Richa Chadda: When KJo makes Masaan kind of movies, I’ll be his first choice

The actress, who is the poster girl of gritty roles and thought-provoking cinema, won’t bend her rules for anyone in the industry

Hers is a story most Hindi films are made of, only hers is a lot more real. A Delhi girl who has toiled her way to capture the attention of the most sought-after filmmakers, Richa Chadda may not be the award night favourite. But she’s the go-to girl for those seeking a power-packed performance. SpotboyE met her for a heart-to-heart. Excerpts:

The Sarbjit trailer is out. What’s going on in your mind now?
I hope that the film is as well-received as the trailer. You know, there was a date clash when I was offered Sarbjit and I almost didn’t do it. But everything worked out well and I am in the movie. In fact, everyone feels I look very authentic in my part. I hope the film adds another feather to my cap.

Apparently, the producer planned to put three of your dialogue in the promo, but ended up putting only one. The focus is higher on Aishwarya Rai and Randeep Hooda. Disappointed?
No, the producers are doing everything for the film – nothing that goes against Sarbjit. It’s an impactful trailer and that is what matters. As for me, I’m there all through it. I’m playing Sarbjit’s wife and it’s not a dialogue-heavy character.

Did you meet Sarbjit’s wife in the course of filming the biopic?
Of course. When we met, she hugged me and cried for a while. Unki wo siskiyaan yaad hain mujhe. It pained me that day. I made it a point not to ask her anything intrusive because the wounds are still fresh. If you compare our pictures, I’ve modelled my look on her.

You have Pooja Bhatt’s Cabaret coming two weeks after Sarbjit. Is Cabaret a conscious move towards becoming the masala heroine?
Cabaret is my first commercial venture. It was difficult because I have never done such a part before. I haven’t done song-and-dance in a movie, no lip syncing, never had background dancers in the frame. The make-up, fake eyelashes, the costumes, the lines....everything belongs to another world. I was apprehensive but I did it for the love of dance and music.

Despite great performances in films like Masaan, awards seem to evade you. What do you have to say about that?
I have got a few awards for Gangs Of Wasseypur and Fukrey. I got one for Masaan also. The people conducting the awards also have their requirements, parameters and obligations. I am not lusting for the awards either. It’s not that I don’t care or I am dismissive of them. I just assume maybe someone has been better than me that year… (pauses)

Go on... 
Someone brings the show more TRPs or is more popular. There are many factors that drive awards. Many people thought I wasn’t acting in Masaan, they felt I was too silent. But I think it takes a lot for one to give a restrained performance. I know the world I am operating in, so I never get disheartened if I don’t win a trophy. Awards that I have won so far haven’t changed the course of my work or my earnings. I was relieved that Masaan won an award at the National Awards. Neeraj (Ghaywan, the director) deserved it and Vicky (Kaushal) deserves more than what he’s getting.

Pooja Bhatt is believed to be a taskmaster. How was it working with her?
Everyone is difficult in the industry. Dibakar Banerjee is too precise, Anurag Kashyap gives you so much space you might just screw up everything and Pooja Bhatt is a hard task-master like Sanjay Leela Bhansali is. They even share their birthdates. I don’t have a problem with directors pushing me to the hilt because the film is their vision. It’s not an actor’s medium, so one must do what one is told to do. And I am easy-going and straightforward. So, I’ve never had a problem with anyone.

You socialise with the likes of Karan Johar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali but one doesn’t see you in their films.
Karan and Mr Bhansali are not making Masaan, right? When they do, I guess I will be their first choice!

Do you want to try your hand at web shows too?
I want to. But not everything I come across for the web is exactly edgy and engaging. I have come across some really shitty scripts for web shows, decorated with unrequited amounts of sex, violence and foul language. The medium is not censored right now but that doesn’t mean one can slap a show with sex and violence to make it sound edgy. Whether it’s films or web shows, I’m careful about what I choose. I believe in what Naseeruddin Shah once told me, that a good actor will always have work. So I will find work and irrespective of the medium, I will do it.

When you promote an online show like Confessions, are you reminded about your struggles in Mumbai?
Yeah. The girls in this show are tackling circumstances that anyone new to a city faces. We all have had to buy food in bulk, cheap bed sheets, towels, bins and even those foot-mats to keep the flat clean. When I moved to Mumbai, I had a college senior who I shared a flat with. Then, I have shared a flat with two other girls also. I’m still an outsider in this city but I know my way through the madness. The only difference now is that I now live by myself. When I look back, I feel it was an exercise in the ‘coming of age’ process.

Image Source: youtube/T-Series, voompla & fanshare