That Girl From The Movies

Actress Sayani Gupta tries on our Spring 2018 collections

and transforms the clothes with her carefree, confident spirit.

In between shots, she chats about films, music and literature


Sayani Gupta is a gritty and critically-acclaimed actor who straddles several creative boats at the same time. Her repertoire is beyond impressive; she plays a blind girl in Margarita, With A Straw with Kalki Koechlin, pregnant woman in Jolly LLB 2 with Akshay Kumar, and, most shockingly, transforms into a 14-year-old in Jagga Jasoos. Clearly nothing that this on-screen chameleon can’t portray!

Even as she tries on our Spring pieces, she changes with each outfit from a dancing flower-child to a smouldering star to a classic Bengali beauty. We shot her at the beautiful, sunlit Lavaash by Saby, an Armenian-Bengali cuisine restaurant in Mehrauli, New Delhi.

Q A movie you’ve watched many times?

I love Bengali films. I can rewatch Satyajit Ray’s Goopy and Bagha series (1969) over and over tirelessly. Closer (2004) is also another one of my favourites.

Q A role you’d love to have played?

I rarely see myself in other people’s work. That said, I’d have loved to play Natalie Portman’s character in Black Swan (2010).

Sayani wears a Nupur Kanoi crop top and draped skirt with a cape

Q Tell us about your friends in the fraternity?

I’m surrounded by incredibly talented, supportive and down-to-earth people like Kalki Koechlin, Radhika Apte, Vinay Pathak, Shweta Tripathi, Vicky Kaushal and many more. In fact, Radhika and I often joke about how we’re always considered and approached for the same roles!

Q A book you love?

Ways of Seeing by John Berger.


Sayani wears an Anjul Bhandari embroidered floor-length kurta

Q A song you’re playing on loop?

‘Rafu’ from Tumhari Sulu (2017).

Q Favourite female character portrayed on screen?

I usually love Cate Blanchett’s parts. The two characters she played in Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) being my favourite. I also love Khaleesi from Game of Thrones.

Sayani wears a Jayanti Reddy bell-sleeve blouse with dhoti pants

Q Netflix-in-bed or a movie at the cinemas?

I love going to cinemas any chance I get. I’m a sucker for the big screen fantasy world. Though I’m creating a lot of digital content that I absolutely love, the romance of cinema is an eternal love affair.

Q The most memorable role you’ve played so far?

Margarita, With A Straw (2014) was my big break and is very close to my heart but I think I enjoyed playing Hina in Jolly LLB 2 (2017) the most. Also, working alongside Shah Rukh Khan in Fan (2016) was such a joy!


Sayani wears a Jayanti Reddy blouse and lehenga

Q The most memorable thing that happened in 2017?

I was on a road trip across Taiwan with a friend when I found myself on the edge of the Pacific Ocean one morning watching the sunrise all alone with no other living creature in sight, and it was absolutely magical.

Q A thought you’re carrying with you into 2018?

2017 was such a terrible year for everyone around the world. I hope 2018 makes up for it. As Tagore says it in one of his songs, life swings between sadness and happiness, I just hope to keep my chin up and make this year a good one!

Sayani wears a bedazzled Kavita Bhartia cape


Photography: ANAND GOGOI

Hair and Make-up: AAKRITI KOCHAR