debameeta bhattacharya catches up with Tina Dutta

LIFE Ok&’s Uttaran protagonist Tina Dutta started her career at the age of five in a television soap called Sister Nivedita. At the age of 16, she starred in Choker Bali with Aishwarya Rai. She was also on shows that included Comedy Circus7 with Harsh Chhaya and Jimmy Moses, Koi Aane Ko Hai and Aahat, to name a few. She played the teenaged Lolita in Bollywood flick Parineeta (2005). Dutta gets candid about her role as Iccha in Uttaran. Excerpts:

l  How did Uttaran happen to you?
When I chose my acting career and got into Bollywood, the first thing I did was Koi Anee Ko Hai. It was a Balaji Telefilm and I happened to be a student at that point of time and my father, like anyone else&’s, did not grant me permission to act. But once I completed my Higher Secondary education (+2), I sent my portfolio to Balaji and I was selected. I went to Mumbai and in three months the shooting was completed. Later, I went back home and at the same time there was also a Color&’s audition where they had been looking for a main lead for Uttaran for Ichha&’s charater. They were in Kolkata to shortlist for Ichcha. I tried my luck and cracked it. That&’s how Uttaran happened.

l  Uttaran happens to be one of the most watched soaps on Indian television and you are its lead. How does it feel?
It feels really good to be a part of this show; it&’s been four and a half years now. Today, everywhere I go, people recognise me as Ichcha.
l  How is Tina different from your character, Ichcha?
Umm… There are a few similarities between Ichcha and Tina as both give equal importance to friendship, both can do anything for friendship — sacrificing, caring for others, loving and so on.
Yes, but Ichcha is a kind of person who tolerates everything, keeping her mouth shut, but Tina isn’t like that (grins).

l  You must have been in school when you worked in Chokher Bali. How was that experience? Did you always want to become an actress?
Hmm! True, I was in school when I did Chokher Bali. I was very keen to meet Aishwarya Rai. I was always excited for the shoot and that time I was so young that I didn’t even realise that I was working with Rituparno Ghosh, a legend in itself. Shooting with Aishwarya was fun as we clicked pictures, shared moments off screen where she hugged me. Those days my father was my confidant. I would tell him every detail of my shoot. Apart from her, I have worked with Vidya Balan and Saif Ali Khan while I was still in school, so among my friends and peers I would be in a different league all together.

l  Who has been your role model and greatest support in life?
My role model and my greatest support has always been my mother. When I wanted to go to Mumbai for Koi Aneko Hai, my father was completely against it, as I was the youngest in a family that still follows the orthodox norms Nobody but Ma supported to me grab my stepping stone to achieve my dreams. She has been my backbone.

l  Any plans to come back to the Bengali industry?
Yes, definitely, I wish to be part of a Bengali film. Given a chance, I would love to work with Raj Chakraborty, Koushik Ganguly and Anindyada.

l  If money were no issue, what is the one thing you would like to own?
I have a fetish for expensive cars so I would love to own a Jaquar, Rolls-Royce or Lumbargini and, if possible, all three.

l  Three things you never leave home without?
My shades, purse and plastic money.

l  Choose according to preference: money, power and fame.
I think power comes first, money follows and, with these two, fame comes automatically. 

l  You have a fetish for…
Macher jhol and bhaat cooked by Ma. 

l  Stranded on an island, you are granted only five things. What would these be?
First is an adequate supply of food and water, second is my parents and friends, then some form of entertainment so I can enjoy — my phone, a yacht or ship so we can all get back once we are done with it.

l  Your secret temptation…
I always dreamt of going on a date with Shah Rukh Khan.

l  What&’s next?
I would love to work in a commercial Hindi or Bengali film.

l  Any message to your audience?
I have received a lot of love and support from my fans. I would request them to continue showering me with the same.