Samapika Debnath - An actress with a big heart and million dollar smile!
Actress Samapika Debnath is a dynamic and enterprising young woman with age old wisdom. She was kind enough to visit the Glad2baWoman office for an interview and we were delighted and charmed by this young woman’s dedication to her work and the strength of her ideals. She has extremely strong views about how society should take care of women and how they should treat life as a whole with respect and gratitude. Talking to her brings to forth fresh ideas and a reassurance that there are still young people out there in the world who care.
1) Did you always want to become an actor?
(Smiles) No, I initially enrolled in a fashion designing course – I have a degree in fashion design from NIFT, but my passion was always acting and theatre. My cousin brother – Asit Nath, who is a theatre actor was a big influence and he used to take me to theatres- I think that is where the acting bug bit me. I would re-enact scenes from my favourite films in the hostel corridors during college days and my friends would always encourage me to take up acting professionally. I started getting offers for music videos etc after I finished class 12 and eventually this passion eventually evolved into my profession.
2) Did your family support your choice of profession?
Oh yes, I come from a very loving family who do pamper me a lot but obviously within a limit – I cannot get away with everything! I am also a very stubborn girl and if I know that what I am doing is right, then no one can stop me. My family too knows this and supports me because they give me the freedom to make my own choices and give me that liberty to make my own mistakes. And they stand by me throughout. And they see how I learn through acting and how I can convey the messages I want to give people, through it.
3) Apart from acting, what do you do in your free time?
Well I indulge in my creative side – I draw, I paint – I put my fashion designing degree to good use by designing out of the box creations. But I have another hobby. In my free time I work towards empowering those people who work in my house. I teach them and their friends and family – whoever wants to learn – how to stitch, knit and make handicrafts which they can sell for whatever amount. I believe empowerment is not only in terms of monetary help – if I can offer them an iota of knowledge it is empowering them because they can understand their own worth and realise that they are not just tools for us to use. Just because they are less fortunate in terms of social standing and finance doesn’t mean they cannot achieve anything. If they don’t work for us then we are left helpless but precious few people understand this and treat them right. So I do my utmost best to ensure that they learn something from me which not only helps them gain individual financial status but also a realisation of self worth. I also work with socially deprived children for the same reason. I want to give them all the support I can – not only financially but also emotionally and mentally. I also want to do something for women through my knowledge of fashion designing and I want to encourage cottage industry in this manner.
4) Tell us about your new movie “Astra” which is releasing this Friday, the 19th of October.
This is the perfect time for the movie to be releasing. Astra means weapon – and the story is about a young woman who is a crime reporter and how she works her way up to the top in a profession that is largely dominated by men, in a society which does not give women its due. The weapon is in this woman’s hand and women who watch this movie will be inspired. Women always believe that they don’t have power or standing in society and they always take shelter in the kitchen and at home. But they should not be fearful they should be able to boost themselves in society. This is the message that my film wants to convey. And this is being released before we start our festival, worshipping the strongest mother figure – Ma Durga.
5) What has been your most challenging role ever?
All my roles are challenging because all of them are very strong woman centric roles. I think my most challenging role would have to be in the movie Riwayat which deals with the topic of female infanticide and society. I play a pregnant woman in the film and I got into the skin of the character to such an extent that I felt my characters pain – both physical and emotional. It was a very moving experience because the topic is also very close to my heart and I went from being a young girl to a woman while acting in that movie.
6) How do you think women should empower themselves in society?
Women needs to empower themselves at first. They need to find mental strength. They need to find a source of strength too and I feel they can do it through spirituality. If they can find inner strength then automatically people will take heed. They will not treat her like a useless commodity and they will realise she is not to be trifled with. Because women have this habit of blaming themselves and not going up in arms against injustice, they are taken advantage of. If they are strong, they will find they are equal contenders with men.
7) How can society improve the status of women?
Respect. They must learn how to respect women. No one should take a woman lightly, without her there is no creation, there is no existence. In a crisis everyone looks for a woman to soothe their troubled minds – a mother, a girlfriend, a wife or a grandmother. After their troubles are passed they should not forget them. This respect should also be directed at everything else. If we learn how to respect everything that is around us, we will treat each other correctly, the way we should.
8) Which women do you look up to as role models?
My mother of course- I have seen her work so hard to keep her family happy and she has surmounted all the troubles that have come her way. There are still dilemmas to deal with- they never go away, but she always manages to live happily and ensure that we are never sad. I don’t think I can ever be like her even if I try very very hard. She is my idol. Apart from her, and my friend Sangeeta, I always see those around me – my close friends - as my role models. I learn a lot from all of them.
9) Why are you glad to be a woman?
I am proud to be a woman. A woman is the vessel from which all creation springs and she is the strength behind a family- she is the glue which holds everything together.
10) What is your message to our community of Glad2baWoman?
Always make sure that you are strong enough to stand up for yourself, if you are strong, no one can hurt you or take you lightly.
Team Glad2baWoman wishes Samapika the very best for her upcoming movie "Astra" releasing this Friday, 19th October,2012 and also for all her future movies and professional and social initiatives. Hope you always retain your million dollar smile !
To know more about Samapika Debnath, please visit her website: http://wwww.samapika.com
You can connect with her on Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Samapika-Debnath/176122739108125