Breakout Star

By Ayman Anika

Nazifa Tushi on Hawa, Gulti and her love for acting

The talented Nazifa Tushi gained much fame with movies namely Networker Baire (2021) and Ice Cream(2016). However, the success and acclamation of Hawa(2022)—this year’s biggest blockbuster—blessed her with critical appreciation and praise from the audience.

Gulti, with her fierce eyes and endearing smile, made the masses fall in love with her and established Nazifa as a commendable screen presence in Hawa alongside Chanchal Chowdhury and Sariful Razz. So, to spill the details about how she prepared herself for the role of Gulti and her upcoming plans, Nazifa sat for a candid interview with MW Bangladesh.

How did you step into the role of Gulti?

Acting has always been my passion. But after my first film was released, I realized acting is not as easy as it seems. It takes years of hard work and dedication to ace a role. In around 2018, I met Mejbaur Rahman Sumon and he talked about Hawa and the role of Gulti. As soon as I heard about the film and role, I instantly liked it; however, the problem for me was that Gulti had been a very difficult role to portray and I did not have enough knowledge about acting.

Thus, I began my training and I threw myself into rehearsals with the team of Hawa. Honestly, Hawa has been the lesson of a lifetime for me and I cherish every moment that I have invested in this film. It enlightened me about characterisation and how to act in different parts of a film. So, after going through this rigorous training period, I was able to portray Gulti successfully.

Do you believe Hawa has been a big breakthrough for you?

I believe that every film that I do offers me a different experience and the same fact applies to the characters as well. I like to experiment with the concept of characterisation. But Hawa is different to me because it got me out of my comfort zone. Undoubtedly, Gulti is a very strong character and it has not been a very easy task to play this role.

I had to prepare myself well and I am tremendously grateful that I got the offer for Hawa despite being so new in this industry. So, yes both Gulti and Hawa are very important to me. I still find it difficult to register the fact that I have been a part of a such successful film.

Does Nazifa Tushi resemble Gulti in real life?

If you want to know the truth: no, actually. Before portraying this role, I never thought I had the fierceness and resilience of Gulti in me. But fortunately, my director saw something in me, even before I was aware of it. Also, people used to say that I have serpent-like features and very sharp eyes, I never believed that until now.

Gulti is a very dynamic character. She has a strong personality and can make it very clear with her presence and after playing Gulti, I think I have also incorporated her traits into my own personality. Now, I am looking for characters that are both challenging and experimental at the same time.

As a female artiste, what particular challenges have you faced?

Frankly, challenges and obstacles are everywhere and for women, such challenges are more prevalent. On the set of Hawa, everyone treated me as an equal. I never thought that I am the only female figure here so I should be treated differently, instead, I believed that I should be treated as a human similar to others.

And on other fronts, girls and women—again and again—have to go through the ordeals of discrimination and violence, not only in showbiz and this is the reality.

What was it like to work with Chanchal Chowdhury and Mejbaur Rahman Sumon?

Mejbaur Rahman Sumon is a very important person to me and I have always wanted to work with him. I have learned a lot from him and I could not have asked for a better director.
And I still regard Chanchal Chowdhury as Chan Majhi and it has been a great privilege to work with him. Additionally, our director instructed us to forget about our personal lives and act as one whole team. So, right from the first day, I acted as Gulti and Chanchal Chowdhury as Chan Majhi and we all had amazing rapport with each other.

After the huge success of “Hawa”, what are your upcoming plans?

Right now, I am attending an acting workshop. But after that, I am planning to go on a long vacation and the rest will be decided after that. Everyone needs a break once in a while!

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