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In Bed With Sayani Gupta: “On dating apps, put a photo closest to what you actually look like!”

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Dressed in a short striped pyjama dress, Sayani wakes up to a volley of questions, and patiently answers most, in-between yawns, sitting on the four-poster sprawling bed.

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Sayani is a chameleon of an actor, equally brilliant as Gaura, the Dalit girl in Article 15 and as Damini, the woke investigative journalist living the Sex in the City life in Four More Shots Please! It’s been a decade that the FTII graduate made her debut in cinema with Second Marriage Dot Com. Since then the actor has done diverse roles in movies like Margarita with a Straw (2015), Axone (2019) and web series. Last year, apart from the third season of Inside Edge, she had two movies, Pagglait and Tathagat. While the Sanya Malhotra-starrer sees her play the ‘other woman’ , the Manav Kaul directorial venture was quite a blast from the past for her—the film shot way back when she was just fresh out of FTII. “I was the only AD on this film, did everything from scheduling, location, shot breakdown, setting, costume, art, clapper girl, also acted…,” she had written. The busy actor, who is mostly living out of a suitcase on most days, is now working on a movie directed by Srijit Mukherjee.

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Whose sleepwear closet would you raid?

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Kalki has some cute shorts, plain sleeveless tees, so maybe her’s.

Favourite memory of a sleep over?

I have had only one pyjama party. My mom was very strict and no night outs were allowed. But, when I was in class 11, I went to my friend Sohini’s house and her mother knew but mine didn’t. We went to a disco called Tantra which was the place to party back then. We could hardly afford one shared Pepsi. I went home feeling guilty.

A dating advice while dating via apps?

Put a photo closest to what you actually look like. If not, the other person might get cheesed off when you do meet.

If you are home alone, what you are most likely to be caught doing?

Sleeping or watching a movie or a show.

A bed habit of yours you want to get rid of?

Going to sleep with my phone next to me. It’s the last thing I see before sleeping.

What’s on your bedroom wall?

Nothing on the wall, but I have a beautiful original painting of a woman, a film poster of La Dolce Vita and cool Tintin artwork.

Favourite inspiring quote from a movie?

From Om Shanti Om: “Agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho, toh puri kainaat usse tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai!“ I feel if you truly want something from your heart, the universe makes it happen.

The oddest place you have slept in?

During a shoot, we once slept at a shady hotel in Jharkhand where we had to take turns to stay up and be the night guard! At another shoot, I slept on an open terrace under a starry sky in Kargil.

Bedside stories

One book you usually take while curling up in your bed?

I have a bunch of them right now—50 Short Stories by Suchitra Bhattacharya (Bengali), The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy, and two others, of which I’ve read 10 pages each!

Your favourite midnight snack?

Chocolates!

Three things that are on your bedside table?

Books, a bottle of water and my phone charger.

This or that?

Web series or movies?

Films.

Ghar ka khaana or fine dining?

Ghar ka khaana, always!

Sunsets or sunrises?

Dusk! I’m in the best mood then!

Kolkata or Mumbai?

Kolkata for food and Mumbai to live in.

From HT Brunch, January 16, 2022

Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch

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