Saturday January 18, 2020

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."

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)

Next Story

Women Paid Lesser Than Men in the Film Industry: Richa Chadha

Pay disparity in films continues despite discussions, says Richa Chadha

Richa Chadha
Actress Richa Chadha says women are still paid lesser than their male counterparts in the industry. Wikimedia Commons

Actress Richa Chadha says women are still paid lesser than their male counterparts in the film business across the world despite all the talk on discrepancies.

“We have been discussing the discrepancies between male and female remuneration in every industry for quite some time now. Making up for the gap in remuneration has taken us years. Across the film business globally, women are still paid lesser compared to their male counterparts but there’s been some changes happening on that front in some parts,” Richa said.

Richa Chadha
Richa Chadha says that she notices a change in the OTT platforms regarding the issue. Wikimedia Commons

“I see a change in the OTT world. We are writing stories where such issues are being discussed and debated, thus creating a shift in conditioning. There’s a reason we broach the subject in the second season and it clearly is an important facet in Zarina’s personality shift (Zarina Malik from ‘Inside Edge’). I am glad that at this point in time I am working with filmmakers and artistes who believe in the idea that merit should be the only measure for remuneration,” she added.

On the work front, Richa is seen in “Inside Edge 2”.

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Written and directed by Karan Anshuman, “Inside Edge” revolved around the Mumbai Mavericks team — a part of PPL (Powerplay T20 League), which is a fictional Indian Premier League kind of T20 cricket tournament. The second season also features Angad Bedi, Tanuj Virwani, Sayani Gupta and Sapna Pabbi, and streams on Amazon Prime Video. (IANS)