With all the excitement of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, we can’t help but reminisce our great experience at last year’s TIFF. We were approached by actress Anita Majumdar to create the outfit for her very first Red Carpet experience. And what a great film to debut with: Deepa Mehta’s “Midnight’s Children.” We were given two “must haves” regarding her TIFF style. First, it had to be green, and second, it had to be Indian-inspired. And so began our great East Coast- West Coast relationship with Anita!
Knowing how important this moment would be to our client, Trisha Rampersad decided to hand-dye and hand-paint this outfit for her. Between shipping it back and forth, and Skyping in our fittings, we were able to create something special for both Anita and BHANA. Ms. Majumdar was radiant on that red carpet, and we at BHANA are proud to have been a part of her magical moment.
When Anita travelled to Vancouver to debut the film on the VIFF and CIFF circuits, we were overjoyed that she again chose BHANA for those red carpet appearances. We were also granted the exclusive opportunity to do a photo shoot and interview with her.
Anita Majumdar is a true triple threat; she is an actor, playwright and dancer. She is currently a judge on the new series: “Bollywood Star”, in Canada. And, she recently received the honour of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award Mentorship Program, being paired with John Murrell.
We now share those fabulous pictures and our interview with Ms. Anita Majumdar here. Photography by Jamie Mann, Hair and Makeup by Neetu Sahota. Enjoy!
What is your life’s motto?
This too shall pass.
Who did you idolize growing up?
Madhuri Dixit! I was a total Bollywood nerd growing up
What was your greatest fantasy as a little girl?
To become a successful actress working on quality projects
How does your current life fulfill that fantasy?
Funny, my current life looks a bit different than I imagined when I was little. I thought that kind of life -posing for cameras and looking glamorous was sustainable for everyday life. But the nature of the Entertainment business is generally unstable. There are a few months of my year that look like that, and then I go back to work on the next project, and I actually find I enjoy the creative development aspect over the posing and dressing up part of my work. What I didn’t anticipate as a young girl is that I would not only be an actress but also a writer and creator. I have a lot of input in how my projects turn out and in turn a lot of responsibility to shoulder throughout their development.
These days, what is your guilty pleasure?
Astrology! I learned (and continue to learn) how to read astrological charts through this fantastic astrology blog out of New York written by the brilliant, MoonPluto (http://www.moonplutoastrology.com/) We connected because she’s also a playwright, so her blog writing is incredibly soulful and real, but she also has this ability to take astrology and make it really practical. Staying grounded in this business is so important. Astrology keeps me compassionate and helps me weather life’s storms.
What is your daily ritual that keeps you sane?
Hot bath before bed, followed with this lanolin lotion I found. The smell makes me feel like everything is going to be alright.
What is your most prized possession and why?
I have these small star/snowflake stud earrings I wear all the time. They were my grandfather’s last gift to me before he passed away. He was really successful and incredibly benevolent through his lifetime. I wear them every day because I feel like wearing them I’m reminded to the live the kind of life that he would make him proud.
Who do you look up to now and why?
Kirstine Stewart, head of the CBC (English division) Radio/Television. She is carrying the CBC through some really tough times given the budget cuts from our federal government and yet she remains graceful, in the way she caries herself. What strikes me the most about Kirstine is her intelligence. She is where she is today because of her capacity for innovation creativity.
What is the legacy you will someday leave behind?
Ultimately, I hope it’s my work ethic and perseverance for visibility and sustenance of the female, South Asian-Canadian voice in film, television and theatre. I really believe that I’m a part of that legacy; I couldn’t succeed in my field today if it weren’t for the artists before me who fought to convince this country that we deserve to be visible in entertainment as much as anyone else. The Deepa Mehta’s, Pamela Sinha’s, the Zaib Shaikh’s, of this world have made it that much easier for me and those after me to do what we love, and I hope to remain a part of that.
Why did you choose BHANA?
For my first TIFF Red Carpet premiere, I wanted to work with someone who would understand how to take my aesthetic -my likes and dislikes- into account to create a look that was really personal and would suit the specific needs of the event. Deepa Mehta (our director) wanted all of us to wear Indian attire for the opening of Midnight’s Children, so BHANA worked with me to create a look that depicted my role in the film itself, but also who I am as a Canadian born actress with roots in India.