Actress Richa Chadha seen this week as the chawl’s resident femme fatale in 3 Storeys was seen with her boyfriend Ali Fazal at the Oscars parties in Los Angeles earlier this month.
Explaining her presence by Ali’s side Richa says, “I had some work in LA and Ali had to attend these pre-Oscar events, so we decided to make a mini-vacation out of it. It was a lot of fun. We got to attend a lot of high-profile prestigious events like Elton’s John’s AIDS memorial dinner, WME(William Morris Endeavor Entertainment) party and Vanity Fair party in addition to some other really posh parties where we got to interact with really interesting people from all over the world.” Richa refuses to drop names. “But I’ll tell you one thing. We did get to observe how different the work ethics are in Hollywood are, as compared to the Indian cinema which we rather subserviently refer to as ‘Bollywood’. Can’t we find a term more organic and less imitative for Hindi cinema?”
Regrettably Ali’s Oscar-nominated film Victoria & Abdul didn’t win any awards. Richa says she was okay with that. “I wasn’t disappointed when Ali’s film Victoria and Abdul did not win any Oscar. I was just proud he was part of this film. Tell me how many Indian actors get to play the title role in a Hollywood film and that too opposite the indomitable Judi Dench? I am very proud of Ali and the film. The film got these Oscar nominations. For the rest of his life we can be proud of the fact that Ali was showcased for the nominations in two major categories.” Her voice fills up with pride while talking of her boyfriend’s achievements. But she doesn’t like discussing Ali in print. “I hate discussing my relationship and possible marriage. That becomes the headline and I hate that. I don’t enjoy so much scrutiny of my personal life.” Richa has just given her nod to a bio-pic on the Tamil/Telugu/Malayalam star of adult content Shakeela. She isn’t willing to reveal much about the role yet. “It’s still under discussion and we’re still trying to figure out the logistics. But Shakeela was an entertainer ahead of her times. I will play her as someone who didn’t fear the camera.”
About her guest appearance in 3 Storeys Richa says, “It was always meant to be a brief role. 3 Storeys has an ensemble cast and I am just happy to be part of such a brave film. It’s a bit of a thriller a mystery and a social statement I’ve a much more substantial role in Sudhir Mishra’s Daas Dev. It’s a romantic thriller set against a political backdrop. I think the release has been pushed ahead a bit, so it won’t be released in March. Sudhir Mishra’s film always finds its own audience, so I am not worried about when it releases. Daas Dev offers a revisionist take on Saratchandra Chatterjee’s Devdas. My character is a feminist interpretation on Paro. I hope the audience enjoys watching it as much as I enjoyed playing it."
Richa says her life is looking good. “I’ve just signed a few more interesting films. And I am also finding my feet in Hollywood thanks to the trip we just made to LA. My film Fukrey Returns has been a success and that has a made a lot of difference to my career. I also did my first web series Inside Edge in 2017 which was very well-received. I am sure this year I am again to surprise myself.”