Richa Chadha

Actors Ali Fazal and Richa Chadda (right) during the special screening of Fazal's film "Victoria & Abdul" in Mumbai on Oct. 5, 2017. Richa Chadda says she is proud that her boyfriend, Fazal, was part of the Hollywood film and played the title role opposite Judi Dench. (Photo: IANS)

MUMBAI—Actress Richa Chadha who starred as a chawl's resident femme fatale in "3 Storeys," was seen earlier this month with her boyfriend Ali Fazal at Oscar parties in Los Angeles.

Explaining her presence by Fazal’s side, Richa Chadha said: "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 the 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."

However, Chadha refused to drop names.

"But I'll tell you one thing. We did get to observe how different the work ethics are in Hollywood as compared to 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 Fazal's Oscar-nominated film "Victoria & Abdul" didn't win any awards. Chadha said she was okay with that.

"I wasn't disappointed when Ali's film 'Victoria & Abdul' did not win an 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 Fazal 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 Chadha has just given the nod to a biopic on the Tamil/Telugu/Malayalam adult star Shakeela.

She isn't willing to reveal much about the role. "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 a someone who didn't fear the camera."

About her guest appearance in "3 Storeys," she said: "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 have 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 films 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 Chadha said 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 LA trip we just made. My '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."

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