Richa Chadda

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Richa Chadda
Richa Chadha
Chadda in 2019
Born (1986-12-18) 18 December 1986 (age 34)[1][2]
Other namesRicha Chadha[3]
Alma materSophia College, Mumbai,
St. Stephen's College, Delhi,
Sardar Patel Vidyalaya
Years active2008–present
Partner(s)Ali Fazal[4]

Richa Chadda (born 18 December 1986) is an Indian actress who works in Hindi films, best known for her work in the Fukrey Series. After debuting in a small role in the comedy film Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008), she worked as a supporting actress in several films.[5] Her major breakthrough was a supporting role in the film noir gangster saga Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), where her role as the bellicose and extremely foul-tongued wife of a gangster earned her a Filmfare award.[6] Her sole foray into mainstream cinema has been as a supporting character in Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela (2013).

In 2015, Chadda made her debut in a leading role with the drama Masaan, playing a girl caught after indulging in casual sex. The film got a standing ovation when screened at the Cannes film festival.[7] The film has been cited as a milestone in Chadda's career and through it she is said to have created a niche for herself in the Hindi film industry.[8] Chadda has also worked in theatre, essaying the role of a married Delhi-based woman in Trivial Disasters (2014).

In May 2016, Richa was seen in the biopic Sarbjit, where she essayed the role of Sukhpreet Kaur, Sarbjit's wife. While the film didn't do so well at the box office and received mixed reviews from critics, Richa was singled out for her performance and garnered her second Filmfare nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She continued to receive universal success with her portrayal of Bholi Punjaban in 2017 comedy Fukrey Returns,[9] which proved to be a major critical and commercial success. Richa later got critical acclaim for the biopic Shakeela (2020).[10]

Chadda was part of Subhash Kapoor's Madam Chief Minister, alongside Manav Kaul and Saurabh Shukla.[11]

Early life and education[edit]

She was born on 18 December 1986 in Amritsar, Punjab.[1] Her father owns a management firm and her mother, Dr. Kusum Lata Chadda, is a professor of political science at PGDAV College of Delhi University, who has authored two books and also works with Gandhi Smriti.[12][13]

Chadda was brought up in Delhi, India. After completing her schooling from Sardar Patel Vidyalaya in 2002, she completed her undergraduate degree from St. Stephen's College, Delhi.


Chadda began her career as a model and then she moved to theater. She has performed plays touring in India and Pakistan. Later, she also received her training under Barry John.[14][15]

Initial struggles (2008–2011)[edit]

Chadda made her acting debut in a supporting role as Dolly in Dibakar Banerjee-directed 2008 film Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!. Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN described her as a "revelation " in the film.[16] She appeared in the 2010 comedy film Benny and Babloo as Fedora. Taran Adarsh reviewing for Bollywood Hungama stated that Chadda "stand[s] out with confident portrayal"[17] and Komal Nahta from Koimoi stated that she lend[s] "fine support" in the film.[18] In the meanwhile, a Kannada movie in which she had acted, titled Nirdoshi was released in 2010 after a delay of almost 3 years.[19][20]

Breakthrough (2012)[edit]

In 2012, she played a pivotal role in Anurag Kashyap's crime drama Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1. The plot (spanning 50 years) tells a story of power struggles, politics and vengeance among three crime families. She stated in an interview that this role as 'Nagma Khatoon' helped her get 11 film roles.[21] The film premiered at the 65th Cannes Film Festival and she was universally praised for her performance. Taran Adrash found Chadda "simply brilliant from the very inception".[22] Mansha Rastogi of Now Running said "Chadda brings a perfect blend of the strength and helplessness of a woman in the yesteryears".[23] She reprised her role as Nagma Khatoon in the sequel Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2. The film premiered in the Cannes Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival with its prequel. According to Madhureeta Mukherjee of The Times of India "Chadda holds fort in the sequel too, strong and poised, she's fab",[24] and Taran Adarsh stated she "fetches dignity to her character".[25] Chadda received a Filmfare Award nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category[26] and won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress.[27]

Recognition (2013–2015)[edit]

Chadda's first release of 2013 came in the Mrighdeep Singh Lamba-directed coming of age comedy film Fukrey, in which she portrayed a tough-talking female don Bholi Punjaban. Taran Adarsh wrote "Richa Chadda is in terrific form and from her introduction itself, the graph of the film steers Northwards".[28] She then appeared in one of the segments in the Anurag Kashyap-produced anthology film Shorts titled "Epilogue". Chadha and Shirvastav play a dysfunctional couple who seem extremely unhappy with each other.[29] The segment featuring Chadda, received mixed reviews from critics.[30]

Chadda next appeared in a supporting role as Rasila in Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed drama film Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, an adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Meena Iyer of The Times of India said "You have to applaud Richa Chadda ... for being the talent [she is]".[31] Sukanya Verma of wrote "Richa Chadda doesn’t have a big role but she owns the scenes she walks in with her inbuilt fire".[32] She received a nomination in IIFA Best Supporting Actress category for the role.

