Bollywood’s rising talent, Richa Chadda, came for a location shoot to Fort Kochi for the film, ‘Cabaret’, which also starts former cricketer S. Sreesanth
By Shevlin Sebastian
In July, last year, Richa Chadda was attending a film festival in Mexico City when she got a call. It was from actress Pooja Bhatt, who said she wanted to meet her. Richa was surprised and wondered what it was all about. “I assumed she wanted some inputs on casting,” says Richa.
The moment she landed in Mumbai, Richa went straight to Pooja’s house. And there she got a shock. Pooja, as producer, offered Richa the heroine’s role in the film, ‘Cabaret’, which is rumoured to be based on the legendary dancer Helen’s life. “I was surprised, because in Bollywood, I had an image of doing art films,” says Richa. But Pooja and Richa had worked together in ‘Main Aur Charles’.
Last week, Richa had come to Fort Kochi to do a shooting segment of ‘Cabaret’. Former cricketer S. Sreesanth has a role while the main lead is played by Gulshan Devaiah.
Asked about her role, Richa does not give anything away. “’Cabaret’ is a thriller, as well as a love story,” she says. “I play a girl who is on the run. In the course of the journey she becomes a star.”
But what Richa enjoyed was her stay in Fort Kochi. “It is a green place,” she says. “It is very different from the rest of the country because of the high literary ratio. The local people left me alone. I was walking around the whole day, without any problems, in the lanes, and next to the water. It is a chilled-out place.”
Richa has another reason to feel chilled out. The film, ‘Masaan’, directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, won a national award recently. The Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director went to Neeraj. In ‘Masaan’, Richa played Devi Pathak who, while making love to her boyfriend, Piyush, in a hotel room in Varanasi, has the police barging into the room and the consequences she had to face after that.
Richa has always received glowing notices for her acting. But her breakthrough happened when she was cast in Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Gangs of Wasseypur-Part 1’.
“It was a period film, about three crime families, from the 1940s to early 2000s,” says Richa. “I had to play a role of a girl who goes from 20 to 60. So it was challenging.”
But she is ever-grateful to Anurag. “He is my mentor,” she says. “He gave me such a strong author-backed role. I was new and fresh and did not know anybody.” In the end, Richa won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress.
Some of the other films she has acted in include ‘Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!’, ‘Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Lila’, ‘Benny and Babloo’, ‘Fukrey’, and ‘Tamanchey’.
But she does admit roles are not easy to come by. “Bollywood is very competitive,” she says. “There are five or six aspirants for every role. Some roles come to me, while some go to others. I feel disappointed when I miss out. But having said this, there is work for everybody. And I am having a blast.”
(The New Indian Express, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram)