Richa Chadha speaks to Nikita Wadhawan about her Bollywood journey and Bollywood plans
The versatile actress Richa Chadha has proven her mettle with variety of roles, even risking her career in this stereotypical industry to play a mother and a grandmother at the age of 23 years old. A decision that she say saws very difficult and in hindsight, idiotic. Reprising her role as Bholi, in Fukrey 2, the actress also opens up about tackling different preconceived notions about her and how difficult it is to experiment. Excerpts from the interview:
When you come back for a sequel to a film that was an underdog, how do you make sure that it is better than the last?
That is a call that the director and the producer take. The scale is bigger and the content is also much better. I do believe that this film will work, as this kind of humour you don’t get to see. When you go to a film now-a-days, you want to laugh or cry but you don’t feel anything. We want to make films on heavy subjects and just touch on the feelings. I am hoping that people will like it for its very real and middle class touch to it.
How easy it is to stand-out in an ensemble cast especially as a woman?
I choose a project based on the fact that how essential is my part in that project. Even in the first part when Bhooli comes, is when the film moves forward. But in this part Bholi is a lot more than last time.
After doing such variety of roles, is there some kind of role you still want to cross of from your list?
I am a very greedy actor. The funny thing is that casting directors don’t call me. When I call and ask if I can audition for any role they tell me that aapka audition kaunlega. But in spite of that they don’t call me. They always want young and fresh faces. The industry need fresh eyes rather than fresh talents.
But isn’t it good to welcome new talent?
Sure, that’s how we all came. But I really feel that they should also experiment a lot more. I see a lot of actors doing the same character where only the name is different.
You are so young, but yet you have played roles of a mother and a grandmother in Gangs of Wasseypur. How difficult was it to take the decision, especially as our industry is quick to stereotype people?
Ya, I did that like an idiot. But it was very difficult, because when I used to go out, people thought that I was older than Nawaz. At that time, Nawaz was 22 years older to me and he used to joke with me that sahi samaye pe kuch kiye hote tho abhi tumhari umar ke tho bache hote mere. I have taken a lot of risk in my career, I don’t know if other actresses will do such a role who abuses. People think that I can’t speak in English and that I don’t have money. They always picturise me as my character in Gangs….
But isn’t this difficult for actor now-a-days to experiment with roles?
You can be a hero, but you can be different kind of hero in every film. There are so many people in Mumbai, you can play Raju from Santacruz or Mohammad from Santacruz. Although they live in the same place they both are different people.
How difficult is it to pitch yourself to casting director, in spite of doing such good work?
It is very difficult. I want to start going to people and say that if you have something good for me then please cast me. I have never done it but I want to do it now. I don’t have any ego. Also, people have many preconceived notions about me that if they give me romantic roles or song and a dancing role I won’t do it. Also, that I am very intelligent or khadus and various other misconceptions. I don’t have enough friends in the industry to break these notions.
Seeing the trend that big films are not doing well, do you think people are now slowing graduating towards small films with more mass connect?
Actually, more than the budget, the problem is that no matter what the budget of the film is, it takes more than 5 crore to release it. So, the major setback is for the small films. If the budget of the big films were less and then the losses will also be less. In this unfortunately only cinema suffers. People are also badmouthing these big films so much that the people are not making their own opinion anymore. People enjoy when a film of a big star flops. In Hollywood people say that it is not enough that your film is a super-hit, it is a success when your best friend’s films flops.
But even big starts badmouth each other…
Everyone is human. They have so much pressure auryehtheen khans Shravan Kumar jaise Bollywood ko gasset rahe hai. It is not just stardom, but even pressure. I feel they can, but maybe they can’t experiment..
It is still rare for a female-driven film to have a big opening at the box office?
You should not be asking such questions. It is not true. A good film works. There is sexism but it is not at the level of the audience. The audience will make Queen a super-hit, they will go and watch such films. There is sexism in the industry at the level of the producer and the distributors. These are all those old-school uncles who want a raunchy item song in the film.
Do you wish you can work with the Khans in the future or are you happy in the space right now?
With Chucha? (Laughs) Yes, I am very happy with him. I would love to work with everyone. Everyone except a few people. I can reach to Kangana’s level. Kangana me hai himmat, aurmera weapon hai pyaar.