Keeping one’s sanity alive in the make-belief world of Bollywood can be quite challenging but Richa Chadha says she has navigated her way through it by not being pretentious and trying to please people. The 31-year-old actor says she is open about her vulnerability in front of fans as it helps her remain sane.
Richa said, “I want to be as real as possible. I aim to be that. I can’t keep changing myself according to how someone sees me. ‘Oh this project is happening so be nice to that person’, I can’t work like that. I know actresses who do this, I have fallen out with many of them. If you are turning 40, just be graceful, don’t get into teenager outfits, put two hair bands and go ‘aww’. Don’t do that! Don’t be stupid. I don’t want to live that life. It is so fake, so manufactured. I am not interested.”
While personally Richa is clear of how she wants to go about her career, the actor is baffled by how the industry struggles to slot her. Though she was noticed in her debut Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Nagma Khatoon in Anurag Kashyap’s acclaimed Gangs of Wasseypur was her breakout role.
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The 2012 film, however, put her in a zone where she was afraid of being typecast, that Richa consciously tried to shed the image. “I think the industry struggles in trying to slot me. I am not a kurta-jhola type of actress, I have consciously chosen to be glamorous. That’s the identity I chose because I was so afraid of being stereotyped after ‘Gangs…’ so that’s what I went for. So, I think they struggle a little bit to slot me.
Despite making wrong choices initially in her career, Richa says she is happy the way things have turned out for her. “I think I only made mistakes in the beginning of my career. But after that I have been conscious of the films I want to be in. It is a tough choice. I am a woman, an outsider who wants to be a part of quality films and I won’t even sleep around. So I am in extreme minority with the kind of work I want to do,” she says.
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There is, of course, a price to pay for being selective but for the actor it is largely materialistic – “no penthouse, or a fancy bungalow or millions of followers”. “But you have to choose and stand by your choices,” she adds.
Richa is now looking forward to the release of her next, 3 Storeys. The film produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s Excel Entertainment and B4U Motion Pictures, also features Renuka Shahane and Sharman Joshi, among others. It is scheduled to hit the theatres on March 9.