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    Shahana Goswami on her new projects and why she refuses to be called ‘unconventional’.

    Since her fiery performance as Debbie in Rock On eight years ago, Shahana Goswami has been a busy woman. The Paris-based actress has starred in films like Midnight’s Children (2013) and donned character-heavy roles like the Bengali actress, Promita Roy, who has a sexual encounter with Mahi (Kareena Kapoor) in Heroine (2012). Now Goswami will be seen in Tu Hai Mera Sunday, which will premiere at the BFI London Film Festival tomorrow. Starring TV actor Barun Sobti (of Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Dun fame), the film is about five boys trying to find a place to play football in Mumbai after they are banned from Juhu beach. “I play the role of Kaavya Ranganathan (Kavi), an independent young professional who single-handedly takes care of her father who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease,” begins the 30-year-old, who recently finished a French short film with director Kartik Singh, which will soon be doing the rounds of festivals across the world.

    Character correct
    Refusing to be labelled as ‘unconventional’, Goswami says that she chooses roles according to what interests her. “For me, I’m totally ordinary,” she smiles. The actress will be reprising her role as Debbie in Rock On 2 (releasing on November 11). Talking about the film, she reveals, “We also have the younger generation of musicians represented through the new characters in it.” Relating an anecdote, Goswami recalls the shooting of the song Ek Manzar Naya, which required her character to jump into a lake. “We had to stay in the lake for a bit and, somehow, I had a panic attack. I couldn’t stay afloat and I couldn’t swim to the banks either,” Goswami recalls. Co-actor Farhan Akhtar came to her rescue by jumping in before his cue and bringing her to safety. “The funny part was that there was a zoom camera across the lake that was shooting it in slow motion, so apparently it looked like a really filmy moment,” laughs Goswami.

    Passion for acting
    Acting has always been Goswami’s first love and she realised it at a very young age. “I found acting cathartic. Even as a child, I would make up scenes and conversations with myself to bring out a thought or emotion. I wanted to do films beyond India, beyond Bollywood,” says the Delhi-born actress, who admits that she has had it relatively easy in the industry. “I got exactly the kind of work I could perform well in and that suited me. I worked with the best in the industry.” Goswami wishes to work with directors like Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Mani Ratnam and Dibakar Banerjee next.
    Tu Hai Mera Sunday screens tomorrow at  the BFI London Film Festival.

    — Saloni Sinha

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