Bombay Begums actor Sanghmitra Hitaishi on feeling a sense of belonging on the set of Dahaad
While she harboured the dream to be an actor, her road to the entertainment industry was not without hurdles. Sanghmitra Hitaishi, who is all set to feature in Amazon Prime Video’s Dahaad, claims that she did not think that she would be cast in mainstream Hindi cinema. “When I came to Mumbai, I was clear that I would not find acceptance in Bollywood because of my skin colour. The casting directors initially also told me that the way I look could be an impediment for getting good roles, but I always wanted to be an actor,” she says. While Hitaishi didn’t manage to bag mainstream entertainers, her first feature film Lajwanti (2014) had its world premiere at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. Her short film Chidiya Udh was the only Indian entry at the Clermont Ferrand Film Festival.
The actor, who was last seen in Netflix’s Bombay Begums, says that she was finalised for Dahaad after two rounds of auditions. The upcoming cop drama also marks Sonakshi Sinha’s OTT debut. “When I got to know that Reema Kagti is directing it, I couldn’t believe it. Who doesn’t want to work with Zoya [Akhtar] and Reema? It is a rare thing to wrap up an 11-hour shift in eight hours, but it was possible because Reema knew exactly what she wanted. She does not figure out things [during] the shoot. It was nice working with a filmmaker who had that kind of clarity.”
Her time on the set of Dahaad was one filled with “kindness and empathy”. “There was no muscular aggression,” she says of the show that also features Gulshan Devaiah and Vijay Varma. “They are actors who prepare a lot. They knew their characters inside out. I felt inspired working with them and found a sense of community.”