Richa Chadha‘s role in Love Sonia has already received two awards before the film has even released across the world, one at the London Indian Film Festival and another at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. The Fukrey actress plays the role of a sex worker and the Madam of a brothel in Love Sonia. She, along with actors like Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher, Freida Pinto, Mrunal Thakur and Rajkummar Rao bring us the reality of the sex trafficking world which is directed by Tabrez Noorani.
Richa was hesitant about doing the role at first because she was worried if the story would do justice to the portrayal of something so sensitive. However, she joined the cast after director, Tabrez showed her the decade-long research he’d been doing for the film. When the actress started shooting for the film she met many sex workers, a lot of young girls who were rescued from the flesh trade and listened to incidents that one could never fathom were even possible. After 2 and a half months of shooting in different locations, depicting brutality and real stories on screen, once done with filming, Richa headed to for therapy sessions with a psychologist to help her detach from the role.
Speaking about the process, Richa said,
The story of the film was gruelling and emotionally exhausting. To imagine as actors for us to go through this, through the process of enacting, living the life of these girls momentarily scars us, I can only imagine what the girls in real life must be going through. For me it wasn’t an easy process. To immerse into the role, live through those emotions, learn those realities and accept them to essay the role of Madhuri took its toll on me. We are lucky as educated people to have access to information and to facilities and I had to seek help of professionals who are psychologists and find therapeutic ways to get myself out of the character to resume my normal life. This character was more than just a role it was a life we had to lead and also pull out of it emotionally once we were through it.
For an actor like Richa, she could remove herself gradually but for millions of girls, this is the story of their lives. It is truly tragic that this isn’t fiction but a reality for so many women and girls.
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