Chadda next appeared in Navneet Behal-directed 2014 film Tamanchey in the role of Babu, a criminal. Chadda's role received mixed reviews, being compared to her earlier works. Saibal Chatterjee reviewing for NDTV criticized: "Chadda, coming off a string of well-received screen performances, is completely off-colour here. There is far less meat in the role than she imagines",[33] though Mohar Basu from Koimoi found Chadda "feisty and brilliant in the film".[34] Chadda has worked with director Mira Nair in a Mexican-American anthology film Words with Gods which is directed by nine different directors.[35][36] Chadda plays the role of Meghna in the segment titled "God Room". It was screened out of competition at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.[37]

Masaan was appreciated at 2015 Cannes Film Festival and won two prestigious awards. NDTV's Saibal Chatterjee gave Masaan(2015) 4.5 stars, saying "Richa Chadha inhabits not just the body of Devi Pathak, but her entire soul. The result is as powerful a screen heroine as any we have seen in years."[38] Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN, said- "Masaan is a deeply affecting film that is brought to life by its remarkable cast, particularly Sanjay Mishra, Richa Chadha, and terrific new-find Vicky Kaushal."[39]

Richa Chadda talks about ‘HER’ kind of cinema after Masaan release- "People ask me what kind of cinema I ‘represent’, don't know the answer to that. All I know is that I want to be a part of change in Indian cinema. Just a tiny dent."[40][41]

After a massive appreciation for Masaan, her next movie was a biopic of Charles Sobhraj, Main Aur Charles. She played the role of Charles’ girlfriend. Being a law student, she defended Charles in legal proceedings as she tries to convince police how misunderstood the criminal Sobhraj really is. Her blind love and faith is well captured in her adamant expressions and lines. "He (Charles) can escape but no one can escape him," she says.[42]

Critical and commercial success (2016–present)[edit]

In January 2016, Chadda appeared as a journalist in social-drama Chalk n Duster.[43][44] Gayatri Gauri of Firstpost remarked ''Richa Chadda, in a supporting role as a news anchor, looks equally uncomfortable. In an effort to add aunthenticity, she is given a Gujarati dialogue, which only adds to the actor’s apparent discomfort.''[45]

She later appeared in Sarbjit, a biographical-drama film based upon the life of Sarabjit Singh. She portrayed the role of Sukhpreet, and share screen alongside Aishwarya Rai and Randeep Hooda.[46] The film received mixed reviews from critics, but was a moderate commercial success. Surabhi Redkar from praised Chadda's performance and said ''Richa Chadha as Sukhpreet, the wife does a fabulous job. She hardly speaks but emotes extremely powerfully with her eyes. As a wife longing for her husband’s return, she is spot on.''[47]

In 2017, Richa acted in an Indian web-series Inside Edge, playing the lead character of a struggling actress.[48] The series was positively received by both critics and audience.[49] In the same year, Jia Aur Jia was released. The film received unfavorable reviews from critics and did not perform well at box office too.[50][51]

After that, she reprised her role as Bholi Punjaban in Fukrey Returns, a much-awaited sequel to 2013 film Fukrey.[52][53][54] Just like its prequel, the film received mostly positive reviews from critics and became a huge commercial success, grossing more than 70 crore in just 12 days.[55][56] The film has become the highest-grossing film of Chadda.[57] Umesh Punwani of describes Richa's performance as ''Richa Chadha retains the swag and is as badass as she was in the first one. Her unconventional chemistry with Varun Sharma shines brighter in this one taking forward the dreamy pair of Choocha-Bholi.''[58]

Richa Chadha at the launch of the Shakeela 2019 Calendar

Richa Chadda worked in Sudhir Mishra's version of the Devdas saga, entitled Aur Devdas as Paro.[59] Her much delayed film with Pooja Bhatt, Cabaret, released on 9 January 2019.[60] Chadda also worked for David Womark's Indo-American production Love Sonia. The film had its world premiere at the London Indian Film Festival on 21 June 2018.[61] The film was released in India on 14 September 2018.[6][62]

Her two films, Section 375 a courtroom drama produced by Kumar Mangat Pathak, Abhishek Pathak and directed by Ajay Bahl,[63] co-starring Akshaye Khanna is releasing on 13 September 2019.[64] And her second film Panga directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari with Kangana Ranaut as main lead, is due for release on 24 January 2020.[65] And her Upcoming web-film Lahore Confidential ZEE5 Spying thriller film includes a cross-border love story for RAW Agent Ananya, played by Richa,Chadda released on 11 December 2020.[66]

Richa Chadha-starrer Shakeela released in theatres on 25 December 2020.[67] Written and directed by Indrajit Lankesh. Also stars Pankaj Tripathi as the male lead.

