It’s been a busy year for Rasika Dugal with back-to-back web shows—Made in Heaven, Delhi Crime and Out of Love—hitting the virtual screens. The Hotstar production, Out of Love, which is an adaptation of the BBC popular show Dr Foster, delves into the tricky area of extramarital affairs and betrayal of trust. When asked about her take on infidelity, Rasika says, “I do not judge it morally at all. I think it’s something that happens often in our society. Unfortunately, not many people talk about it because there is an embarrassment associated that engulfs it with secrecy. This makes it even harder for the people involved. If it was something that people could openly talk about, then it would just aid them in dealing with the process.”
The original protagonist Dr Gemma Foster (played by Suranne Jones) has been dubbed as Mira Kapur in its Indian version but the quirks in the character remain the same. “I found her (Mira Kapur) odd, but that’s the interesting thing about working on a project like this. I think everything script needs actors to behave in a way that cannot be predicted. Dr Foster has several such occasions where I have tried to figure why is she is doing what she is doing. But I used to work with an improv group and the most important thing I learned while working there was—it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, if you do it with full commitment it works. Sometimes as actors we struggle to find connections with roles. I just tell myself: commit to it 100 percent and it will work. And most of the times this mantra has worked.”
The 34-year-old admits to having watched the first season of the BBC show to prepare for the role. “I have not watched season 2 because I did not want to inform myself of what was going to happen. That was too much for me as an actor to process. I could have chosen to not watch season 1 but I wanted to understand the pace of the show,” she says.
Rasika who plays the character of Beena Tripathi in the web show Mirzapur juggled shooting for its second season along with Out of Love. “Some of the schedules for Mirzapur and Out of Love overlapped. In both the shows I play polar opposite roles. My character in Mirzapur was completely outrageous. I don’t like saying housewife but Beena doesn’t go to work unlike in Out of Love where I am a doctor. I was getting to know Mira Kapur (in Out of Love) while I was revisiting Beena Tripathi (in Mirzapur Season 2). I have never done this before where I have been shooting for two things in this intertwined way and in such a tight schedule. So, let’s see how it pans out. I hope there is no hangover of one character in the other (laughs).”
With the success of Manto and Delhi Crime, Rasika says she has now more choice in the work being offered to her. “People continue to offer me all kinds of roles. I am now interested in parts that are driving
the narrative in a significant way. But now I have a choice, which wasn’t the case earlier. I am not very good at strategy, so for me when it comes to choosing scripts it’s an instinctive response.” Rasika wants to be in a biopic playing Amrita Pritam. “Amrita Pritam has led a very interesting life and has spoken openly about feelings and relationships at a time when it wasn’t easy to do so. She’s been a huge influence in my life through her sensitive writing and her poetry. My favourite book by her is Rasidi Ticket where she talks about her obsessions very openly which I found very endearing.”