By Kishori Sud
New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) Actress Geetanjali Thapa, who won the National Award for her performance in “Liar’s Dice” — India’s official entry for the 87th Oscars — says winning the accolade did not work like a “godmother’s wand” in her career. But she admits it helped to be a project “sifter”.
Gearing up for her new film, Onir’s “Kuch Bheege Alfaaz”, releasing on Friday, Geetanjali says the prestigious award which she won in 2014 helped her get the kind of work she wanted.
“It ( National Award) didn’t suddenly open doors. It’s not like godmother’s wand that everything changed overnight. But, yes people started taking me more seriously then,” Geetanjali told IANS.
“But I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing because after receiving the award, they (filmmakers) started thinking that ‘Isko National Award mil gaya hai toh ye serious roles he karegi (She will be doing serious roles only since she has got a National Award). It does tend to happen.
“However, it also helps me get the kind of work I want to do. It comes to me… like a natural sifting in a way,” added the actress, who was here to promote “Kuch Bheege Alfaaz”, in which she essays Archana Pradhan.
Another struggle for her has been racial discrimination. In fact at a press conference here, a mediaperson asked her if she belongs to another country, given her distinct looks.
Born and raised in Sikkim, Geetanjali said she has faced such bias so much that it has become a “part of life”.
“I haven’t faced it much at work, but I face racial discrimination and I am very open about it. I have been facing it for long now but now I have grown a thick skin I guess,” said the actress, who feels it is “very sad” that people discriminate like this.
Nevertheless, pointing at the brighter side Geetanjali said there are filmmakers who don’t care about her looks and give her good work.
“I have worked with Indian directors from around the country. They still cast me. There are filmmakers who really don’t care how I look and where I am from,” said the actress, who debuted in the film world in 2010 with “Tina Ki Chaabi” and then impressed cinema lovers with her work in “Trapped”, “I.D”, “Monsoon Shootout”, “That Day After Everyday” and “Tigers”.
“I have worked with some of the best… I would say brilliant filmmakers of India. There are people who are willing to work with me. I am reading scripts and getting work. I am also still in a privileged stage… I am getting to choose what work I do. Is not like whatever little I am thrown, I have pick it up.”
Currently in a “happy” space of life, Geetanjali says she is glad that she “gets to do films that I believe in and I have a lot of fun doing”.
(Kishori Sud can be contacted at email@example.com)