Interview By: Ankita R. Kanabar

She’s badass and cool – evidently from the work she’s associated with – and also just the person she comes across. Just as her latest, ‘JiaAurJia’ releases, RichaChadda quickly chats with us about the film and more…

What did you like the most about ‘JiaaurJia’?
I really liked the concept of two girls going on a vacation. It’s even braver because it’s two girls taking a solo trip and then they meet on a flight, slowly become friends. So, the whole concept is a lot of fun. It’s also like a love story without love. The film says that life is too short to be grumpy and sad and there’s a way to live life. I’m playing a clinically depressed person who learns how to fight back and come out of it strong. That’s what people should learn from the film.

People usually relate you with films that are layered. But will this film sort of reflect the sense of humour that you have for real?
It’ll probably reflect my sarcastic sense of humour, but to showcase my actual sense of humour, I did this show called ‘Queens Of Comedy’ and I got to hang out with many cool people, and came across such talented women. So, I’d rather do that, in the name of comedy, because in films, comedies are so rare. We don’t have that many good comedy films, mostly, even the comedies you read are not so funny.

What was the best part of shooting this film?
It’s great to be shooting a film in a country where most of us are always disconnected. We would take pictures and all, but often been speaking to only family and friends when we got back. Kalki was completely disconnected from everyone. I was still connected to people. That’s a very nice way to shoot a film, you get to do it with concentration.

From being stereotyped with off-beat films to ‘Queens Of Comedy’, ‘JiaAurJia’, ‘Fukrey 2’ or even ‘Inside Edge’ – do you feel happy about this variety now?
Absolutely. Because it’s always fun to try stuff which is new and I’ve always tried to take risks in my career. The risks have paid off. But I’ve just really built a career out of taking risks and taking up challenging parts. And whatever I do, I remember that I’m an entertainer and I have to live up to that. I also need to have fun. That’s why I’m a bit selective about the work I do. I’d rather a ‘Queens Of Comedy’ or an ‘Inside Edge’ than a really stupid film.

Talking of ‘Inside Edge’ – what do you think of the digital medium gaining momentum like never before? Also, causing people to sometimes give cinema a miss.
Cinema is having some structural problems right now. There are very few screens, very high taxation, the tickets are very expensive. Because of all those reasons, it’s difficult for people to watch a film. To release a small film, one has to fight a battle first which is called cost of P & A, which is publicity and advertising. It’s very expensive so a small film can’t make the expense of a big film. The other thing is, we have to worry about distribution and programming. Nobody watches a film if it’s like, one show at 11 am and another an 11pm. For small films especially, it’s getting difficult to survive. So, I love these digital mediums because it gives you scope to do whatever you want and you can explore a lot of stuff. You don’t have to worry about censorship and stuff.

For an actor, who knows what she wants to do, is it also difficult to stick by your beliefs and choices? Sometimes, wait for good roles…
An actor’s career is based out of patience. Even my first big film ‘Gangs OfWasseypur’, I had to wait a lot. The film took almost two years to make so I had to wait for that. Then after that, it took two years to find funding for ‘Masaan’, so I had to wait for that. So, I’m saying good stuff takes time. And the industry is not structured to give the talent its due. It is geared towards business, which is fine because we need money for the system to keep working. But I’m saying that this is a reality and one has to work with it.

“You don’t need to scream out every emotion to make the audience feel happy, sad and scared. It can be understood within subtle lines and just by good writing and the actors have to do much lesser”

Does the wait seem worth when these films are still spoken about and have repeat value?
I’ve always wanted to do memorable films that have a good legacy. Because now we are living in an era where a film touches 100 crore, yet sometimes when you see a song you don’t remember which film is it from. But ten years from now, if people are going to talk about ‘Gangs OfWasseypur’ and ‘Masaan’ and ‘Oye Lucky LuckyOye’, I will feel satisfied.

Also, would you love being a part of a quintessential commercial, song-and-dance film?
Definitely. The only thing I wouldn’t want to do in a film is to be a prop. But I don’t think people offer me those parts anywhere so I’m good. But if I get a total song-and-dance film, I’d totally do it because it increases your mass base, your fan following. Every time I do a commercial film, we will be able to do five more films like ‘Masaan’. It would be easy to find funding for more films like ‘Masaan’, if I work in a commercial film. Also, I have no problem doing an item song or song and dance films. These are just pre-conceived notions which people have. You break out with a ‘Gangs OfWasseypur’ and people are like, ‘oh she is just that type of a person’. But that was never the case.

But you did come out of that stereotype. Perhaps, I remember during ‘Cabaret’, you told me that dressing up and dancing is also so challenging?
Yes, I feel that all work, be it in front of the camera or behind it, must be respected now. Whether it’s a girl doing an item song, or a man doing a stunt or whatever it is. The time has come for that I think.

From the beginning though, what has influenced your style of acting?
I think it comes from my acting training. It’s important to keep your training in mind so that you can do a good job. Even for you to be a journalist, you must have studied. But somehow people in this country have this notion that ‘actor bannekeliyekuchnahikarnapadta’ (laughs).

Tell me about the line-up of your upcoming projects.
There’s ‘Fukrey Returns’ in December. There’s ‘Love Sonia’ and three stories next year.

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