Rucha Inamdar recently won the Special Jury Award at the Ottawa Indian Film Festival for film Not Today, which highlights the issue of mental health. She has previously acted in web series such as Criminal Justice and Operation Parindey. “It’s amazing that the performance really touched someone’s heart so much that the Special Jury Award was announced. I would definitely keep portraying more and more such heartfelt characters," reacted Rucha.
Rucha, who plays a 24-year-old young girl Aliah and her first day at a suicide prevention centre, shared how she prepared for the role. She said, “My character Aliah is a Bohra Muslim girl. I have friends from the Bohra community but I had not seen the culture so closely. So, for Aliah, the way they eat in a thaal with that little pinch of salt and small little things I learned about them. Aliah was a very different person and the conflict had to be shown correctly. So, the preparations were more on the outside part of the character. But internally Aliah really resonated with me so to understand why she was in the need to save someone wasn’t difficult for me to understand. It came very naturally to me, all I had to do was be very reactive and be emotionally vulnerable without any guards."
She continued about the challenges, “Aliah most of the time is out on the streets of Mumbai which was obviously challenging because we were shooting at live location on a divider with vehicles passing by and in metro, in trains so it does get very difficult there because there are too many other factors that come into play. Of course as an actor and a performer all the things happening around you affect you, yet you cannot let the character get affected to the extend that the audience get affected by these things. So to get the emotions sound while everything else was continuously changing was the biggest challenge. There is a scene where Aliah is crossing the road and emotionally she reaches to the point that she just sits down on that divider and breaks down, there were actual vehicles in full speed passing by while we were doing the take and to get the right take, to get the right emotion with all that was quiet a challenge. So, all these external factors were actually the big challenge while filming Not Today."
How does an international recognition change things for actors back in India? “I would like to answer this in two parts - personally it really makes you feel very good and able as an actor because the international audience is an audience who have grown up in a different set-up who have had very different experiences in life, still if they really like your performance and it resonates with them means the emotional language is correct. While portraying the part the emotional language that I used has triggered the right emotion in them, that makes me feel very happy. How things change back here in India because of an international recognition is that a lot more people know you as an actor to look for, they do check out more of the other work that you have done which gives you more opportunities and you get a lot more characters to portray, which is great," the actress concluded.