Rasika Dugal is currently seen alongside Ishwak Singh in the horror web series Adhura. It is co-directed by Ananya Banerjee and Gauravv K Chawla and premiered on an OTT platform on July 7. The Free Press Journal caught up with her for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
What attracted you to sign Adhura?
I haven’t experimented with horror ever before and it was one of the reasons to say yes to the show, the novelty of exploring a new genre. I feel, even if you remove the jump scares, twists and turns from it, the show still holds a solid narrative. It is very compelling. I believe the co-director Ananya has told a few things about society beautifully. Plus, I have worked with both the directors before. They have the ability to make most serious things done in a funny way.
As they say, horror as a genre is still unexplored. Do you feel with OTT boom, the genre has a better scope?
I am not in a position to comment on the same since I haven’t watched horror since I was 10 years old. I am very easily scared. I know for a fact that Adhura is a show that is poles apart. The last horror film I saw was 100 Days. I have not never entered any hotel room without thinking of a skeleton being buried inside a wall. I really don’t know how the horror genre has evolved.
According to you, why is Adhura special?
Adhura is told very sensitively. It is visualised very nicely. There are so many supernatural things happening in the show, so I feel it was important for the makers to visualise it aptly.
Were you scared to perform in Ooty while shooting for the show?
I wasn’t scared while shooting since my fear comes either when I am alone or in the dark, and on the sets, I was none. Generally, I go through my lines before going to bed but for Adhura, I couldn’t do all of it because the dialogues are spooky. While reading the script, I felt scared. I trusted my directors and I believed that they knew the genre well. But for my character Supriya, who plays a counsellor in a school, the directors did meet a few real ones to understand.
Since Adhura is based on school kids, what kind of sensitivity did you deal with?
The set was anyway very sensitive with the working hours and the way we spoke to the kids. I have mostly shot with Shrenik (Arora) and not with other kids much. His mother was largely around during the shoot. It felt like I was working with another actor. He is a very self confident, well read and an intelligent kid.
How do you maintain the diversity in your roles and scripts with so much ease?
I would love to take the credit for my choices. I always look for a project that wants me to do something immersive. It should ask for me rather just to turn on the shoot. I am happy that my diverse choices released pretty close to each other and hence gave me an opportunity to showcase my versatility.