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There’s more value for performance today: Rasika Dugal

Mumbai, June 17 (IANS) Theatre, television, web series and films — Rasika Dugal is doing it all. The actress, who plays a pivotal role in the much-awaited “Manto”, says avenues for nuanced performers have opened up in showbiz as the industry’s landscape has changed.

Being platform agnostic has helped Rasika, but she says it was never a strategy.

“I think I was generally excited about the performances. I am like, ‘Oh my god, what a lovely role, let’s do it’. A lot of decisions were made because there was excitement about the work. I have been fortunate because the landscape has changed.

“There is more value for performance today, people are casting for people who can deliver a good performance, the standard of performance in our country has changed and improved, and platforms have opened for people like us to reach out. Therefore, we have our own little popularity,” the actress told IANS.

After roles in films like “Anwar”, “No Smoking”, “Hijack” and “Tahaan”, Rasika landed a lead role in “Kshay”, followed by a plum part in Anup Singh’s “Qissa”, which got her noticed. She has also done a part in the play “The Vagina Monologues”, apart from featuring in web series “Humorously Yours” and TV shows like “Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik” and “P.O.W.- Bandi Yuddh Ke”.

The “changing landscape”, she said, has led to actors like her to get projects with bigger production houses, to which “we wouldn’t have had access earlier”. Her “Manto”, in which she essays Safia Manto — wife of late writer Saadat Hasan Manto — is helmed by Nandita Das.

Rasika says she has never doubted her skill as an actor.

“I am too invested in that. My general idea about my work is that it’s more about the work than the things that come with it. I am constantly striving to improve on that and find new things to do there… That journey itself is so interesting is because there’s so much to do that there’s no room for doubt there,” she said.

Besides, she fels becoming “too comfortable and conscious about what you do” can take away the “rawness, joy and idea of experimenting away from it”, shifting focus to “worrying about a good performance”.

“I have just protected that very fiercely in all these years. Nothing is more important to me than the work itself. If I feel I am getting swayed too much, I take a step back… My focus is also on the performance,” Rasika said.

After all these years, she says one thing that she has learnt is that to open up opportunities for oneself in the industry, “you have to put yourself out there”.

“Talking about your work all the time and to open up, you have to do all that. I have begun to find my fun in that as well.”



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