Bollywood actress Richa Chadha shares her experience of working in the audio show, ‘Baby Doll’ opposite Jaideep Ahlawat. The story revolves around a sex worker, Baby (Richa), her pain and revenge.
Richa says: “I play a character called Baby whose actual name is Babita Rani, and she is somebody who probably got trafficked when she was a child and has been in this sort of trade against her will. She’s a commercial sex worker so she’s been in this trade for a while and she’s not happy.
“But she learned to live with her reality. And there’s still an assemblance of like, niceness and morality in her, even though she’s in one of the most looked down upon professions and as a character also.”
While talking about the USP of this audio show, the ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ actress shares: “I think the USP of the show will definitely be the story and the characters. The directors work very hard on creating this show. And I think that it’s got a cliff-hanger approach across the whole 14-15 episodes.
“Even in the end it is kind of like, it ends on a note where you wonder whether there’ll be a season two or if this is the end of this character, and it’s kind of like the story of the underdog.”
On sharing about the challenges of narration and preparation for it, she says: “We did a lot of readings to get the character right because you know, this is how I normally talk and sound but when we have to do this like a hinterland Hindi character then it has to be real. She has to have a little crassness or little bit of course language also, she’s a sex worker. We have used words which typically you will not hear on camera or on radio. We’ve said words, and we’ve done things which typically you don’t get to see in a podcast or even on camera.”
You’ve played different roles. How you found this different from previous ones, she adds: “I’ve played a sex worker before, never for a podcast. It is very different in terms of this character’s throwing caution to the wind kind of attitude is what makes her a winner in my book. And that’s what will make the show on Audible also something that you can relate to you where you will feel funny, like after a few episodes that you are rooting for this character, even though you know, she doesn’t really fit the moral compass of most of the audience.”
The actress calls her overall experience of working in the podcast fulfilling, as she comments: “My experience of working on this was really quite incredible. We had good producers, both from Audible and the people who are handling it on their behalf from sound and vision. This is an original story. It’s really about, like the hinterland, and I really hope that people can, like enjoy it for what it is. It’s one of those pulpy novels, but now narrated through the voice of the female lead. And I think that’s what makes it really interesting.”
Richa, after debuting in a small role in the comedy film ‘Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!’, got a breakthrough with a supporting role in ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’.
How she looks at her journey in the entertainment industry, the actress replies: “I feel like I’m just like, at the first quarter of my journey, to be honest. I’ve seen everything change so rapidly in the last 10 years since I’ve been active. And I think that it’s only going to get better. For true artists to actors, it’s a good time. And now that I’m entering into production and writing, it’s a very fulfilling phase because you can use more than just your face and your body, you know, you can see things in the world with the work you put out.”
About her upcoming projects, she reveals: “There’s ‘Fukrey 3’, which is a hugely successful franchise, which is what we’re currently shooting for. There are basically three films. I wish I could announce them right now, but I can’t. I mean, I’m shooting one in July one after that, there’s one film on mental health and then there’s a crossover film in the UK. These are the confirmed projects. There’s of course S2 ‘A Great Indian Murder’ and things like that. So, it’s going to be a full full full year.”
Like many celebs, she is keen on doing reality shows, the actress says: “What kind of reality show if it’s a reality show where you know like these two people go on highways and eat local street food Yeah, I’m game for that. But the reality show consists of me being in like captivity, like a house with other people and forcibly fighting with them or being locked up somewhere, that never, ever, ever!”
Written by Pravesh Bhardwaj, the audio show ‘Baby Doll’ is available on Audible.