Without a godfather in the industry, Bong babe Koena Mitra started her career with a bang in Musafir where she created waves in the song ‘Sun Suniyo’ as she displayed her signature oomph factor. Before films, she took part in the Gladrags Mega Model Contest and was part of the Mamta Shanker ballet troupe for several years. Since then she has appeared in films like Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena and Apna Sapna Money Money. Currently, she is working on carving her own niche in the industry and seems to be on the path toward success.
You’ve entered Bollywood without a godfather in the industry. Has the journey been difficult? How did you get your big break?
The journey was smooth. Luckily, my supermodel title helped a lot initially to get me recognition in Mumbai. I’m a self-made person living on my own. My first big break was Musafir. Sanjay Gupta met me at a party and he called the very next day and wanted to work with me. It was super working with both of the Sanjay’s (Gupta and Dutt) in my very first film. Musafir did wonders for me.
So far how do you feel about your career path? Are you satisfied with the roles you are getting?
I have no complaints. It’s slow but steady. Everyone has a different destiny. I never thought I would be an actress and would be in Mumbai, but it happened because of destiny. I fall into the bracket of sex symbols and I don’t mind it. It’s super to be called sexy so the roles that I do or I’m offered are also glamourous.
Out of the films you’ve done, which performance of yours do you think has been the best?
Honestly, I liked my performance in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena and Anamika. Both were very strong characters.
I read in an interview that you were slightly disappointed with Anamika. What went wrong?
Yes, I was. I didn’t get what they promised initially. My role, the length of the role, publicity, pictures and many more things changed suddenly so I didn’t promote the film.
Personally I feel that your best role has been the one in Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena. Can you give us any information on the animated version? When can we expect to see it?
Even I would say the same, but solo lead films are very rare these days. About the animation film, I don’t know much. We would dub for it and I’m waiting for that film. It’s going to be great fun.
When a film you have worked on doesn’t do well, how do you feel? Does it dampen your spirits or inspire you to work harder?
It definitely inspires me to work harder and we do the same hard work for every film, but [we] can’t decide the fate of the film. It’s not in our hands, but you definitely feel bad if it doesn’t do well.
You have appeared in a variety of genres. Which has been your favourite and why? Which is the toughest?
Comedy is tough. It’s difficult to make people laugh. I like all kinds of roles from serious to funny.
How does it feel when people tag you as a sex symbol rather than an actress? Do you mind?
I was born with this tag. I don’t mind it. I don’t try hard to look sexy and that’s what people think about me. The day they start thinking beyond all that, they’ll probably start noticing my performances. I’ll wait for that day.
Do you prefer acting in multi-starrers?
I don’t mind it. That’s what people are enjoying now and a lot of directors are making such films. As long as I’m happy with my role.
So far, who has been your favourite co-star?
All of them, but Sanju remains special. I started my career with him in his film.
Who are three actors you are dying to work with?
Every actress dreams to work with SRK, and I would love to work with Akshay Kumar. He is the hottest, I think. From the new group, I would love to work with Imran Khan.
Beyond your work, many people don’t know much about you. What do you do in your spare time?
I always thought that people know too much about me, stuff that I don’t even know about myself. (Laughs) I like spending time with friends. I work out, swim, swear on Playstation, drive cars because I love speed, watch movies, and party once every three months. I am a gadget freak and I love my independence. I celebrate my independence and live life by nobody’s standards but my own. I make my own boundaries and stay within them. I live on my own terms!
What kind of films can we expect to see you in next?
Action and comedy. I might do a different film also. Not an art film and I’m not trying to change my image. A lot of actors try very hard to look sexy and suddenly they change their image from the girl next door to a sexy gal. But as I said, I don’t have to do all this. The sexy tag came naturally and I am happy, but I would love to experiment with roles.
Do you have a ‘dream role’? If so, what is it?
I would love to do a musical. I am a trained dancer and I love music.
Getting into Bollywood is certainly no easy feat, and Koena Mitra has managed to go above and beyond and bag some great roles. As she gets accustomed to stardom, it is clear that this actress knows what she wants and certainly is not afraid to work hard and achieve it. We thank Koena for talking with us and wish her the best of luck in the future!