Vol. 5 Num 784 Thu. August 10, 2006  

Q & A
"I would like to play the role of a prime minister," -- Shanta
Shanta Islam, actress, director and talk show host, stopped by to talk to The Daily Star about her life and career. In a rapid fire conversation, she came up with some interesting responses. Excerpts:

What would you do if you were marooned on a deserted island?
I would search for a shooting spot! Alternatively I might write about loneliness.

What is the best compliment you have ever received?
The general feeling is that as an eminent TV personality I could be proud and standoffish. It therefore makes me very happy when people say that I am a nice person.

What are your favourite roles?
There is my role as Zeenat Mahal in the play Juddha Ebong Juddha . Or take Moyur Singhashon, where I take on the persona of Princess Bolaka. Likewise there are the TV plays Rupnagar and Eti Amar Bon where I play the central role. These plays are all about struggle and sacrifice and incorporate psychological elements.

Some things people don't know about you...
One is that I forgive easily. If someone has behaved badly with me and then repents, I can make allowances for that person. The second thing is my penchant for addas with my friends where we can talk and exchange notes.

You would give your left arm for--
It may seem extravagant, but as a versatile artiste I would like to play the role of a prime minister. I might also go in for the part of a politician or the role of a woman with a social consciousness who spends her life with street children and other deprived children.

Who are your favourite actors?
Without doubt I would opt for Sophia Loren. She has performed the roles of sacrificing and hardworking women to the hilt. Her versatility is her strength.

What is your greatest regret?
Because I am busy on other fronts, such as direction and writing, I miss the stage..

What are the things that you absolutely hate?
Undoubtedly it is lying, hypocrisy, gossiping, backbiting and jealousy.

What are your favourite hang out places in Dhaka?
I enjoy being home and spending time with my son. There is little to beat sitting at home with a cup of coffee and listening to my favourite music. I also enjoy going out of the city and might drive to Ashulia for a change.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I want to be a proud mother and see my son grow up. I would like him to go into the cultural field, maybe as a singer or director. Even now I am impressed by the fact that he notices minute details in my works. I want to continue on my career path.

Illustration: RONNY