‘I’m a responsible social media user’
Talktime Richa Chadha
After giving a dhamakedaar performance as bindaas Bholi Punjaban in Fukrey, Chaddha is back in a bold and beautiful avatar as Paro in Sudhir Mishra’s Daas Dev. She talks to Sangeeta Yadav about her new music video Wanna Be Free which comes with a strong social message and her plans to turn a singer
Tell us about your upcoming movie Daas Dev.
It is a very different character which I’ve never done. I play Paro who splits from Dev due to a lot of fights. She decides to take charge of her destiny and fights an election against him after he leaves her. She is not like a usual girl who mops around after being dumped. She is someone who will fight her battle till the end. It is actually one of the strongest and most dignified characters in the entire script. It is releasing on February 16.
Isn’t it clashing with your other movie Three Storey?
I hope it doesn’t as both the films are poles apart and I want a break-in for both. Three Storey is about three completely different people staying in a three-storey chawl and how a murder mystery brings these strangers together. Sharman Joshi, Renuka Sahane, Pulkit Samrat are my co-stars.
Tell us about your music video Wanna Be Free?
Wanna Be Free, sung by Shibani Kashyap, talks about a girl who becomes a victim of the social media and how her life turns upside down. Through the story, we are trying to give out a social message that it is a very superficial world that we live in. Everyone posts the best version of themselves and only happy things which is a fake representation of life. People start living online. All the time taking photos for new display picture and posts on what food they are eating, where they are going etc.
Are you addicted to the social media?
I enjoy being on social media but I’m not hooked on to it. I’m not a victim of anything obsessive. I don't spend more than half hour on social media sites daily except Twitter which I check regularly for news and updates. I’m not like one of those people who wake up and check how many followers have increased. Before I could get addicted, I backed off. I am more reserved on social media and I use these platforms to get my fans the access to the real me for a green initiative. I am a feminist and I like cats.
What do you do when you get stalked or trolled on social media?
I just block those people. I don’t give them any attention. Why waste time?
Does social media make or break careers?
Both! There are many people who have become stars through that. My friend Mallika Dua is an example of that. She became famous because of her Snapchat and Instagram or people like Tanmay, Rohan who are doing well because of social media. It breaks careers too. Suppose I make an offensive or politically incorrect statement and all the years of work I’ve done go for a six right before my eyes and people will start labeling me because of that one tweet or FB post. One has to be responsible about using it.
Where does the problem lie?
Social media journalists are reactionary. Nobody thinks before writing and responding. People don’t think before responding to something. They don’t respond with patience. If someone abuses you, you start abusing them back. That is pointless.
One film that changed your life?
Masaan is one of those films that made me come of age. It was a deep and heavy film to work in but very special to me.
How has life changed after becoming famous?
People now know me. I’ve to conduct myself with a little more responsibility but that is it. Life doesn't really change. You still eat the same food and have the same people around you.
What has been the most challenging thing for you?
The loss of anonymity when I’m trying to go out. People don’t realise that we celebrities too want our privacy. That day I was rushing to take a flight and somebody stopped on for a selfie. That is annoying. I can come off as being rude but I’m not rude, only reserved. When we are buying vegetables in a supermarket for our family that is not the time when you go up to somebody and says ‘oh can I have a picture with you’? People also start touching you to take pictures which I find very irritating. I feel that is just badly brought up men. They have no boundaries. That is the problem.
Bollywood and controversy go hand in hand. How do you deal with it?
Controversies happen in Bollywood, nothing new. But I’ve barely had any controversies. I am very chilled out so not much happens. I am professional also so I don't give people the chance to say ‘she's not giving dates, or arriving late or not doing her job’. That is not me.
Do we get to see you sing someday?
Hopefully yes. We will make a big announcement then. It is going to be more like a fun single.
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