Why Richa Chadha was ner­vous be­fore do­ing a stand-up show

Hindustan Times (Ranchi) - Hindustan Times (Ranchi) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Shreya Mukher­jee ■ shreya.mukher­[email protected][email protected] DEVIKA BHISE

Ac­tors of­ten talk about the genre they en­joy ex­plor­ing. Richa Chadha, too, has al­ways main­tained that com­edy is her favourite space. In the past, she has proved her met­tle as Bholi Pun­ja­ban in the Fukrey film fran­chise. She has also had a brush with stand-up com­edy, and has been hint­ing at tak­ing her pas­sion for this for­ward.

Re­cently, it was an­nounced that Richa will make her de­but with a stand-up com­edy show on the web and she’s ob­vi­ously kicked about the op­por­tu­nity. “I’m ex­cited to ap­pear in this show along­side sev­eral other peo­ple. None of us is a pro­fes­sional com­edy ac­tor or stand up co­me­dian. It was a chal­lenge and I just dived in,” she says, adding that hu­mour comes nat­u­rally to her when she tries to ex­press her­self.

Thank­ing those who have helped her learn more, Richa adds that it was won­der­ful to be men­tored by ac­com­plished comics like Sa­pan Verma and Ashish Shakya. “They pre­pared me for my live show. I have done this once be­fore, and it was al­right, but this show is as real as it gets. I am ner­vous that my im­age as a se­ri­ous ac­tor is about to be shat­tered thanks to this standup com­edy act,” shared the ac­tor, who will next be seen in sea­son two of the web show In­side Edge and in the films, Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai, Panga and Sha­keela.

Rishabh Suri

Born and raised in Man­hat­tan, New York, the English ac­cent is hard to miss when you talk to ac­tor Devika Bhise. And there­fore, she took on a big chal­lenge when she signed on for the English biopic on Rami Laxmibai, ti­tled The War­rior Queen of Jhansi. Both be­cause it’s a biopic on a his­tor­i­cal per­son­al­ity, and the way she’d have to ma­noeu­vre her way through Hindi.

On the film, which she has also co-writ­ten, Devika says, “It was a once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity... it’s not lost on me at all. I am so thrilled! The tough­est part was the Hindi, Marathi and English di­a­logues I had to speak. The ma­jor­ity [of di­a­logues] were in Hindi and Marathi, and add to that their pe­riod di­alects! They were an­ti­quated, stylised ways of speak­ing. We had to work on what an In­dian queen in 1858 would sound like, which is very un­like what peo­ple sound to­day.”

Her mother and ma­ter­nal grand­mother came to her res­cue, she re­veals, “I trained for months with my mother and Ajji. That was a spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Devika has ear­lier been part of projects such as The Man Who knew In­fin­ity with ac­tor Dev Pa­tel. She is still all praise for the Slum­dog Mil­lion­aire star. “I have worked with Dev only in The Man… He is lovely. I prayed for him when he got nom­i­nated for the Os­cars for his film Lion,” says Devika.

Con­sid­er­ing how Rani Laxmibai has been por­trayed in films be­fore, and quite re­cently, by Kan­gana Ra­naut in Manikarnik­a — The Queen of Jhansi, how did Devika make sure her por­trayal was dif­fer­ent from what had al­ready been at­tempted be­fore?

“That’s sim­ple. I didn’t watch any other films or por­tray­als of the Rani of Jhansi. My por­trayal comes from pri­mary sources and the re­search I had done. I didn’t watch any artis­tic or cre­ative ren­der­ing that has come in the last few years. By the time Manikarnik­a came out in the the­atres, our film was en­tirely locked up and was be­ing picked up by the dis­trib­u­tors,” re­veals Devika.

Any in­ter­est in Bol­ly­wood for her? “I don’t know. As of now, I am based in New York, and my ca­reer has been there. If I get a script in Bol­ly­wood that re­ally in­ter­ests me, I would ab­so­lutely be open to do­ing some­thing here,” she adds.

The tough­est part was the Hindi, Marathi and English di­a­logues I had to speak. The ma­jor­ity [of di­a­logues] were in Hindi and Marathi, and add to that their pe­riod di­alects!

AC­TOR

PHOTO: RAHUL RAUT/HT

PHOTO: RAAJESSH KASHYAP/HT

Richa Chadha

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