Wednesday March 20, 2019

Wanted an Excellent Actor Over Dancer: ‘Cabaret’ Makers on Casting Richa Chadha

Niyogi said: "When it comes to dance, Richa Chadha really worked hard and it shows on-screen... Dance really was a thing out of her syllabus and she learnt it correctly."

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Richa Chadha
Richa Chadha, Wikimedia Commons

The rationale behind casting Richa Chadha as a bar dancer for “Cabaret” was that the team wanted an excellent actor over a dancer, the film’s director Kaustav Narayan Niyogi and producer Pooja Bhatt have said.

As Richa has featured in films like “Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!”, “Masaan”, “Fukrey Returns” and “Love Sonia”, the audience has never seen her flaunt her dancing skills.

On what made them choose Richa Chadha, Niyogi told IANS here: “Well, there was a tussle between choosing the actor based on the skill. We had to decide whether we are going to take an actor who can dance or a dancer who can act. Initially, I thought of someone who can really dance well… But when I looked at the story, we had to look at a character that starts her journey from the heartland of India and transforms herself into a bar dancer.

“For the convincing portrayal of such a complex character, we needed an actor. Richa was the best choice we had.”

In “Cabaret”, Richa plays a bar dancer who comes from a small village in Jharkhand with a dream to start her own dance school and to teach children. But life offers her a different journey altogether.

On casting Richa, Pooja said: “We met the beautiful dancer Lauren Gottlieb when we were developing the script. Initially, we thought she would be the right choice of the film. Of course, she is not Indian and in the final script, we set the story in Jharkhand. So then it was important for us to look for someone who can capture the nuances of an Indian girl very convincingly.

“When it comes to Richa, she really does not need to speak a lot to convince the audience that she is an Indian. It is all over her,” she said.

Richa Chadha
Wanted actor over dancer: ‘Cabaret’ makers on casting Richa. Flickr

Niyogi added: “Dance is one of the elements of the whole narrative and that is why we emphasised on the wholesome performance of an actor over a dancer.”

The film also features Gulshan Devaiah and S. Sreesanth streaming on the OTT platform ZEE5.

Asked if it was difficult for the makers to make Richa dance, Pooja said: “It is tougher for us to make a non-actor act than an actor to dance.”

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Sharing her earlier experience of working with Sunny Leone in the film “Jism 2”, she said: “She was a very disciplined individual who used to learn all her lines in Hindi and put in a lot of hard work.

“But let’s be honest, Sunny is not a born actor… So whatever performance she delivered on ‘Jism 2’, was our hard work. When it comes to Richa, she is a born actor… She is a gifted talent.”

Niyogi said: “When it comes to dance, Richa Chadha really worked hard and it shows on-screen… Dance really was a thing out of her syllabus and she learnt it correctly.” (IANS)

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Actress Richa Chadha Feels That So Much Stigma is Attached to Sexual Crime

Speaking about the harsh standards of beauty for women, Richa said: "Today, it can be very confusing for young women... what you're supposed to do with your body. I believe that one should be healthy and exercise

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Richa Chadha
Instead of trial by media, it should be trial by law: Richa Chadha on #MeToo. Flickr

Actress Richa Chadha says there is so much stigma attached to sexual crime that sometimes it’s impossible to get even the bravest women to speak up.

Last year, the Indian audience saw Richa Chadha in “Love Sonia”, a film which deals with the topic of human trafficking.

The Tabrez Noorani directorial released in the UK last week. To promote the film, the Indian actress appeared on a show hosted by Victoria Derbyshire on Monday. She also used the platform to speak about a variety of issues, including the #MeToo movement — a global movement which is against sexual harassment and assault.

On #MeToo, she said: “It’s upsetting that those women who have come out and spoken, many of them have received death threats, rape threats, for some their livelihood has been snatched away.

Richa Chadha
Richa Chadha, Wikimedia Commons

“Primarily, there’s an issue of will and consent. There are many cases where a woman may have given the consent to sleep with somebody, but her will may not have been there because they will have a position of authority or power over the woman which they can blatantly abuse.

“So, this is a very tricky territory which we need to figure out to make this work, to create a supportive environment for women who speak out. The term for rape in Hindi is ‘izzat lootna’. Its literal translation is losing your dignity. So, there’s so much stigma attached to any kind of sexual crime that sometimes, it’s impossible to get the bravest women to speak out…because this then, becomes that one thing that defines them,” she added.

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Speaking about the harsh standards of beauty for women, Richa Chadha said: “Today, it can be very confusing for young women… what you’re supposed to do with your body. I believe that one should be healthy and exercise.

“Everybody should be allowed to be happy in their own skin without being called ‘lazy’ or ‘unprofessional’ or ‘anorexic’ or ‘not womanly’ enough. It’s so harsh for women to keep up and adhere to these standards.” (IANS)