She is bold, fearless and flawless. Known for her roles in Mirzapur, Manto and Hamid, Dugal tells Musba Hashmi about her journey and her experience of collaborating with Zoya Akhtar for a webseries.
Your recently released Netflix film has been receiving mixed reviews...
I have received a lot of positive responses for Delhi Crime. People have been very affected and moved by the film. When you work on a project you know how things have gone and its ability to emotionally move you becomes less. But this is one film that affected me and made me feel everything all over again. It moved me even while I was working in it. I can understand what the viewers will go through.
We don’t see many films on rape victims. Do you think such films should be encouraged?
Filmmakers should make films on issues or stories they think are compelling to tell. I am nobody to tell anyone what kind of films they should be making. Also, filmmakers have to have a strong emotional connect with what they are making. The intent should be finding a narrative around the story that has moved them and not that this is a topic and I should make a movie on it. It never works and no creative process should be initiated like that. If you taking stories that are compelling enough, the issues around it will come through on their own.
From Anwar to Hamid, how has your journey been?
Full of ups and downs, but it has been interesting. It has been a roller-coaster ride, but I have been fortunate in terms of the quality of work that I have got and the kind of films that I had an opportunity to work with. I have got to work with Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Irrfan Khan, Neeraj Kabi and Pankaj Tripathi and I can’t think of any better name. People who would love to get an opportunity to work with even one of them and I am lucky that I have got to work with all of them. I have even work with directors like Nandita Das and have got some amazing scripts to work on. It’s rare to find even one project like this in your entire life and I had so many of them. I feel grateful. With the digital space coming up, it is a very good time for actors and I don’t think we have anything to complain about. As far as the journey is concerned, I have learned a lot it.
How challenging was it for you to make a place for yourself in the industry?
I always find it difficult to answer this because I don’t know what other people’s journey have been like and if my was more difficult than their’s. But, there are tons of decisions to make every day and I always question myself whether I am choosing the right project or not, I am picking up myself the right way or not. These confusions are always there. My support system through all of this have been my absolute love for my work. And if you keep that intent clear, then everything comes easy.
How was the experience collaborating with Zoya Akhtar?
It was lovely. I have worked with her for a small time during Lust Stories also. I wanted to work with her and then I got Made in Heaven. She is a very intelligent director and a talented person to work with. She used to make me comfortable while working. The mark of good directors is they make you feel that you have done a shot right, even if you don’t. She always enjoys her work and I hope I get a chance to work with her again on some project.
You won the best actor award in Rajasthan International Film Festival. How was the moment?
It is nice to get acknowledged for your work. It is good to see that people actually watch your work and praise you. But, for me the biggest happiness comes from entering the world of the character which I am playing. This is the joy that I look out for. But it doesn’t translate into that I am not grateful for what I have got, I am very grateful for it and it is very encouraging.
What else in keeping you busy?
I have done a comedy film and it should be out in next two-three months.