I Couldn’t Relate to 90 Per Cent of My Characters: Richa Chadha
Richa Chadha is gearing up for the release of her upcoming film, Section 375. It also stars Akshaye Khanna in the lead. Richa speaks to The Quint about her favourite characters she has played so far, how the audience perceives her and more:
Five of your favourite characters you have played in your career so far and the characters that you cannot identify with at all? Richa kya hai aur uska character kya hai, koi beech mein uska taal-mel hi nahi hai. And how did you act in them?
I had nothing in common with ninety per cent of the characters I have played. I couldn’t relate to them or their lives. But I tried to find something that we both had in common. Whether in terms of some of their core beliefs or in some cases just plain rage. So, I think I’ll start with where I started. One of my favourite characters, hardly gets spoken about now was Dolly from Oye Lucky Lucky Oye. She was hilarious, she was aspirational, she was honest, and she was vulnerable and I think because I was so fresh, new, right out of college, I was able to also do it in the most honest ways. I hadn’t gotten corrupted you know [in making….] in the making of the film. So that’s one.
Then another one is, Bholi Punjaban from Fukrey because I just love how amazingly guilt-free she is. I think I would like to live like that. I think a lot about other people often to my own determent and I think Bholi doesn’t give a damn about anything and I love that about her. She is ambitious and she doesn’t believe that being a woman holds her back in any way. Again, something I cannot really relate to but I love this aspect of her personality. Then a film I have done in which I have played this really funny character. She’s actually like a escort/call girl and the film is a comedy. And the character is called Softy and she is really over the top and she has a bad lisp. So, she is always talking like this [Lisping] SOFTY SOFTY, throughout the film and it can get annoying the way she talks but there’s something …very good-hearted about her but even in her good heartedness her tab is always running. So, I couldn’t relate to that, but I thought that was really like a really funny dichotomy.
Then another favourite……A character that, that I have played recently that I can also relate to a little bit is the role of a lawyer called Heeral Gandhi in this upcoming film. I really like her. I don’t think that I would be wrong in saying that it’s probably the first time I have played like a normal person in a normal regular profession. I loved the character of Devi in Masaan, who was constantly trying to fight against a lot and her rebellions were very quiet. But she had to take a lot of shit from society, from her own family, from where she was working and that’s not something I could relate to at all. But she was really very very mature, balanced, evolved person and I loved playing her for that reason.
So we conclude the interview with asking - because of playing these characters, does Richa Chadha the person, the actress, does she get right? Jab Log aapse aake milte hai pehli baar, to unke deemag mein vahi image rehti hai aur thoda time lagta hai to understand you?
Haan it does. Earlier, I used to feel really bad about this that most people come to me and think that I’ll either abuse them or hit them because of these ballsy tough characters I have played. But now I realise maybe it’s a kind of underhanded compliment and also then I read about the experiences of other actors from back in the day. I remember reading about Praan Saab, where a woman once broke the traffic signal because she saw Pran Saab sitting in a car and she thought he is going to rape her or molest her because that’s the parts he played. So, I guess stereotyping also happens in the minds of the audience. There’s very little you can do to fight that apart from going on playing different characters. That’s about all you can do.