Bhooter Bhabisyat as it marked a turning point in my career and of course, Saala Khadoos/ Irudhi Suttru as it introduced me to the national audience.

Q What do you consider before accepting a film — the banner, role, director, script, screen time or remuneration?

The first thing I look for is the script. It must excite me and the character I am offered… Then the rest follow.