Antara Mali faces the camera after a hiatus with an Amol Palekar film
It's been a good five years since we last saw her on screen and she's also completed a year of married life with GQ editor Che Kurien. But Antara Mali Kurien is in no hurry to prove herself or her acting skills. She never was. In her six-year career that began in 1999, Antara may have had only a few films to her credit but she is proud of all of them. “I never really hankered after big roles and films. For me, even if it is a five-second cameo but one that makes a difference I will do it,” says the actor, adding that she'd wait patiently, “till it comes — whether now or after ten years.”
Now, she's back with an Amol Palekar film titled And Once Again where she plays a female Buddhist monk. And considering that she had bid adieu to films, it must be something rather compelling that must have rekindled the thought of acting once more. “Yes, I had bid goodbye to films, but then I am a big fan of Amol Palekar. There was no way I could've refused him. In fact, I said yes in the first five minutes of our telephonic conversation because all he told me was that he wanted to cast me in a role but I have to agree to shave my head! I was so excited at the prospect that I didn't hear anything after that!” she laughs.
The film is about Rishikesh Nag (Rajat Kapoor) and his second wife Manuvela (Rituparno Ghosh) who are on a trip to Sikkim. Rishikesh is recovering from the trauma of losing his first wife Savitri (Antara) and son in a violent attack in Yugoslavia. While returning from a monastery, he spots a female monk who looks like Savitri and is shocked to know that she had not died in the attack. The tumultuous experience he goes through forms the crux of the film.
Antara is all praise for her director. “I wish I could've acted with him in his earlier films. Working under him is exhilarating. His interaction is very personal. He is the only director I've met who doesn't allow the actor to look at the monitor on finishing a shot,” she says. Antara clarifies And Once Again is not her comeback film. She will work when she gets a good offer, she says, and that there is nothing very interesting up her alley now. “I am very happy with my husband. I read and write but my ideas don't go beyond the first draft. When they will, I will make it into a film probably,” she sums up.