Richa Chadda has shown her inclination for unconventional roles in ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, ‘Fukrey’ and ‘Goliyon Ki Rasleela: Ram-Leela’. Her visit to Tihar jail, in Delhi, at the beginning of this week only seemed to have brought back the experience of playing an escaped inmate in her latest movie Tamanchey, for which she was in the Capital with co-actor Nikhil Dwivedi. Her choice of roles and movies off late, has been an attempt to create a niche for herself in Bollywood.
“I don’t know what place I am currently at in Bollywood. There is no benchmark I have set so far. I don’t see another female actor at a place I would strive for. I want to inspire girls from other middle class families,” says the 27-year-old, who graduated in history from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. Chadda’s career trajectory began with Dibakar Banerjee’s Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, but it was her appearance in Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur that took everyone by surprise and earned her notable awards. Chadda gives her due to Gangs of Wasseypur and agrees that the film cemented her credibility as an actor.
Talking about her character, Babu, in Tamanchey, a convict on the run who falls in love with another convict played by Nikhil Dwivedi, Chadda says, “I like doing interesting characters. Babu is unabashed in seeking personal gratification, which is money in this case. She does not wear sarees. She peddles drugs as a kid and does not need a man to earn money for her.”
With a slew of successful women-centric movies such as Queen and Mary Kom, Chadda believes that the past couple of years have been good for female actors. “Movies such as Heroine, Aiyyaa, English Vinglish, Kahaani and Barfi prove how women can carry films on their shoulders. This is the right time for us to prove it,” she says. Chadda’s journey as an actor began by playing an extra in the play Aur Kitne Tukde by Kirti Jain, a director from the National School of Drama. “I had auditioned several times for the Shakespeare society while I was studying at St. Stephen’s but they never took me. But I am sure they would be feeling bad that they did not select me,” she says. Chadda finds inspiration in actors such as Madhuri Dixit, Madhubala, Rekha and Sridevi.
With many projects up her sleeve, she looks most enthusiastic talking about her role in Mira Nair’s short film Words With God, where she plays a south Mumbai brat. Her upcoming film Main Aur Charles opposite Randeep Hooda, based on master swindler Charles Sobhraj and the famous jail break of 1986 is proof of her unconventional choice of roles.