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'I have dared to fight-back indecent advances, but on-the-spot': Riya Sen

Thursday, November 22, 2018
By Chaitanya Padukone

With ‘hottie’ oomph-girl Riya Sen playing the lead, the comedy digital web-series should have been ideally titled ‘Pati Patni Aur ‘Wow’. However, the fast-trending Miraj Digital Channel (MDM) (Miraj Group has debonair star- hero Neil Nitin Mukesh on its board of directors ) has titled it as ‘PatiPatniAurWoh’. Unfortunately, the talented and sensuous actress Riya Sen (happily married to businessman Shivam Tewari) has been denied her share of critical acclaim despite having acted in over 24 feature films in both Hindi and regional movies including the landmark Bengali movie ‘Kolkata Calling’ where she co-starred with her vivacious actress-sister Raima Sen and her gorgeous actress-M.P. mom Moon Moon Sen. Currently, the agile danseuse and elegant style-icon Riya is now waiting to start shooting in heritage-city Mathura for ‘PatiPatniAurWoh’ which also has immensely talented lead co-stars Anant Vidhaat (of ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ fame) and winsome Vinny Arora.

Why this fascination for digital medium and not TV?
Undoubtedly, TV is a pan-India medium-of-the-masses, but I feel I am not really ever ‘cut out’ for both reality and fiction TV shows. Strangely, the media keeps predicting that I would be possibly entering ‘Bigg Boss’, for almost every season. Actually, I have always been wanting to act in the digital zone in shows with quality content. My previous ‘major’ web assignment was Alt Balaji’s ‘Ragini MMS’ and now it’s PatiPatniAurWoh, which is the tentative title.

Were you not apprehensive about the bold, explicit ‘uncensored’ content on most digital shows?
That’s true, some of them have gone overboard with risqué content in terms of titillating visuals and vulgar dialogues in certain shows, to attract more viewers. Honestly, I was hounded with those type of weird indecent show offers which I rejected. It’s possible to have content without going berserk and minus those erotic gimmicks. Unfortunately, a section of the media went berserk (wrongly) insisting that I was the sizzling glam-babe in ‘Ragini MMS’. As they say-- much ado about nothing, as it was all toned down.

Apparently, you aren’t the ‘Wow-woh’ in this ‘pati-patni’ ‘MDM’ web-fare ?
Maybe I am the ‘wow’ factor. But actually this is not the typical ‘other woman’ syndrome story. It has realistic hilarious marital situations which make you smile and laugh. What happens when a supposedly departed wife hasn’t left this world and wants her chilled-out hubby (Anant Vidhaat) to marry again. My cute, bubbly character called ‘Rimjhim’ will bring on the humorous zing.

Were you aware that actor Neil Nitin Mukesh was on the board of directors?
Honestly no, I got to know about it much later when we were rehearsing our roles at our workshops. It’s a prestige to be associated with Neil Nitin Mukesh who has an illustrious family lineage. An amazing actor on-screen, Neil is also a wonderful human being.

Your candid take on the raging #MeToo crusade …
No one has asked for my comments on this sensitive issue (shrugs). It’s a great movement, since lots of women who were victimized are able to courageously speak up. All thanks to Hollywood! But there is a limit and it shouldn’t be stretched too far. It has happened with me and I have bravely fought my own bold battle right there and then. By either walking out of the sets or the film or wherever. Yes, it has also backfired, but I had the guts to challenge it.

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