Plabita Borthakur
Plabita Borthakur plays the role of Rehana Abidi in Lipstick Under My BurkhaPR Handout

Lipstick Under My Burkha is winning hearts and so is the actress Plabita Borthakur, who plays the role of Rehana Abidi in the film. Plabita made her debut in the Aamir Khan-starrer, PK, as Anushka Sharma's sister, but it is the controversial film Lipstick Under My Burkha that gave her the much-needed exposure.

In an exclusive interview with International Business Times India, Plabita talks about the controversy surrounding her movie, her role, and her upcoming projects.

Here are the edited excerpts of the interview:

International Business Times India: After overcoming several controversies, Lipstick Under My Burkha has finally opened to a cheering response. Did you expect similar reactions?

Plabita Borthakur: When I watched the film, I fell in love with it and I realised it not only makes you think but also is an entertaining film. I expected good reactions especially because of the realness of the story. But I didn't imagine something like this. Thanks to the controversy and thanks to Ekta, the film has such a bigger reach now. It's overwhelming, women (and even some men) are writing to us from all over the country saying they're living the lives of these women or know women like these and how much they loved the film. These letters are taking this whole experience to another level.

Plabita Borthakur
Lipstick Under My Burkha actress Plabita BorthakurPR Handout

IBT: How did you bag the role of Rehana Abidi and what homework did you do for the character?

Plabita: I had to go through a series of auditions and workshops before I was finalised for the character. In fact, for about two weeks into the workshops, I didn't even know if I was in. Alankrita did a lot of reading with me and made me do workshops with Atul Mongia, it helped me a lot! For homework, she had given me films to watch and Hindi books to read (to better my Hindi pronunciation). Apart from the theory work, we used to practicals work as well which involved using public transport by wearing a Burkha and sitting with a tailor in the evenings and learning to sew.  

Plabita Borthakur
A scene from Lipstick Under My Burkha featuring (L to R) Konkona Sensharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, Plabita Borthakur and Aahana KumraPR Handout

IBT: The film also stars Ratna Pathak Shah and Konkona Sensharma; please share your experience working with them?

Plabita: What can I say?! I was intimidated when I got to know about the cast. But they were so humble and helpful that it only made me sad that we didn't have many scenes together.

IBT: How different is Plabita from her on-screen character Rehana Abidi?

Plabita Borthakur
Lipstick Under My Burkha actress Plabita BorthakurPR Handout

Plabita: Rehana and I are very different and very similar at the same time. While preparing for the character, I realised I wasn't as liberated as I had thought I was. While Rehana had her external restrictions, I had my internalised conditioning. The passion for dancing and singing is the one common thing.

IBT: Your first stint in PK as Anushka Sharma's sister went unnoticed; were you disappointed then?

Plabita: I was actually surprised by the number of people who noticed me in PK. I did not expect it at all. I did the film simply because it was a Raju Hirani film and I wanted to be a part of it, not having any personal expectations from it.

IBT: What's more challenging for you – Acting or Singing?

Plabita: Neither. I would not call it challenging because it is what I love doing. I love both of them equally and can never get tired of it. Acting makes me discover new emotions in me and singing makes me express those emotions melodically.

IBT: So what's next?  

Plabita: I just signed up a film with a new production called Shivazza films. It's an interesting script and I'm quite excited about it. It has actors like Sanjay Mishra, Vijay Raj and Naveen Kasturia in the cast which is definitely an addition to the excitement.