Actress Rasika Dugal to explore comedy in commercial space

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Mumbai : Actress Rasika Dugal's name is often attached to independent films with strong storylines. She is now ready to explore comedy in the commercial space.

"I can't talk much about it. The film is more in the commercial and comic space, which is a genre that I was really waiting to explore," Rasika told IANS here.

"I think I have a flair for it (comedy). I have finished shooting for it. The thing about comedy is that you don't have to play funny," added the "Manto" actress, who admitted to doing "fun parts in theatre" as well.

Last year, she had also performed a comic set on the online project titled "So Basically... this is an actor's Life | Rasika Dugal".

She has no qualms about being a part of the commercial space or mainstream cinema. But there's a catch.

"I want to do roles that are important for the story and not there for ornamental value or to just aid another character in the film which is often a 'friend's role' in mainstream films," she said.

"I have been offered roles in mainstream films which have not been interesting to me. They have been too insignificant."

She pointed out that interestingly in mainstream cinema, a lot of films are with an ensemble cast.

"Interesting characters are written. So, it's not just about the hero and heroine. Format of the story has changed. So, there are a lot of other roles... a character role as they describe it," she said.

Rasika is currently shooting for a film helmed by Karan Gour.

"He is the same director, who had directed my first film ('Kshay') in a lead part. It was the first film that got me known in the indie circle.

"Karan and I have been very close friends. You know when you are working with each other in the initial stages, you grow together. This is the second time I am working with him."

Sharing details about the upcoming film, she said: "It's an improvised film. There is a structure to every scene, but we don't know what exactly happens in every scene. It's great fun. This might be the first improvised Indian film."

It has been a good one and a half years for her career wise.

"I couldn't be happier with my career," she said.

Her happiness doubled on Saturday as two of her projects -- a series titled "Mirzapur" and film "Hamid" -- had their world premiere at the ongoing Jio MAMI 20th Mumbai Film Festival with Star.

"There were two premieres. I was like 'wow'. It doesn't happen often," she said.

In "Hamid", the actress plays the role of a mother to boy named Hamid, a Kashmiri local whose father goes missing.

"When I read the script for the first time, I was very nervous. I told Aijaz Khan (the film's director) that I won't be able to do justice to the part. So, please cast somebody from Kashmir.

"I felt that when people have lived in a place which has been under conflict for so long, my view would always be an outsider's view. And I was nervous about that."

But the director was confident about her performance in the film.

"Aijaz encouraged me. I had only two weeks to prepare. I finally decided to take it up because I felt that it was very important to tell the story.

"I also felt that the story was a personal story about a conflict situation. Very often in mainstream films, the conversations around reasons of conflict are always very political and people forget to talk about what the people of that place are going through."

For her, that personal account is very important because that's the "human side of everything and that is what affects everybody else".

"Very often when we talk about war, conflict or terrorism, we talk about it very politically. We forget that there are people involved. That there's a child, a woman and there's a family which is broken up because of this."

While she was able to overcome her nervousness through this role, she found her character in "Mirzapur" the most challenging one in her career that started over a decade ago.

"It was an interesting challenge because I have never been cast in a role like that. I play Bina Tripathi, who is aware of her desires. It sort of explores them fearlessly," shared the actress, who is also looking forward to the release of a "very interesting series".

"The working title is called 'Delhi Police'. It's an eight-part series about the investigation around the Nirbhaya case," said Rasika.

(The writer's trip to Mumbai is at the invitation of the festival organisers. Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at

Published : Sunday, October 28, 2018 14:30 [IST]
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