Regular-article-logo Wednesday, 07 June 2023

Richa in & as Shakeela

Richa Chadha, starring as 90s adult star, says this will be a ‘true biopic’

Noyon Jyoti Parasara Published 24.10.18, 06:44 PM
Richa Chadha

Richa Chadha Sourced by the Telegraph

Sanju, the biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt, released this year. Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, the biopic on Rani Lakshmibai, is in the making as is another. Shakeela — an adult movie star who made it big in the 1990s. Richa Chadha stars as the protagonist and she is pretty excited about her new role. The Woods had a quick chat with the star of Shakeela, which is slated to release next year.

When was the first time you came to know about Shakeela?


Richa: I was in school when there was a big interview of her in a magazine.

What were your first thoughts about her when you read the interview?

Richa: I was confused how somebody so fat was an object of so much sexual fantasy. That was my first thought. Like log ispe mar rahe hain? I remember she was so brazen in her interview that I found her interesting. But I never thought that one day I will get a chance to play her character. She is a proper Amazon woman.

Do you agree she is someone who broke conventional ideas about sex appeal?

Richa: Of course, sex appeal does not lie in your body weight at all. In that sense, I think the South is interesting and progressive. I don’t know a single north Indian pornstar who is able to live in society and is known as a star. Do you? It is interesting that in the South they can exist and not live undercover. I am doing the film because I find such phenomena of stardom very interesting.

When you say brazen, that can be a tough space to be on screen. It could go either way.

Richa: This story is mostly involving her life. And if I am involved I will ensure it does not go either way.

That would mean there is extra work involved as an actor, right?

Richa: Yes, there is. You sit on the script and figure out how certain things will be portrayed. You will feel what other people are saying about the character.

Do you believe there could be any comparisons to The Dirty Picture (the 2011 film starring Vidya Balan as Silk Smitha), considering the Shakeela phenomenon was in some way a follow up of what Silk Smitha had created?

Richa: The Dirty Picture was made posthumously. In our case, Shakeela has given us the rights to her book to make a film on it. She is fully on board, she knows what she is saying, she knows what she is doing. And she is around. For me, she is a fighter and a survivor. This will be a true biopic.

Finally, we are told you aren’t gaining weight for the Shakeela biopic to match her real-life look.

Richa: I don’t want to talk about all that. Somehow all these stories about physical transformation make news and that’s very gimmicky to me. And then people don’t talk about the real work that goes into it. People just talk about gym schedules.

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