In what could well be one of the most defining roles of her career, Richa Chadha has stepped into the shoes of Shakeela for the biopic on the South siren. Now, director Indrajit Lankesh confirms that the former star will make a cameo appearance in the movie. Shakeela who was popular in southern showbiz in the 1990s and continues to work even today.
Before commencing the film’s shooting, Richa had a rendezvous with Shakeela in Bengaluru to understand the nuances. Seeing the camaraderie between both the actors and also to honour Shakeela’s popularity, Lankesh roped in the real Shakeela for a cameo in the film.
Lankesh said in a statement: “I always wanted to make a film on Shakeela. I was immensely impressed with her on-screen and off-screen personality. I wanted to portray her story, the hardships and rough phase when she was not getting films and was trying for character roles. I wanted to show the true story behind the superstar Shakeela.”
He said Shakeela has been an integral part of the making of the movie as she gave the team detailed insights into her life
“Even Richa got to spend time with her, understand her style of talking, her body language and such nuances. In fact, when she came on set, she gave us very interesting insights like about our art direction and how her house was and is in real life,” Lankesh added.
He said it was nice to shoot Shakeela for the biopic, though this is not the first time he has worked with her.
“I have shot with her in the past for another film of mine in 2003. That sparked an interest in me to make a film on her and in 2015 after conceiving the idea of making a film on her, I met her and realised my dream. I feel every woman and girl who wants to be an actress should see her story, to know what she went through to become an actress and how it was such a compelling rag to riches to rags story of her life,” Indrajit Lankesh said.
Ask him if it was difficult to convince the senior actor, and he says, “She treated it like just another character. Shakeela has been extensively involved with the filmmaking process, and has given tips to Richa on her body language and diction.”
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