SPONSORED POST: Q&A with Durga Chew-Bose, Brought to You by Art She Said

by Awl Staff

The Hairpin: What is up with your name?

Durga Chew-Bose: Well I was named after the little girl in a Satyajit Ray film:. Pather Panchali.

The Hairpin: Of course!

Durga Chew-Bose: Right! So obvious, I know.

The Hairpin: I love it, it’s exquisite. Have you had a hard time living up to it?

Durga Chew-Bose: Not really, I rarely think about its origin. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had to live up to anything?

The Hairpin: Oh that’s interesting. Is that good? Do you mean like, imposed unrealistic expectations?

Durga Chew-Bose: Yes, exactly.

The Hairpin: Oh amazing. You actually do interviews too. What’s your best interview technique and/or trick?

Durga Chew-Bose: I tend to approach films the way approach reading. And by that I mean I look for patterns and intention and ways of saying or in film, acting, a particular emotion or relationship; I’ll usually ask talent about those more itemized questions and that gets everyone excited. Nothing too broad you know?

The Hairpin: Do you get nervous? Interviewing is a weird form of writing *with* someone, I always think.

Durga Chew-Bose: Terribly nervous. I rarely speak to anyone in the press suites, and go over my notes instead.

The Hairpin: I talked to someone yesterday who said “I have no social anxiety whatsoever.” And I was like “Wow what is that like!”

Durga Chew-Bose: I probably wouldn’t like that person. I find those who have the most interesting things to say, or whose company I value and love, are those who tend to favor the periphery, who are interested in interpreting a room, sort of parsing it, and often, later writing about it. I realize this probably sounds really obnoxious!

The Hairpin: What do you want for the future?

Durga Chew-Bose: Tough question! I don’t have a plan and I rarely think about my faraway future.

The Hairpin: How about this week?

Durga Chew-Bose: Finishing the book I’m reading?
I’m sorry, I’m really at a loss

The Hairpin: You never know what you’re even going to have for lunch, are you!

Durga Chew-Bose: Usually I just run to Gourmet Garage and eat sample cheeses while I figure that out.

The Hairpin:
Oh man I love me some sample cheeses!

Durga Chew-Bose: I was asked, not so long ago actually, to stop.

The Hairpin: You’re that girl. That got asked. To stop eating the free cheese. Did you cry? I might have cried.

Durga Chew-Bose:
The man at Gourmet asked if I was going to buy the cheese, I said no, and he asked me to stop. I didn’t cry but I bought things I wouldn’t normally because I was suddenly turned around and blushing.

The Hairpin: What’s your secret skill?

Durga Chew-Bose: I dread this type of question! I have no party tricks, like I can’t recite the Gettysburg address or anything.

The Hairpin: That would be a terrible trick. How do you survive the winter?

Durga Chew-Bose: I’m from Montreal, I have to survive the winter or else I put my roots to shame.

The Hairpin: Oh that’s just cheating, totally. What is the best meal you’ve had in ages?

Durga Chew-Bose: I was recently in Austin and had a Cuban sandwich that I’m still thinking about now, two weeks later.

The Hairpin: Don’t you love Austin? It’s sort of heaven!

Durga Chew-Bose: I love it, I really do. All the cliches of an east coast kid romanticizing the southwest!

The Hairpin: And finally: what is your number one prediction for the Internet over the next ten years?

Durga Chew-Bose: That Google maps will become disturbingly intuitive.

“The Smartest Thing She Ever Said” is a Tumblr based digital storytelling art project featuring four teams of two-one artist and one story editor-between now and the end of the year. For three weeks each, the teams were asked to interpret the phrase, “The Smartest Thing She’s Ever Said.” The current team features photographer Katherine Finkelstein and Durga Chew-Bose with support from project curator Alexis Hyde. ArtSheSaid.com and its artists are entirely supported by Ann Taylor in collaboration with Flavorpill.