I'm not here to make money, but to create impact: Richa Chadha
The actor was last seen in Sudhir Mishra's Daasdev, alongside Rahul Bhat, Aditi Rao Hydari and Saurabh Shukla
From playing the mother of Nawazuddin Siddiqui at the age of 24, to making her presence felt at the festival circuit as well as at the box office, Richa Chadha has carved her own niche. The actor says she would rather opt for a project that gives her a chance to act than just visibility.
Born and brought up in Delhi, Richa started her career in Bollywood with the film Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! in 2008 after doing theatre extensively. However, she went through a tough time in the film industry before Gangs of Wasseypur happened in 2012. She has since played several substantial roles in films as different as Fukrey and Masaan.
Richa says "I am not here to make money anyway. I want to leave a mark on every project that I take up, every film that I do. I would say that only in Sarbjit, I felt misused. I regretted choosing the film, but Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela was a great experience. My character was pretty substantial. As long as my choice of the film gives me a chance to do that, I will continue choosing quality."
However, she admits that playing the mother of an older man, at the age of 24 in Gangs Of Wasseypur, was certainly a risk. "That was a huge risk that I took at that point in time for which nobody appreciated me. There are people who thought that I am much older than what my actual age was. But people also understood my calibre as an actor," she says.
Richa was also offered the role of Hrithik Roshan's mother in the film Agneepath. "I think that was a really stupid idea of the person who offered me that role. I think he was smoking something wrong," quips the actor, known for speaking her mind.
Asked to choose her best performance so far, Richa says, "Of course, Bholi Punjaban (in Fukrey) is one of the roles that has given me a lot of love from the audience. It was a very empowering role of a woman who runs her business like a gangster with so much confidence. It was a very well made film and I think that is how a commercial film should be, with good content."
Richa says Masaan is one of the films which is also close to her heart. "I think I am so lucky that I started in 2012, and in 2015, my film was received two awards at the Cannes Film Festival. I will always be thankful to Neeraj Ghaywan for giving me the role," she adds.
The irony is Masaan was one of those films which initially nobody -- whether a producer, big studio or film stars -- was interested in.
Since she did not have a film background, what gave her the confidence to find the potential in the material back then? "People mostly think about a character where they will get to look good, two song-dance sequences for visibility... but that is not how it works. I think it is the responsibility of an actor to add value and meaning to the character that is written in the script. We bring life to the characters through our performance. So I could be playing anything -- whether a cameo or the main lead -- but as an actor, I will create an impact to the narration," says the actor, who is eager to work with some of the young female filmmakers.
"Whether it is Alankrita Shrivastava, Zoya Akhtar or Reema Kagti, I love their work. They are really good filmmakers and storytellers. I was almost doing a film with Reema, but it got cancelled last minute. I am looking forward to working with her in future," she says.
"I would love to work with Vishal Bhardwaj. I love all his films," says Richa, whose Sudhir Mishra-directed Daasdev released last month.