Posted by Vivek on May 30, 2012 | No Comments

4 Scenes is what she had in Oye Lucky Lucky Oye. The audience remembered only 1. That 1 gave Bollywood one of the most talented young female actor, that we will see on screen shortly, in June 2012. Richa Chadda is testimony to the fact that to win over the audience, to get yourself in the door, to make an impact, it requires just one scene. That one scene, though has increased her screen time and now she gets ready to face the camera in one of the most awaited films of 2012, THE GANGS OF WASSEYPUR. Over to Richa:

On your journey to Mumbai?
I am from Delhi, went to St Stephens College, but was looking for the first opportunity to leave Delhi and come to Mumbai. Academia presented this chance and I enrolled in the 9 month Mass Communications course at Sophia college in Mumbai. Have been here ever since.

Training under Barry John?
Having gone for an audition for a film, HIJACK, I did not do well in that audition at all. Since the age of 3, when I would mimic my father, who was slightly plump, I think the family knew that acting was my calling. Now it was a question of becoming very well trained in it. I have also trained in Kathak, Tabla and all of these things have contributed to making me performance oriented. Anyway, the casting director for HIJACK, who is now a friend took me aside and informed me that I should work on my acting. I had done some prior work with Barry in Delhi and back then he had given me a B grade, which in Barry terms was not all that bad, but it definitely meant there was scope for me to improve. Then as luck would have it, when I was in Mumbai, Barry had also moved to Mumbai and set up his training center here. So I started to train again with him and this time, I got an A grade. I was in the top of my class. I had worked really hard and also I was now more mature. This nurtured me as an actor. I am the actor, that I am, because of Barry. Barry and his colleagues really pushed me. They, initially, made me feel that I was not very accomplished, which was the ingredient I needed, to really go out there and strive and achieve.
Oye Lucky, 4 scenes is all you get and you stole the show. Did it occur to you that you were not even going to play the lead, when you took on the part?

See at that stage I was really young. So here I am informed that UTV is making this film, it has Dharmendra’s nephew and is being directed by the guy who made Khosla Ka Ghosla. I went for the shoot with one Pond’s cold cream ka tube and one Vaseline as my make up, so I was really naïve. This actually helped in the performance too, since I was so innocent and I had so much to learn. Everybody was really nice to me and it never occurred to me that I was not really the lead, till such a time that I interacted with the lead, Neetu Chandra. But even then the size of the role did not matter to me, cause what I believe is, see I had 4 scenes, but out of that people generally remember only one, but that one, has given me so many opportunities in this Industry till date.
Here is my tip for aspiring actors, Judy Dench got the Oscar for a film in which she appeared for a sum total of 7 mts ( for best supporting actress). The important thing is not you screen time, but the impact that you leave there.

On to Gangs of Wasseypur?
Talking about small roles! Anurag had initially wanted me for a small role. I was only to happy to do that, in Gangs. But then when he met me, realized that I had grown up and saw my caliber, he gave me the main lead part. Again it was that one scene in Oye, which paved this way. If you are open in life and you are flexible, lots of things come your way. It was fantastic working with Anurag. He is one of the best directors in the country. I consider myself very fortunate that in the beginning of my career I have got this opportunity. I actually consider my career to be actually starting now. Both Anurag and Dibakar are so honest to their craft and have put so much effort into it, and that is what sets them apart. Anurag is very down to earth, he explains things to you in a personal way. He would explain a scene to me as best as Richa would get it, not like in a Manoj Bajpai way, who would have to be explained differently. I was actually slightly intimidated. Manoj Bajpai is a very acclaimed actor, someone I grew up watching in Satya and the like. Piyush Mishra, etc the film is full of actors. Even for the smallest of parts, actors have been cast, so everyone is giving it their power packed performance. Even the extras are from NSD. Here I was with only 6 months of Barry under my belt. But all of them, Anurag, Manoj, they were all so supportive that it really helped me. This film has changed me from girl to woman.

On the Cannes experience?
It was awesome. I had hurt my leg and hence my current shooting had got delayed, so I could only make it for a s few days (3 days) since I did not want to cause more delay in my current production schedule. Despite the fact that it is a five hour film, it was a full house. The first set of reviews are out and am grateful that all the reviews mention me and talk positively about my work. It was also fun walking the red carpet with all the fine dresses.

What are your upcoming projects?
A6) Sure, there is this movie called Tamanchey, which is a love story set in a criminal background and the girl in this love story, that is my character, is actually a criminal. Also a couple of other projects, which I cannot talk much about at this stage because of confidentiality.

Is the new Indian cinema here for good?
Absolutely. Look around. All kinds of films are coming now and audience are accepting them too. I grew up with the Yash Raj films and I still enjoy them, but now there is a happy co existence between the commercial and the slightly middle road cinema.

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