Richa Chadha: We have first-mover advantage
Dismissing the notion that Inside Edge wasn't as celebrated as Sacred Games despite its Emmy nomination, Richa Chadha says the second season will be a game-changer
A lot has changed in digital entertainment in the two years since Inside Edge dropped online, marking India's first homegrown original for Amazon Prime Video. With bigger players joining the fray and projects being mounted on lavish budgets, the web space has continually evolved. As the countdown for the second season of Inside Edge begins, Richa Chadha believes the show will continue to enjoy the first mover advantage. "Developing the second season took time, but it was for the better. The makers went back to the drawing board and tried to enhance everything. It's mounted magnificently; we shot abroad as well," begins Chadha, who plays Zarina Malik, the owner of a cricket team in the sports drama that also stars Vivek Oberoi and Angad Bedi.
From its first episode, the Karan Anshuman-creation made its intentions clear — the series wanted to delve into the underbelly of the cricketing world and the power play that is at work off the pitch. Chadha's character Zarina — as mysterious as she was manipulative — was at the centre of the drama. Quiz her how her character has evolved in the second season, and Chadha says, "Zarina felt screwed over by powerful men, so she no longer wants to be a puppet or dummy. She wears her confidence proudly, and has her career under control. I had to change my body language for this season. With Bhaisaab's [Aamir Bashir's character] support, she feels protected now. Even in our field, when actors belong to a certain camp, people are wary of taking them on."
One wonders if playing a character, season after season, can be exhausting. "I wouldn't say it's difficult but it takes a few readings of the script to nail her. I don't get tired or bored of Zarina," she says, adding, "In a film, we play a character for 50 days. In a show, we become that person [for few months] and subsequently, we detach. We personally evolve in the interim, and [when it's time for the next season], we pick up from where we left, in a renewed way."
Only a week ago, Indian cinephiles had their eyes peeled for the International Emmy Awards, rooting for Sacred Games' team to come home with the gong for the Best Drama Series. Flashback to a year earlier: Inside Edge was the first Indian web series to earn a nomination at the prestigious awards gala. Did she feel that the celebration was subdued compared to the reaction that Sacred Games' nomination elicited this year? "The show was the first to be nominated; it's immaterial whether it registers [with the audience] or not. And how are we determining the 'registering'? Basis a Twitter trend? That'll be forgotten the next day." While fans of the 10-part offering argue that it didn't get its due, Chadha doesn't share the view. "I don't feel that way at all. This was India's first [Amazon] original, the platform launched with it. We were trying to understand the grammar of the format. We've learnt from it, and made season 2 better. We have the first-mover advantage."
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