Interview: If a woman talks about her sexuality she is called shameless – Rasika Duggal

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
6 Min Read
Interview: If a woman talks about her sexuality she is called shameless – Rasika Duggal


Rasika Dugal, who has spent more than a decade and a half in the entertainment industry, has played important roles in films like 'Hamid', 'Manto', 'Qissa', 'Kshay', which received a lot of accolades at film festivals, received praise in web series like 'Made in Havan' and 'Delhi Crime', but undoubtedly 'Mirzapur' proved to be the turning point of her career. Now in the third season of this series, she is once again in the character of Beena. Exclusive conversation with her. Rasika, who is considered a seasoned actress today, did not always want to become an actress. She says, 'I am from a small town like Jamshedpur. There is no artist in my family. When I was studying at Lady Shriram College in Delhi, I used to do small acting, but when I took admission in FTII (Film and Television Institute of India), I realised within 6 months that this is what I want to do. I did such roles in 14 films in which I had only one or two scenes, but because of those roles, I have been able to reach here.

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I am not an impressive personality

Rasika was not nervous about playing a character like Beena. Clarifying her point, she says, 'I was not nervous that my character would go wrong. I was nervous that as an actress I should not do anything wrong. As an actress, I should do justice to her. When people tell me that she is bold, I feel they are not finding any adjective, so they call her bold. This is a woman who is not shy about her sexuality. She knows how to use the things happening around her to her advantage. She is playing all the games, so it was very interesting for me. I enjoy playing this character a lot. There is a lot of difference in the body language of me and Beena. Beena is such a woman that if she enters the room, people will definitely turn around and look at her. This is her specialty. She is one of those people who have something that attracts people, but my personality is not that impressive. My expressions are subtle. I keep bouncing from here to there.

'For me, being strong is also a name for courage'

Defining her boldness, Rasika says, 'Generally people use the word bold in a sexual context. For me, a bold woman was also the role I played in Manto. The character of Saadat Hassan Manto's wife Safia has been very bold for me. That woman is very strong. She is taking care of a person who has no idea about himself. She goes through a very difficult phase of life with Manto, who is a well-known writer.'

Women's sexuality should be discussed naturally

Today, women's sexuality is being openly discussed not only on OTT but also in films. At one time it was considered a big taboo. How does Rasika see this change? On this question, she says, 'It should be natural. There should not be any big discussion on this topic, but since we live in a society where it has been established that if a woman talks about her sexuality, she is shameless. I have seen that whenever we talk about change, it becomes like a maze. We talk about it superficially, but due to the conservatism that is inside us, we are not able to implement it, so many times I am afraid that as much progressive things are being said, have we been able to become as progressive as possible? In the name of being progressive, we are not talking about our traditional thinking or backward thinking that has been sitting for centuries, not expressing it, so is it not growing inside?'

I am happy to have an actor husband like Mukul

Rasika Duggal's husband Mukul Chaddha is also an actor. He has worked in many short films and web series. Counting the benefits of having an actor husband, she says, 'I think it is a wonderful thing to be an actress to have an actor husband. Now in our profession we are not able to do any personal planning. Whenever we make a plan, to go out or for anything else, there is a shooting on the same day, so if your husband is not from the same profession, then he will not be able to understand this thing. Since Mukul himself is in this field, he is able to understand. We recently did a film together called Fairy Folk, which was appreciated in many film festivals. Working with Mukul in that film has been a lot of fun. While going for shooting, we used to discuss the scene as well as food.'

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