Thursday, November 5, 2009

Story of Dorji Wangmo

Source: Bhutan Observer

Actor and mother, at once good

26 August 2009


To say that Dorji Wangmo is a woman who wears many hats is an understatement. This creative actor, director, producer and scriptwriter has devoted her life to the young Bhutanese film industry besides her children. How does this busy mother of five do it all?

D orji Wangmo has worked successfully with many of the industry’s top directors. Considering that she has no formal training in any of the fields in which she has done well, she is talented and versatile.

“I work closely with directors and actors. What I am today is because of them.

I believe that one needs determination and hard work and not a degree in acting,” she said.

Born in 1976 in Trashiyangtse, Dorji Wangmo has lived all her youthful life aspiring to be an actor.

“I think I was not even in my teens when I got excited about movies and actors. I always participated in dramas and shows in schools,” she recalls. She initially thought that she would take up acting as a part-time job, her choice of profession being teaching.

S ince her acting debut in 1994, she has acted in more than a dozen feature films including Rang Gi Sem , Druk Gi Goem and Yue gi Bum.

D orji Wangmo is today one of the most recognizable faces on the big screen. Born to a family of four, she is the eldest. Life wasn’t easy for her.

Her father passed away when she was young and her unschooled mother looked after her and her siblings. “Despite what happened, courage and determination kept me going,” she recollects.

Today, Dorji is a hard working artist and a doting mother. “I can’t believe when I look back. I was busy working when I was pregnant with my first child. And for another four years, I did the same. Five kids in five movies,” she laughs.

S he exudes an air of exuberance, optimism, humour and spirituality. “I just wish I was filthy rich. I would help every poor person on the street. But I need to think of my children and their education,” she sighs.

D orji Wangmo is 33 but has the vigour of a 15-year-old. Her children are her biggest fans. Three of her elder children have acted in a few films. “I am very proud of them. Acting runs in the family,” she says. S he made her directorial debut in 1998 with Jigdrel. “I wasn’t scared. I felt like I was born to act. I was born to be part of the film industry,” she said.

S he has plans to direct a movie in mid September and is already working on the story. “This movie will be different, something unique. Bhutanese films lack uniqueness.

I might fail to do it but I will try my best,” she says, bubbling with enthusiasm.

S he bagged the best actress award in 2003 and best makeup artist in 2006. S he says, “Emotions should come from your heart and not your head. I get into the character.

If I am playing the role of a village girl, I am not Dorji Wangmo anymore; I am the village girl.” D espite being a workaholic, she finds time to play with her kids, chat with friends and meditate, which is also her diversion.

“I love being a mother. I can’t imagine not being involved in parenting. Of all things I have done or ever expect to do, parenting is by far the most rewarding. I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” she says.

S he loves watching Hindi movies and gets motivated by her favourite Bollywood actors like Sharukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee and Aishwariya Rai.

A sked about her love life, Dorji Wangmo seems a little tongue-tied but then says flippantly, “I am a single mother. I believe that a woman needs a partner to share her sorrows and happiness with. But after all that I went through, I have a hard time trusting anyone to be my partner.” D orji Wangmo plans to work till she is 50.

“Then, if I can fulfill all my children’s dreams, I want to meditate for the rest of my life. Luxury is impermanent,” she says. “The only ultimate thing is god.”

By Kinzang Choden

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