Actress Rasika Dugal, who is on a roll with projects like Nandita Das’s directorial “Manto” and an Indo-German movie, feels while it is a great time to be in Indian cinema, sometimes an actor’s “perceived saleability” is preferred over one’s talent.
“I think it’s a great time in Indian cinema with the many kinds of interesting films being made. But it’s still tough for actors,” Rasika told IANS.
Active on the theatre circuit with the popular play “The Vagina Monologues”, Rasika feels her role in “Qissa” made a difference in how people approached her for work.
She rued, however, how “the perceived ‘saleability’ of an actor is given priority over performance”.
“This ‘saleability’, in my opinion, is just a perception, might not have any basis in who can actually be a draw for someone to buy a ticket for a film. I think only the topmost stars have the power to influence actual ticket sales. For the rest, it’s about how the film is marketed and not really the actor.”
“I think it’s best to take an actor who fits the role and can pull off a strong performance if the story demands it. I have increasingly seen more producers take the risk and pull it off,” she said.
The National School of Drama alumnus also believes distributors need to take more risks.
“This will enable different kind of films to get respectable releases because audiences are ready for far more than we have given them.”
Having stressed on that, she said “Qissa” — which also featured applause-worthy performances by Irrfan Khan, Tillotama Shome and Tisca Chopra — could have been released better.
“I really feel that would have been the best thing that could have happened. But still, it has done a lot for me. It has been one of the most watched films that I have done, and people have nice things to say about it, still,” she said.
For now, Rasika is busy with “Manto”, a movie on the literary genius Saadat Hasan Manto. While Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays Manto, Rasika features as his wife Safia.
Why has she stayed away from commercial cinema’
“Well, I have found myself in very interesting projects, and I have been open to different kinds of work. It’s just that commercial work hasn’t happened for me… It’s not like I chose for it to not happen,” Rasika said.
“But I am totally enjoying this growth and the kind of films that I am considered for.”