Richa Chadha on her upcoming film Panga and why she thinks it is important to voice her opinion in today's times
The year 2019 ended with a bang for Richa Chadha. The actress’ gripping performance in Season 2 of the web series Inside Edge once again put her in the spotlight. Now, Richa is back in the news for her upcoming film Panga, which also stars Kangana Ranaut and Neena Gupta. Richa, who is known for significant films such as Section 375, Love Sonia, Fukrey, Masaan and Gangs Of Wasseypur, is cast in an important role in Panga as well.
Talking about it, she says, “The film is about a sportswoman who is married and has a child but wants to make a comeback. I play the role of her friend who has taken the other route — of only pursuing her sporting career.” In recent years, Hindi cinema has witnessed a surge in the number of films that are centred around sport. Panga (a film on a kabaddi player), joins this league of movies, and the actress believes this trend is positive. “I am glad that films are being made on sporting icons, however, Panga is a fictional story and it’s good to see filmmakers investing in stories on sports that are not considered glamorous,” says the actress. Although Richa has played the lead in most of her films, she’s also lent her support in other roles that are crucial to the narrative. In Panga too, she plays the protagonist’s friend. However, the actor doesn’t like to categorise these roles as ‘supporting’ characters. “I don’t want to enable this classification,” she says.
Recently, Richa surprised fans and audiences by revealing her lighter side on Amazon Prime’s One Mic Stand. The actress was one of the featured artistes in this special where celebrities like her were mentored by seasoned comedians to do their own set. “I like to do something scary at least once a year, and this was my way of doing that. I enjoyed working with the mentors and loved the entire experience, although it was quite nerve-wracking,” reveals the actress.
While she cracked up audiences with her jokes, Richa also impressed them with her ravishing avatar as Zarina Malik in Inside Edge. Zarina called the shots in Season 2 and Richa’s distinct flair elevated the role further. “It wasn’t a character that I could easily walk away from. The response we got for Season 2 was exceptional and I do hope we work on more seasons,” she says.
It’s interesting to learn how the actress chooses her projects. Whether films or web content, the kind of work she picks always puts her in the limelight. She says, “I first look at the story. I see how critical my role is to the story — if it is taken out, will the narrative stagnate or will it move forward without any impact. This is my basic checklist. Then I look at who is directing, acting, producing and distributing the film. Even if we produce the best content, if it doesn’t have the right distribution support, then the film does not get the audience it deserves.”
On a tweet note
Onscreen or off-screen, Richa always expresses her thoughts fearlessly. From selecting roles with substance and speaking at forums to tweeting about issues that matter, the actress always makes a point to speak her mind. When asked how important it is for her to take a stance, she offers, “I think there are certain times in life when one has to figure out that being apolitical is no longer a guarantee of safety. The only reason people don’t speak is that they think they will be safe or they may agree with one side. I feel whatever is happening and unfolding is a threat to the integrity of our country, this is my fear. We are seeing restlessness from different states and unions in the country and this should not lead to the disintegration of India. We cannot turn a blind eye. I was not always politically charged or opinionated but the times we live in don’t allow us to us play safe.”