Richa Chadha is different, in every sense. Her looks, her personality, her attitude makes her the duck within the swans. She does not have the regular sexy siren looks, or the size 0 figure associated with actresses and models these days. But, Richa Chadha surely has the guts and skill to pull of similar roles as an actor with ease. Her role in Cabaret, Masaan, and Gangs of Wasseypur are sure examples. In fact, all her roles and their character play, however big or small showcase the skills of a great actor in the making.
MUCH MORE THAN A QUINTESSENTIAL DELHI GIRL
Her distinct attitude and personality can be attributed to her different roots. Richa Chadha is a hardcore Delhi Girl. Being brought up in a businessman’s family, with a lecturer mother, Richa had dreams of making it big in Bollywood. With complete family support, she entered the modeling and joined acting classes under the famed acting guru ‘Barry Jones’. She then easily landed her first break in Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!.’ Albeit small, her role essayed her talent well.
Her big breakthrough came in 2012 with Anurag Kashyap’s, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur-1’. She essayed the part of Nawazuddin’s mother, ‘Nagma Khatoon’. Playing an aged mother in the initial stages of her career is not a choice; many actresses would make. But, Richa Chadha being the performer that she is, took it and performed it to the hilt. It was praised all around and opened up the pandora’s box of roles for her.
These roles offered to Richa Chadha were somehow stereotyped. In her own words, though she is a St. Stephen’s passed out, many of her colleague actors even believed her to be realistically close to her character. This is the power of a good performance. They were speaking louder than her words. Richa won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for the same. The sequel or ‘Gangs of Wasseypur –II’ arrived and her performance again garnered similar appreciation.
Richa Chadha has had eyes mainly for good work and good characters, however big or small they may be. Her major lead role break came with ‘Masaan’. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and won two awards. It also received a standing ovation by the jury audience present there, a mean task for any Indian film. The movie gave Richa Chadha global outreach and appreciation. She had become an ‘acting powerhouse’ to reckon with.
Though most of her successful parts have been in the critically acclaimed movies, this actress is not averse to commercial cinema. Her role as Bholi Punjaban, the female don in Fukrey gave her both. She also played the strong side-role of Sukhpreet, Sarabjit’s wife in ‘Sarbjit’, alongside Aishwarya Rai and Randeep Hooda. Despite, a strong cast, Richa’s work as an artist got noticed and well acclaimed in the film as well.
Richa also acted in an Indian web-series ‘Inside Edge’, playing the lead character of a struggling actress. Her performance was positively received by both critics and the audience. Though she has delivered powerful performances and achieved critical acclaim; There are more roles help her break free of the shackles of grey zones.
HASHTAGS ARE THE NEW WAR-ZONES.
Richa Chadha as a contemporary woman and artist has publicly accepted the presence of nepotism and casting couch in the industry. She also accepts that one of the major reasons, for her not getting to the mainstream screens is her reluctance to lower her morals. Richa Chadha believes that ere exists workspace abuse of women and that #metoo is an important aspect of coming forward of this abused woman. But, she also supports #NOTALLMEN, as in the sense that all men in the industry are not the same and not present to abuse their co-workers.
She has been an effective blogger (Ms. Fire) with some great posts on feminism. She wrote that” For a country where violence against the girl child starts in the womb, I am surprised at the number of people surprised at the enormity of the #MeToo campaign.” She is a true feminist at heart with a balanced mindset.
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FIGHTING THE ODDS
The trade and its nuances have not been kind to Richa Chadha. Few know that, as a result of continuous media gaze and pressure to look in shape, Richa suffered from ‘Bulimia’, an eating disorder (Princess Diana also suffered from the same). She went vocal about it in an interview and urged other females to accept their looks and bodies, without giving into the societal pressures. In the field of entertainment too, she exhorted other women to go public with their own patriarchy-induced eating and mental disorders. She has called out for the complete destruction of ‘ways of thinking’ and mindsets that oppress women.
Richa Chadha is one of the few actresses nowadays, who are looked out for their work; as it’s impeccable. She is strong-headed and completely unabashed and vocal about the choices of her life. The coming year shows great promise for this actor as she is working on four projects. These include Abhi Toh Party shuru hui hai, Ghoomketu, Section 375, Panga and Shakeela. Rich Chadha does not seem to be running after stardom or trying to achieve it easily in a short time span with shorter ways. Currently, she is enjoying the slow and steady path to success and the hard work it entails. Keep doing it gal, you’re on the right track.