Her upcoming film includes Anubhav Sinha’s Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai.[68]

Venture into production (2021–present)[edit]

In 2021, she started her own film production company named Pushing Buttons Studios with Ali Fazal.[69][70]

Personal life[edit]

In 2006, Chadha directed and wrote 20-minute documentary film called "Rooted in Hope." In 2008, she participated in the "Gladrags Megamodel Contest." In May 2016, Chadda revealed in an interview to NDTV that she had suffered from bulimia (an eating disorder) for several years,[71] and that she had recovered after seeking professional help from a clinical psychiatrist.[72] Attributing her eating disorder to patriarchy, misogyny and the prevalence of the 'male gaze' in the field of entertainment, she exhorted other women to go public with their own (patriarchy-induced) eating and mental disorders and called for the destruction of 'ways of thinking' which oppressed women.[73][74]

She has been in a relationship with Ali Fazal.[4] She currently resides in Mumbai.[75]

Richa Chadda considers B. R. Ambedkar as her icon.[76][77][78]

Off-screen work[edit]

Modeling and endorsements[edit]

In 2014, she posed as a mermaid for a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ad campaign, encouraging people to avoid eating fish and to go vegetarian.[79] The same year, she walked the ramps of Lakme Fashion Week[80] and performed in a play called Trivial Disasters.[81] Although she appeared in PETA ads supporting vegetarianism, she opposed the beef ban in Indian state of Maharashtra.[82]

In 2015, Richa Chadda represented India at the 18th Marrakech International Film Festival. The festival representatives invited her as a Jury member alongside Hollywood film-maker and screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola, the president of the Marrakech Film Festival.

She had also done advertisements for Minute Maid, Tata Sky, Archies Gallery, Virgin Mobile and Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate.[83]


In January 2020, the actress had expressed solidarity with the students victimized in the JNU attack joining other actors from the film fraternity like Taapsee Pannu participating in a protest in Mumbai.[84] Earlier, she was quite vocal against police crackdown on Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University students that took place on 15 December 2019 when students in these two campuses were protesting the India's Citizenship Amendment Act.[85]


Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! Dolly
2010 Benny and Babloo Fedora
2012 Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 1 Nagma Khatoon Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress
Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 2 Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress
2013 Fukrey Bholi Punjaban
Shorts Girlfriend
Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela Rasila Sanera
2014 Tamanchey Babu
Words with Gods Meghna Indian-Mexican-American film
2015 Masaan Devi Pathak Indian-French film[86]
Main Aur Charles Mira Sharma
2016 Chalk n Duster Bhairavi Thakkar Cameo appearance
Sarbjit Sukhpreet Kaur Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress
2017 Jia Aur Jia Jia
Fukrey Returns Bholi Punjaban
2018 3 Storeys Leela
Daas Dev Paro
Love Sonia Madhuri
Ishqeria Kuku
2019 Cabaret Rose/Razia/Rajjo Released on ZEE5[87]
Section 375:Marzi Ya Jabardasti Public prosecutor Hiral Gandhi
2020 Panga Meenu [88]
Shakeela Shakeela
Ghoomketu Pagaliya Released on ZEE5[citation needed]
2021 Madam Chief Minister Tara Roopram [89]
Lahore Confidential Ananya Srivastav Released on ZEE5
Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai Films that have not yet been released TBA Filming[90]


Year Title Role Co-star Medium Notes
2021 Virus 2062 Dr. Gaytri Ali Fazal Spotify [91]

Other media[edit]

Year Title Role Medium Notes
2014 24[92] Sapna TV series Cameo appearance
2017–Present Inside Edge Zarina Malik TV series [93]
2019 One Mic Stand[94] Herself Web series Stand-up comedy on Amazon Prime
2020 55 km/sec Srishti Short film[95][96] [97]
2021 Candy Ratna Sankhwar Web series[98] [99]


Chadda at IIFA 2017 Rocks Green Carpet
Year Film Award Category Result Ref
2013 Gangs of Wasseypur Filmfare Awards Best Actress (Critics) Won [27]
Best Supporting Actress Nominated [26]
Screen Awards Best Supporting Actress [100]
Stardust Awards Best Supporting Actress [101]
Zee Cine Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Female [102]
2014 Fukrey Screen Awards Best Performance in a Comic Role Won [103]
Star Guild Awards Best Actor in a Negative Role Nominated [104]
Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela Star Guild Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role [104]
International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress [105]
Screen Awards Best Supporting Actress [106]
2015 Masaan Stardust Awards Editor's Choice Performer of the Year Won [107]
2016 Sarbjit Filmfare Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated [108]
2019 Section 375 Screen Awards Best Actress (Critics) [109]
2020 Panga Filmfare Awards Best Supporting Actress


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