Yes, you read it right. Raashi Khanna, the Madras Cafe debutante in this interview provides necessary answers behind her decision to enter Telugu films, her love for Hyderabad. She also doesn’t miss out on picking up an alien language, balancing life and work, commercial and art cinema.
Raashi Khanna Interview
1. Picking up an alien language and getting its nuances right is not an easy task, to begin with, even if it’s a regular with the heroines who make a mark here. How did you deal with it?
That wasn’t so easy as expected but still I able to pick up with a couple of friends…read more…
2. Having made a passable Hindi film debut, why was this language your preference and probably not the other south Indian ones?
For a newcomer, it’s the script that chooses them and not the other way round.
I would be lying if I confess of being flooded with offers after my debut. There were options available but having played a role quite older to my age in Madras Cafe, I was keen on not slotting myself and turn into a possible caricature.
Sai Korrapati had watched my part exclusively then and was confident of my ability to fit into the shoes of the character I play, named Prabhavati. I didn’t have to audition for it. It was a heart-tugging film, I knew within the first hearing.
There were no second-thoughts after that. It was the first offer that I had a strong liking to. Meanwhile, I was never quite conscious on choosing the Telugu cinema for a debut too. It’s just a good cinema I want to be a part of and I am sure of it in this case.
3. You weren’t exactly the apple of everyone’s eye when Madras Cafe released. Here, you get the best possible launchpad as an exclusive lead actress with continuous limelight. Are you enjoying the scenario reversal?
I am not the one who takes attention and the pressure too seriously.
I don’t live with the baggage of impressing anyone except for the director and the producer.
I have been the happiest during the shoot of Oohalu Gusagusalade and know the need to promote the film well on the same measure. But, these all are of no use if they don’t ensure a satisfying product.
I focus more on the journey than the end result. I am in love with the craft and the process behind a film.
4. Telugu film industry is known more to worship the male characters than the female ones. In a recent television interview, you too expressed your fears of merely being relegated as a dancing partner. Did Oohalu Gusagusalade help to shed such premonitions?
The narration was such a relief that I was more worried about how would I carry myself for the majority of the film.
Telugu cinema has indeed come a long way. There was a time when I wouldn’t have been wrong in knowing that the industry had to mature beyond dancing.
But later, I realized that I was living in a self-inflicted dreamy cage. It was a breath of fresh air to come across something like this and the fact that it respected its female characters as much as the male counterparts were comforting.
I am glad to arrive at a time when audiences are welcoming this new-wave cinema.
5. You had to shoot for your portions significantly in Vizag as well as Hyderabad. Have you been to these places before?
No, I didn’t get a chance to come here earlier but I assure you that Hyderabad is such a nice place to be in.
Being a resident of Delhi and having lived in Mumbai, things moved on at a frenetic pace. I like this city more so for its laidback nature and the warmth from the people around.
The traffic is a relief. (Really? We then asked how did she arrive at this astounding assumption).
For those who beg to differ, you better have a look at Mumbai to justify this. I haven’t explored them enough though. I don’t have many friends here. So, I mostly used to juggle between my guest-house and shoot locations.
6. Looking back at the special appearance in Manam, you feel that’ll help spectators identify you better when Oohalu Gusagusalade arrives?
I never had a strategy in place that I’ll do a role in Manam and turn into a recognizable face from there. That intention was never on my mind.
I suddenly got a call from Y Supriya from Annapurna Studios to do a small role for the film and I was more than glad to accept it. It was indeed a sweet gesture from their part. I am now happy that the movie has done well.
However, that won’t be an excuse to say that people will identify Raashi any better. I, in fact, doubt if everyone actually did pick or know of my presence in the film.
7. Hindi being a language that has a magnanimous reach in and out of the country is more welcoming with eclectic themes, larger budgets, and surreal production values. Didn’t the drastic downslide in the scale ever had you worried about your shift to Telugu cinema?
That was a genuine worry. While Hindi is spoken throughout the country, I am now catering myself to a single region.
There’s an advantage when you notice that I have a chance to be more prominent through a single language than go haywire in my quest to expand my base.
I am by no means quitting Bollywood either. It’s the long wait from my first film that has made you think otherwise about the shift.
I maintain that I am open to cinema sans any barriers as long as it satiates my creative intuitions.
Hope you liked the interview of Raashi Khanna