Rasika Dugal is back as the cop Neeti Singh in Delhi Crime season 2. The web series, which is headlined by Shefali Shah, has started streaming today on Netflix. The Free Press Journal caught up with Rasika for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
Delhi Crime season 1 was a huge success. Are you nervous about the audience’s response in season 2?
I am always very excited since as an actor we all work so hard on minute things and when the audience appreciates it, it’s such a delight. I am very confident that people will not only notice our hard work but also take out things which we also didn’t know about as actors. I feel this is the beauty of the well told stories.
Delhi Crime franchise is one of the most respected shows on the Indian OTT arena. Any pressure on that front?
As an actor, somehow you can deny that pressure because for them it is more about being a part of a well-written show like this and adding a lot more from yourself to whatever is the character. I strongly believe that if the story is good, it definitely moves the audiences like it did in season 1. I am generally not bogged down with the idea of carrying the legacy forward rather I am celebrating that I get to play a part in season 2.
Is your character mentally and physically challenging?
As an actor, I should love what I do, else there’s no point in taking up such roles. My desire is to be a part of something that can move you in any way, sort of experience things maybe you have not experienced in life. Delhi Crime is that experience for me since I have spent so much time with police officers by now while researching and preparing for the show. The show has been quite transforming for me.
Tell us something about your camaraderie with Shefali Shah…
I love calling her ‘Madam sir’, I feel it’s a great way to sum up our relationship. The awe which Neeti Singh has for Vartika Chaturvedi in the show is similar to the awe which I have for her in real life. It is so nice to see the outstanding work that she has been doing. I keep telling her that Jalsa is such a wonderful piece of art. After I finished watching it, I called her and asked where did this performance come from?
Delhi Crime, Out of Love and Mirzapur franchises are the torchbearers of good content on Indian OTT. Are you consciously choosing such shows?
When both Delhi Crime and Mirzapur were offered to me, those were the only two shows which were offered to me at that time. Also, back then, there were not many shows being made too. I was absolutely stunned by the writing and variety in both the shows. When Out of Love came to me, I was consciously looking for something where I sort of led the narrative and also wanted to see how I would carry the whole show on my own shoulders.
Do you believe that you have changed the narratives of female characters on Indian OTT?
I think the writing has done that more than anything else. As an actor, you can do nothing to change a part the way it is written for female characters. An actor can only give nuance and dignity to the role but the intent of the makers and creators should be that otherwise there’s nothing you can miraculously produce as an actor. However, there has been an overall change but I won’t take away the credit too (laughs).