Bollywood actress Richa Chadha will be playing the lead role in a biopic on Shakeela, a 1990s’ actress from Kerala who acted in several adult films in languages like Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada.

Shakeela ruled the entire south film industry back in 90’s and continues to work even today as an actress. The biopic on Southern film star is directed by Indrajit Lankesh.

She garnered enough strength of pulling crowds to cinema halls weeks after weeks even biggest south superstars were in puzzled whether to release their films or not in competition with a Shakeela film.

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Richa was the apt choice for Indrajeet to play Shakeela and before commencing the shooting, Richa had a rendezvous with Shakeela in Bangalore to under the nuances from real Shakeela herself. Seeing the camaraderie between both the actors and also to honour Shakeela’s popularity Indrajeet roped in real Shakeela for a cameo in the film. This would a visual treat for all Shakeela and Richa fans to see both reel and real Shakeela in single frame.

Director Indrajit Lankesh spoke on the film and said, “I always wanted to make a film on Shakeela, I was immensely impressed with her onscreen and offscreen 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. She has been an integral part of the making of this film and she has given us such detailed insights into her life”.

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Further, he added and said, “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 our art direction and how her house was and is in real life, such small details which have helped us. It was nice shooting her for Shakeela biopic, though I have shot with her before for my another film 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 t be an actress should see her story, to know what she went through to become an actress and how it was such a compelling rags to riches to rags story of her life”.

Shakeela is set to release sometime early next year and the film will focus on the actress’s rise to stardom and her popularity in Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil cinema.