Raima Sen made her acting debut with the film Godmother in 1999 and has worked extensively across Hindi, Bengali and south industries ever since. From Chokher Bali in Bengali to Parineeta in Hindi and Black Widows on OTT, the actress has proved her mettle, time and again.
Carrying forward the legacy of her grandmother Suchitra Sen, the Bengali cinema icon, Raima has her feet firmly planted in Kolkata, while she also flies to Mumbai every now and then for her Hindi projects. Both cities are special to her, she says, and weren’t unfamiliar territory for her and sister Riya Sen when they started off in their careers.
Both Kolkata and Mumbai have been home
“Since I`ve got a place to stay in both places, both Kolkata and Mumbai have been home to me from the start. With my mother (Moonmoon Sen) also, we used to keep going to Mumbai, so it was not unfamiliar to me when I went to do my first film, Godmother,” Raima tells Mid-day.com in an exclusive chat.
“I`ve always been there. After school and college, we were in Mumbai only, so I was working extensively over there. But see, I`m not busy 365 days of the year, so I choose the best of what I get. If I am offered 5 good films, I`ll choose 2. So that`s how I`ve managed even to do a lot of work in the South film industry as well. We had a place to stay in both places, and we were familiar with everyone because my mother was working there, and we met a lot of people. Everyone knew us. So it was not like an unknown place to suddenly start working at. It was very familiar. Mumbai was very familiar to me and my sister when we first went in,” Raima elaborates.
Mumbai vs Kolkata
Raima insists that even though Mumbai provides her with diverse opportunities, she will never give up Kolkata. Bengal is where her roots are the audience expects her to continue working there, she says.
“Because my grandmother and mother are from here, they expect me to work in Bengal. My grandmother was such a huge legend. Also, Chokher Bali was a turning point in my career for me. So, Bengal has given me a lot a lot, I will always continue working here,” says the actress, who was recently seen in Vivek Agnihotri`s The Vaccine War.
“But of course, Mumbai, it`s a larger scale. There`s more awareness and popularity. It has everything more than Bengal. But here, they make films from the heart, and I have known everyone since I was a kid, they pamper me, I have lots of friends. They offer me very good roles here. Women-centric roles, strong roles, and they always have from the start, so I`ll never give this up for that,” she adds.
“Of course, there`s a difference in terms of money, business, platform and scale. The audience here is not as big as that of a Bollywood film. So, if you want to make your mark in the world, you have to work in other industries. You have to keep growing. Now with OTT, there`s so much work, and so many different kind of roles that are coming my way. But Kolkata is very sentimental for me. It`s my home, and it`s given me Chokher Bali. So, it`s got a sentimental value for me,” she signs off.