Sumona is a fresh face who made her acting debut in the recently released ‘Chinna Cinema’. It looks like she is going to get a good break as the response is positive everywhere and the film is slowly reaching the audience’s minds. The actress, who left New York to pursue her dream in Tollywood, is making waves across the water and set to sizzle on silver screen in new films soon. Here are few excerpts from the exclusive interview of Sumona Chanda.
Hi Sumona, tell us few interesting things about you.
I'm born and raised in New York but have been in tuned with my roots. I'm Bengali and speak fluently in both Bengali and Hindi. I hope to learn Telugu since I will be working in the industry. Apart from acting, my other passion is dancing. I'm a trained Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam dancer and Haver learned right here in the states under two guru ji. My knack for acting started through dance it self. I'm very excited to start this journey into acting in movies.
When did you start acting and did you do any acting course?
I attended Brooklyn College in NY for performing arts theatre. I took a few film acting workshops prior to shooting chinks cinema. The passion began through my dance as I performed many dance dramas and playing many Hindu mythological characters. At a young age I would watch movies (Hindi, Bengali and American) and go in front of the mirror and play out scenes from my favorite actors in the movie.
In how many films or ads have you featured so far?
‘Chinna Cinema’ is my first feature film. Done more theatre work and a few shorts. I have an agent here in the US for ads and commercials. I have been featured in Vogue magazine, HP, Coca Cola, general electrics, Microsoft and more. I have a few projects lined up which I'm excited about so let's see how it all works out.
Can you tell us what your first impression of ‘Chinna Cinema’ and your character was?
The rush to work in a movie was a great feeling but I was skeptical about it being in a language I didn't speak. When I heard the story from the director, I felt it was a great concept and story. I also liked my character a lot. She is a sweet, your next door girl who anyone would fall in love with. As my first movie I enjoyed the fact that she was a simple character however I want to explore working on playing different characters and just challenge myself. This is just the beginning.
How was your rapport with your costars on the shooting sets?
It was great. We all had one thing in common which was this, our first film. The thrill and getting the opportunity to work was there amongst each one of us. All my co-stars really helped me with the language barrier and I'm so grateful for having co-stars like them. We had a great time and I made great friends. It's fun when you have a great team.
How difficult is it to memorize the script?
Both the director and producer had spent a good amount of time helping me understand all the scenes. Most of it was memorizing and i would be prompted. Learning the dialogue was pretty difficult since the language is so different from the languages I speak. I was getting used to it with time. I'm sure my next film will be a little easier and once i learn the language I can dub myself for my characters.
Posters and trailers appear interesting. So we would like to know more about cinematography of this film.
I worked on the US shoot which was shot by Hyder Bilgrami. He has worked on many films and is super talented. I'm just so glad he was very patient with me. I learned a lot being around him in terms of shooting and the different frames and how to work on camera. I hope to work with him again in the future.
Which is your favourite song in ‘Chinna Cinema’?
All the songs are fantastic and well composed by the music director Praveen Lakkaraju. My favorite right from the start was Puthadi Bomma. I heard a few renditions of the song and all are just beautiful. Praveen topped it with this number. The melody and lyrics are beyond amazing. I was fortunate to get this song. We got great feedback for this song.
Do you consider yourself fashionable?
I love fashion and to be fashionable. I'm a complete girly girl. My favorite wear is Indian though. I can spend all day at malls and in different designer stores. Shopping is my first go to when I'm in India. Always on the lookout for what's new and fashion.
Do you think you have come across the most beautiful and inspiring location?
India is gorgeous, I fell in love with many parts of India including the Taj of course but I haven't traveled much so I don't think I've seen enough of the world to be the judge of that yet. I hope my work takes me traveling. I'm a big sucker for traveling and sight seeing.
Tell us one of your best childhood memories.
My brother lived out of home for college and work. So every time my brother would come home, it was the best feeling. He much older to me but still was my friend. I really looked up to him and he was my biggest supporter in acting and dancing. All of our extended family is back home in India, Kolkata. I have a small family and it was complete when he was home with mom and dad.
Have you watched any Telugu movie?
I have watched a few prior and after working on ‘Chinna Cinema’. I watch a lot more now. I also hope to be watching more of my films after I start working on more films.
Thank you Sumona for taking your time and giving us a wonderful interview.
___Radhika Andluri ([email protected])