Rasika Dugal
Rasika Dugal talks about working in Nikhil Advani's TV show "P.O.W - Bandi Yuddh Ke.PR Handout

Known for working in critically acclaimed films like Kshay and Qissa, actress Rasika Dugal is now making her presence felt on small screen with Nikhil Advani's show P.O.W - Bandi Yuddh Ke.

In an exclusive chat with International Business Times, India, Rasika opens up about her role in P.O.W - Bandi Yuddh Ke, how she prepared for it and what next is in her plans.

Here are the edited excerpts from the interview:

International Business Times: How did Nikhil Advani's P.O.W. happen to you?

Rasika: Nikhils assistant Pallavi Jindal called me one day saying that Nikhil had watched Qissa (a film I have done with Irrfan Khan, Tisca Chopra and Tillotama Shome) and he wanted to meet me. I went for a meeting. He said he wanted me to do the part and I said I would be delighted to. I have come to realise that the best projects happen most effortlessly and most unexpectedly.

IBT: Tell us about your role and how did you prepare for it

Rasika: I play a single mother raising a hearing-impaired child. She wants to encourage her child to speak and lip read rather than use sign language. Nikhil put me in touch with his mother-in-law who runs a school which does exactly that and I spent some time there. They discourage students and faculty from using sign language and equip their students with enough skills so they can be integrated into regular school after a certain point. I also watched an American television series called Switched at Birth which deals with issues of hearing impaired people very sensitively.

IBT: The show is yet to strike a chord with audience; what do you think is the reason behind it?

Rasika: Has it not? Depends on who you are asking, I guess. Honestly, the business of ratings is not one which I understand.

IBT: Do you think the war-genre show will attract the same audience on television that watches saas-bahu and comedy shows?

Rasika: I think a story told well finds its audience. So, in that sense, I think P.O.W. will have its own audience. Also, I think we constantly underestimate our audiences. I think they are far more open to change than we give them credit for. I also feel like audiences have their own idiosyncrasies and we constantly ignore that and slot them into patterns. Someone who loves watching a saas-bahu might also enjoy a thriller and vice versa...you never know!

IBT: Tell us about your equation with the other co-stars in the show

Rasika: There are many actors on POW who I have a lot of respect for as performers. I have worked with some of them before and I know some of them personally. So, it's a complete comfort zone!

IBT: What's next after P.O.W.?

Rasika: Soon after I finish shooting for P.O.W., I will be starting work on Nandita Dass' film on Manto. Nawazuddin Siddiqui will be playing Manto and I will be playing his wife. I am really looking forward to this one.