Sayani Gupta has forever since her childhood desired to be an actress. Not just a passion, for Sayani acting was the only option to pursue and no wonder she left a rather lucrative job in Delhi and jumped to the opportunity to enrol herself into FTII in Pune. Soon after graduating and a few plays later, Sayani made her debut in Bollywood wit Margarita With A Straw. The actress shot to fame with her unique looks and extremely impressive acting prowess. She now gears up for a rather impressive slew of films in the coming months including an international co-production titled The Hungry. Based on a famous Shakespearean play, Titus Andronicus, Sayani is now with this film living her childhood dream. Having grown up in a literary rich environment and having been fascinated by the works of Shakespeare, for Sayani a chance to work on an actual feature film adapted by the works of the world’s most famous writer, this is Sayani’s childhood love coming into reality.
Speaking about it, Sayani said, ” I was exposed to the literature very early in life. I remember my uncle had a collection of VHS tapes which included Films that were made from the plays of William Shakespeare, like Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III, Julius Caesar, and of course Romeo and Juliet. These films were not in English though.. they were in Russian, German etc. And y cousin and I were made to sit with the original unabridged text of the plays and read it as we saw the film and reading the subtitles of it as well. This was a bizarrely complicated and taxing exercise and I would be so exhausted by the end of these Shakespearean evenings. But it did make a deep connection with the text. Later I worked very closely with Atul Kumar and then Rajat Kapoor, who adapt plays of Shakespeare in theatre in device them in clowning, leaving the text behind. This is again an extremely exciting and innovative way of working with the master playwright.
This time, in The Hungry, which is a cinematic adaptation of the tragedy Titus Andronicus, probably Shakespeare’s most unpopular play but extremely dark and tragic. The film is set in India and the script quite different from the original text keeping the present times in mind. This film has been directed and written by Bornila Chatterjee and co-written by Tanaji Dasgupta and Kurban Kassam. To mark the 400 death anniversary of Shakespeare, Film London with Cinestaan had commissioned a script laboratory for scripts from UK & India which would be adaptations from different works of Shakespeare and this is the script that won and got green-lit. But it is fascinating to see that Shakespeare is still so relevant to human psyche and our lives and relationships. It was also quit exciting to work on this with Naseer on this one, who has also had a deep understanding and knowledge of Shakespearean literature. “