"I Have Been Paid To Learn New Skills," India's Oscars 2023 Entry Chhello Show's Richa Meena On Surviving In Mumbai/Film Industry
India’s Oscars 2023 Entry ‘Chhello Show’ Actress Richa Meena Opens Up About Bollywood, Surviving Mumbai, And More…

“Those little dreams that came true in Mumbai kept motivating me to do more,” says Meena

It is a proud moment for India as the Gujarati film Chhello Show aka The Last Film Show is the official Oscars 2023 entry. Ever since it was announced, the lead actress of the film Richa Meena’s phone has been inundated with congratulatory calls and messages. In an exclusive chat with us, the young actress discusses the film, her life outside of showbiz, and what it takes to survive in the buzzing Mumbai city.

 

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Surpassing movies like RRR and The Kashmir Files, Chhello Show made it to the top and Meena avers that she’s always had a good feeling about the movie. Now the fruits of our hard work are visible to everyone. I am wondering that is it really happening. When I met the team for the first time, they were looking for a person who would play the character of Baa. Looking at how the team is and the kind of creative people they are I wanted to get associated with it. After 4-5 auditions, I landed the role. Every single day would end in satisfaction because of the kind of work we were putting in,” she says. 

 

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The actress also reveals that she had the most fun with the kids, who were part of the movie. Around 4-5 kids from the Kathiawar region were picked for the project, and she’s only grateful for the experience. “We balanced between work and our post-work life. They are not actors but they were general kids. So, during breaks and post-pack up we all used to sit in my room and chill together. We played games, improvised scenes, and recorded videos. Only the kids and I know about this off-screen fun that we had,” Meena adds.  

 

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Having said this, she too had her own set of challenges. As someone who hails from Jaipur, Rajasthan, working on a movie that’s made in Gujarati was a learning experience. “I think for an actor, a job is a job, there are no barriers. I am from a different part of a country and Gujarati was not a language I was fluent in. But that didn’t stop me and I worked on my language, pronunciation, and dialect. My team members used to sit with me for hours helping me through it,” she says. 

 

The Mardaani 2 actress came to Mumbai in 2012, and today marks a decade for her in the city of dreams. Taking us through her survival mantra, she explains, “Since childhood, I knew that this the field I want to make a career out of. It is like you are having fun and everyone around you is celebrating that. It gave me a sense of freedom because I found myself. My survival mantra here was that whatever work comes your way say yes to it. When I say work I don’t mean all the acting projects but to nurture your main dream you have to keep extracting energies from other sources. Right from casting to assisting I have done it all. I was getting paid to learn something new so yes why not! I know the 360-degree craft of the filmmaking process.”

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In 2019, a dream came true when she signed on the dotted lines for Mardaani 2 with Rani Mukerji. Speaking of which, she details, “I have grown up watching her. I lived in the Yash Raj lane for two years and always thought I would someday enter this building. I was so happy that I cannot explain it. It was a feeling that motivated me to dream more. Sharing screen space with a seasoned actress was nothing but a great learning experience for me.” 

 

She further reminices, “Once she offered me the Yash Raj samosas, which are pretty popular in our circuit. She made sure that everyone eats those and I had too!” 

This girl has a streak of magic. She clearly does.

Lead Image: Richa Meena/Instagram 

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