Richa Chadha on ‘Heeramandi’ role: Risk that it’ll get lost in eight episodes, glad it didn’t | Bollywood

In a recent chat from New Delhi, actress Richa Chadha reminisced about her unique challenges, such as rehearsing with a heavy 10-kg vest and enduring nearly a hundred takes for an ultimately unused scene, in “Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar,” directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Despite fears her supporting character would be overshadowed within the extensive ensemble, she was rewarded when it resonated with audiences.

Richa Chadha reflects on the impact of her ‘Heeramandi’ role amidst a star-studded series.

Initially, Chadha harbored concerns over her character Lajjo’s visibility, as she only appears in the first two segments of the eight-part series. Yet, her dedication to “quality over quantity” eclipsed this apprehension.

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“The part was filled with risks, given the limited screen time among such a prominent and beloved cast. It was quite a concern that Lajjo’s presence might blend into the background, but thankfully, her story was noticed and appreciated,” Chadha expressed to PTI.

Chadha, 37, immersed herself deeply into her performance, embodying Lajjo’s sorrowful life, a courtesan caught between romantic dreams and the harshness of her alcoholic reality.

“Characters like Lajjo exist around us, transcending time from the 1940s to our day in 2024. The universal resonance of heartbreak garners empathy for her, with many relating to her plight,” she noted.

The acclaim came not only from critics and fans but also from peers within the industry, catching Chadha off guard with its breadth.

“Resistance to being typecast is a challenge actors often face, and breaking free from those constraints is vital to surprise and engage audiences,” she added.

Perfecting Lajjo’s portrayal brought about intense challenges.

Chadha’s lifelong study of kathak integrated into her performance, especially during an emotional segment where she whirls relentlessly, balancing the physical demands with her character’s inner turmoil.

Recalling her vigorous preparation, she said, “The final dance required precision and emotional intensity. 99 takes were needed for one particular moment, and Bhansali’s determination for the perfect shot was relentless, even if it meant discarding efforts for the ideal effect.”

After previously collaborating in “Ramleela,” Chadha was enthused to work under Bhansali’s direction once more.

“Heeramandi,” marking Bhansali’s inaugural venture into streaming, made its debut on Netflix on May 1.

Presently expecting her first child with spouse Ali Fazal, Chadha looks forward to temporarily stepping away from the spotlight to embrace motherhood.

“The timing with the show’s promotions and my pregnancy has its unique demands, but it’s a dynamic journey I’m ready for,” she stated.

Outside of acting, the couple has ventured into production. Their initial project, “Girls Will Be Girls,” has garnered acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival and will be showcased at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival.

With a diverse filmography including “Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!,” “Gangs of Wasseypur,” “Masaan,” and “Sarabjit,” Chadha and Fazal are committed to creating a more inclusive industry landscape based on their experiences.

“The journey in the industry is reflective of life’s uneven playing field, but we aim to instill changes based on our personal insights and aspirations for a more inclusive space,” Chadha concluded.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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