The immensely talented actress Richa Chadha chats with us about her beautifully intimate wedding, first time as a producer, and
upcoming travel plans.
By ANANYA BAHL
A Born Performer
I’ve been acting for nearly 10 years or so now. I always knew I wanted to be in the performing arts and my parents were supportive of that decision. I did theatre during my school years and acting in movies just felt like a natural extension. In fact, I still do a play every now and then. And as far as movies are concerned, I like experimenting with genres—just like you read all kinds of books, you can do all kinds of films. Having said that, I tend to enjoy comedies more, even though they are quite hard to make. I look for things that give me the chance to be diverse in my choices.
Cinema Vs Web Series
Web series require more time compared to movie shoots. Either way, you’re still in front of the camera. Since web series have more episodes (and seasons), they give one more opportunities to stay with a character for a longer period. And that is really fun.
An Affair To Remember
When we decided to get married, Ali and I just wanted to have a small, simple affair. We had a private reception of 100 to 150 people for both sides of the family. Since we didn’t want the families, especially the elderly, to travel, we bifurcated our guest lists and had events in Lucknow (where Ali grew up) and New Delhi (where I grew up). We also had a celebration in Mumbai— where we live now. It was fun as we got to celebrate in different cities!
We opted for an ‘enchanted forest’ kind of vibe for our Mumbai party. But instead of floral motifs, we chose a moss-inspired, wild look. When it came to the location, I didn’t want to book a banquet hall. Even if you block the whole venue, your guests, many of whom are celebrities, will walk through hotel lobbies and get asked for photographs. I knew the press would come and I wanted them to enjoy the celebrations but only till a point. So, we opted for a private, heritage property and limited the outdoor area. This helped the guests feel free and let their hair down. The venue was really perfect as all our guests enjoyed the privacy. From the dance room, one could see a gorgeous, landlocked pond—it was stunning! Peaceful and small, just how we like it.
A Bridal Tip
If you’re in your late 20s, planning to get married in the next few years, and are a working woman, I’d recommend getting a good investment plan in place—there’s unparalleled joy and satisfaction in funding your own wedding. I truly believe in that kind of independence.
When it came to my wedding outfits, I think one of the aspects I enjoyed the most was that I could dress differently for and honour the culture of each of the three cities. I worked very hard on creating each outfit. Kresha Bajaj envisioned and designed the ʻlove story sariʼ I wore for my New Delhi function. She took special moments from my love story with Ali and embroidered it onto the sari. I wanted Aliʼs late mom to be a part of our celebrations, too, so Kresha sewed her name onto the sari. I wanted my Lucknow outfit to be designed around a maatha paasa (jewelled head adornment worn by the bride), gifted to me by Aliʼs nani (maternal grandmother). It was passed down from her mother-in-law, so it was about 100 to 150 years old. And, of course, Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, who are extremely gifted designers, made that dream come to life by designing an absolute masterpiece. They have worked for more than 30 years in Lucknow and knew all the karigars (craftsmen) so were able to recreate the detailing beautifully. My Mumbai outfit was created by Anamika Khanna, one of Indiaʼs best designers. The dress she made for me, a multicoloured hand-crafted sari gown, is so gorgeous that it actually belongs in a museum! I am not someone who ever dreamt about being a princess at my wedding. I like to keep things grounded. But that made me feel very special.
A Producer Is Born
Iʼm really excited to be a first-time producer on Girls Will Be Girls. This film is special and very close to my heart because I have worked on it since 2018 and Iʼm certain it will present a new way of storytelling. It will touch a chord with the Indian diaspora who find themselves at the crossroads of different generations.
Learning From Producing
I think acting and producing are very different from each other. In the former, you have to think from your heart and for the latter, you have to use both your mind and heart. Itʼs also essential to pre-empt other peopleʼs needs and expectations. And you must handle stress well!
I will be going to the northeast of India soon. Ali wants to go diving, so we may head to the Maldives or Seychelles, like he said (referring to Ali Fazalʼs interview in Vistaraʼs August 2022 issue).
On The Acting Horizon
You will see me next in the upcoming instalment of Fukrey. Thereʼs also Heeramandi, a web series with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. We are getting together after years (after Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela).
Iʼm so excited!
QUICK SHOTS WITH RICHA
Your ultimate foodie binge
Daal-chawal… what is everyday food for most is my binge!
Who’s more romantic, you or Ali?
We both express love differently. For me, it could be signing a draft agreement at our office; and for him, it could be making a hot meal for us. Basically, we complement each other and have fun.
Your favourite perfume?
Carved Oud by Thameen.
Netflix binge or a good book?
Either… depends on the day.
Gangs of Wasseypur or Masaan?
Neither. Madam Chief Minister—I worked very hard on that one!