4 min read

Rasika Dugal Recalls Producers Calling Her ‘Not Sellable’ After Her Five Films Boomed At Box-office


September 25, 2021

4 min


Rasika Dugal shares a phase of her life when producers labeled Rasika as ‘not sellable’ after her five projects didn’t work out as planned. So if she could, that’s what she’d tell 18-year-old Rasika that she’s doing the right things, don’t second guess it.

Rasika Dugal has worked in multiple big-ticket projects and has given some extremely promising performances which include Mirzapur, Out Of Love, Manto, and many more to say the least. She recalls a time where she was labeled by the producers for not being sellable as her five projects didn’t work out as planned.

Watch Anurag Kashyap’s movie Haddi on ZEE5 anywhere and anytime.

Rashika recently shared she grew up in Jamshedpur. Most children there had the same answer to, ‘Bade hoke kya banna hai?’– ‘Doctor ya engineer.’ She was no different. But everything changed when she went to college. There were so many talented people around Dugal–dancers & artists; A door had opened to a whole new world. Rasika explored drama but she didn’t think she would act professionally. Then one day she read about the acting course at FTII. On a whim, she applied & got through! During orientation, she wondered, ‘Main kahan aa gayi hun?’ But 6 months in, she knew this is what she wanted to do for as long as she can help it. After the acting course, she came to Bombay with a single-minded desire to be an actor. She would give 5 auditions a day; she’d just show up at auditions. It was simple, she wanted work and people had work to offer so it was a win-win situation.


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Rasika was advised against doing small roles, but she still did 14 films in small parts including ‘No Smoking’ by Anurag Kashyap. She’d proudly say that she acted in an Anurag Kashyap movie. Some mocked her for the length of the role but she was proud of her work. Then she got a lead part in a film called Kshay–on the best day of the shoot we had only 4 people on set. At times, she’d hold the thermocol sheet on the shot. Somehow the film got made & premiered at the Chicago International Film Festival. Reviewers praised her performance; she was thrilled! After Kshay, she worked with Irrfan, Tisca & Tillotama in Qissa. Then, I almost signed 5 films but none worked out; producers said she wasn’t ‘sellable’. It was the lowest time in my career. Still, she didn’t question my decision of being an actor; she believed something good would come her way.

Talking about the one call that changed everything Rasika also shared her phone rang–it was Nandita Das. She wanted to cast her in Manto and that changed everything! Then, Mirzapur happened. Rasika was craving a project that would reach a wide audience that she wouldn’t have to tell people about. Mirzapur was that for her. She’s never had one goal. From wanting to be a doctor to pursue acting on a whim, she has been all over the place. But she’s always trusted her instincts and that has brought her here! So if she could, that’s what she’d tell 18-year-old Rasika that she’s doing the right things, don’t second guess it.

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