Rasika Dugal on working with Mira Nair in A Suitable Boy: ‘It’s a treat to be part of an ensemble cast like that one’
Rasika Dugal talks about her new web show, Out of Love, and her upcoming project with Mira Nair, the screen adaptation of Vikram Seth’s book, A Suitable Boy.
Rasika Dugal has a lot on her plate and forward is the only way to go for the actor. The Delhi Crime actor is back to dominate the web space with her new show, Out of Love and flawlessly steps into the shoes of Suranne Jones in the Doctor Foster remake.
Rasika, who was last seen in web shows such as Delhi Crime and Mirzapur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui film Manto, is all set to take the giant leap in her career with Mira Nair’s highly anticipated project, A Suitable Boy. It is an adaptation of Vikram Seth’s popular book and will feature her in the role of Savita. The actor spoke to Hindustan Times about her recent outing on the digital platform with Tigmanshu Dhulia -- Out of Love, how to deal with infidelity and what makes it special to work with Mira Nair.
Excerpts from the interview:
You are back with your new web show, Out of Love. Tell us something about your character.
I am playing Dr Mira Kapoor who is the lead protagonist of the show. It is based on the UK-based show, Doctor Foster. It is essentially a psychological view of a marriage plagued by infidelity. It is a story about a woman and her choices after she realises that her husband has been cheating on her. It is a very character driven narrative where you see the story unfold through her where she examines the different choices she has. Sometimes she thinks that she should forgive him and should go on with the relationship, sometimes she thinks she should get out of it.
How was it to work with Tigmanshu Dhulia as he has a specific genre of films to his name?
I think this was a new one for him as well. But he is a very talented filmmaker and I was always excited to work with him. His film Haasil (2003) is one of the films which I think as a beautiful piece of work. I had never worked with him before so this was a good opportunity.
Do you think despite being financially independent, many women still don’t stand up for themselves?
The onus is not on the woman entirely. As a society, we need to create an environment that encourages women to make the choices that are available to them and encourages them to speak their mind. We all are accountable for it, it’s not really just the person who is going through something. Everybody wants to be respected and everybody wants to stand up all the time but it’s just that as a society we haven’t provided room and opportunity for them to do so. Things have changed for the better but there is a still a very, very long way to go.
Do you think infidelity is a common phenomenon?
It’s a fairly common thing in society. Many don’t open about it much as there is a lot of secrecy and shame around it. The people don’t get the help they need as they are embarrassed to speak of a situation like this. That is unhealthy in any situation. No matter what situation you are in, if you need help, you should be able to ask for it. That’s what I like about the show, Out of Love. It’s not picking any sides and doesn’t have a moralistic view. It doesn’t tell you what’s right or wrong. It just tells the story of two people who were once in love and are possibly still in love.
Is there a role you would not like to play at all?
Whenever we play a character, it’s not essential that the character’s politics are in sync with yours. In fact, it is more interesting to play someone whose politics is not in sync with my own politics because then I have to understand a different kind of mind and that becomes more interesting as an actor. The overall politics of the story should be sensitive. That’s important to me. If the story is insensitive to a person and is not nuanced enough, that’s a story I don’t want to be a part of. Otherwise there is no other character that I don’t want to play.
You are increasingly being seen in web series these days.
I had as many films last year as I had web series. But the work I have done in the web space had a wider audience because they were essentially smaller budget films. I don’t look at my work as the medium on which it will be shown. That kind of discrimination I don’t do to my own work. I have an equal interest in whatever I do, it’s all about how much interested I am in the story.
You are also working on Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy.
I play Lata’s sister Savita in the story. It’s an absolutely wonderful opportunity to work with Mira Nair. It was on my bucket list for a very long time. Except for one, I have watched all her films. I always had a deep desire to work with her. They have been shooting in Lucknow. There are around 100 actors in the show and all were so good and have been chosen beautifully for the part they are playing. It’s a treat to be part of an ensemble cast like that one.
Every artist has a journey. Where do you find yourself standing at this point of time?
It is always a work in progress. I am happy because I am interested in the work that I am doing. The desire is to seek something which makes you strive to better yourself at work that you are doing. There are days when I pat myself on the back for a few things that I do but mostly I feel there is so much to do and I want to do all of that.
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