She made her debut with Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008).
Since then, Richa Chadha has regularly been referred to as an actor who is capable of delivering powerful performances. She has experimented with her roles, and has never shied away from signing films that her contemporaries may think twice about before taking up. A few days ago, Richa received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in the best actress category for her role in Masaan (2015). However, the actor insists that it’s a win for the team.
“I don’t think I can count it as an individual achievement. But it feels great,” she says. Richa is considered one of the most talented actresses in Bollywood today, but does she feel that she hasn’t gotten her due, or that she isn’t seen as a commercially viable star? “No, on the contrary, I feel that I am the only actress who has taken risks that have paid off. I didn’t expect to be the solo heroine in a Mahesh Bhatt film, after having played an old woman in Gangs Of Wasseypur (2012),” says Richa, adding, “Most of my films have done good business at the box office. But numbers don’t make a film memorable. Honestly, my career is just beginning. And I won’t wait for people to give me my due. I will flourish and take what I feel is rightfully mine.”
Interestingly, Richa is now also venturing into production with a Punjabi film. “It was a beautiful movie that my friend, Roopinder Singh, brought to me. It’s a short film, and being Punjabi myself, it touched a chord with me. In the late ’80s and ’90s, civilians in Punjab were caught in a crossfire between the state and separatists. And that is still happening in different regions of the country today, which is why the film is relevant,” she says.
Ask the actor if she feels that the divide between art-house and commercial cinema has disappeared, and she says that it probably exists. “The divide has disappeared for the audience because they pay the same amount of money to watch both kinds of films. [But] the gap still exists in the minds of industry members,” feels Richa.