In conversation with actress Rasika Dugal

Film and digital actor, Rasika Dugal, is very happy that the web space has given her the much-needed reach as an actor. “Sadly, most of my art house films like Qissa did not get the wide enough release they deserved. Web has changed all that. I am now known all over, courtesy Chutney, Mirzapur, Delhi Crime and Made In Heaven.”

Indeed, great portrayals.

She adds: “One other positive trait of web is that the level of writing has gone up several notches, especially the portrayal of women characters. Doing Mirazpur was a different experience; for the first time, I was playing a non-morally upright woman, so the body language was new. I really don’t consider doing sex scenes as bold, for we are finally showing what happens in everyday life. It has become a big deal just because we are finally coming around to accepting that women are also sexual beings.”

Talking further, she says: “What made my job easier in Mirzapur was the team’s acceptance that shooting such scenes is not easy for a woman actor. I also made clear the kind of support I needed, which was given. The shooting environment thankfully was female friendly.”

Here Rasika adds that you can’t say all web products are over sexed up. “Did Delhi Crime not deal with the Nirbhaya case in a very sensitive manner? Ditto with Made in Heaven’s portrayal of gay relationships” Similarly, my Mirzapur character (Beena Tripathi) did what she had to as part of the story and not only to titillate. But that again is a very subjective call. What I might regard as offensive, others might not.”

So what’s next? “I will soon start shooting for Mirzapur 2, followed by the sequel to Delhi Crime. TVF’s Humorously Yours 2 will also be out soon. Then there are a couple of films in the pipeline as well. So once all this is wrapped up, I will look at fresh concepts.” Her other known films have been Manto and Aurangzeb.

In closing, Rasika says she is very happy that the entertainment industry has finally come around to accepting mature women as leads.  “To restrict your vision to just young girls was quite narrow. Actors’ age and looks now don’t overawe skills they bring to the table.”

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