Mumbai: Bholi Punjaban, Richa Chadha’s character in the Fukrey franchise, is anything but ‘bholi’ or innocent. Laughs Richa, “She’s quite something. She’s neither the vamp, nor the heroine. Not in the way these characters have been stereotyped in our films. I would call her a ‘Shero’, blending as she does the elements of celluloid herogiri and dadagiri.”
Consciously or otherwise, Richa has been breaking stereotypes from the time she came into Bollywood. Says the actress with pride, “I don’t know how it happened. It wasn’t as if I had the power to make a conscious decision or to choose unconventional roles. But right at the beginning I did Gangs of Wasseypur, which was way removed from convention. And then a Fukrey, Masaan and Fukrey Returns too happened.”
She can’t stop loving Bholi, though. “I love playing Bholi Punjaban, because she can do all the things men are generally shown doing in films, without losing her feminity. That’s rare. In our movies, bad women have been the vamps, while good women the heroines. The vamp’s badness is defined by external deeds like smoking and drinking. In Shree 420, Nadira held a cigarette in a cigarette holder, and she was the vamp. But in the West, Audrey Hepburn held a cigarette in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and no one considered her to be a bad woman,” she says.