Rashmika Mandanna on Dear Comrade, working with Vijay Devarakonda: I'm quite confident about film's success
Rashmika Mandanna is slowly but steadily making her presence felt in the South film industry, with a careful selection of films like Dear Comrade.
Rashmika Mandanna is slowly but steadily making her presence felt in the South film industry.
She started her career with the Kannada film Kirik Party, and now has three big films to her name — Dear Comrade with Vijay Devarakonda, Telugu Superstar Mahesh Babu’s Sarileru Neekevvaru and Allu Arjun’s soon to be commenced film with Trivikram Srinivas.
“When I started my career with Kirik Party, I had my own doubts on whether people would remember my face after watching the film. But they loved my role and since then, I’ve become more serious about this profession. I’ve put my heart and soul for each film to make sure that I learn and grow with each project,” she says.
“I still remember the moment when my Twitter followers changed to 1k from the magical number 999. Later, the fan base kept on growing. But even now, I think that people come to theaters to see the person standing next to me on the screen. The popularity is yet to sink in,” gushes Rashmika.
She says Geetha Govindam contributed to her major success. “I can say that Kirik Party gave me a platform in the film industry, Geetha Govindam pushed me to another level and I seriously believe that Dear Comrade would multiply the success even more”, she says.
Rashmika also says she doesn’t believe in the luck factor. “I don’t think luck played any role in my career and people also don’t cast me just because of my fanbase. I think the big projects come in my way because the directors think that I have talent and ability to pull off the character.”
When asked her to compare Geetha Govindam and Dear Comrade since Vijay Devarakonda is her costar in both these films, she says, “I can’t compare both these films. Because in Geetha Govindam, my character controls Vijay as the script demanded it, whereas Dear Comrade will be an emotional roller-coaster. Vijay and I are glad that we acted together in two films that are completely in contrast. After the release of Dear Comrade, people will close their eyes and point out the difference between Geetha-Govind and Bobby-Lilly pairings,” she says.
What was her preparation like for Dear Comrade? She had to cut her hair, she dubbed for nearly four months to get the language right and also shot nearly 110 days for, Rashmika reveals. “I wasn’t sure whether I’m capable of learning a sport like cricket but they [makers] made sure I practice the game regularly. I have black marks and one day I'll probably post it on social media.”
Expressing her confidence in Dear Comrade, Rashmika says, “I’ve seen the film and quite confident about its success. Though we expected the trailer to be received well in Telugu, the Tamil version also got more than one million views. The love that I’m getting from Tamil audiences is totally unexpected. I heard that once they love an actor, Tamil audiences will embrace them for long.”
Since Rashmika has now shared screen space with Vijay Devarakonda in two films, we had to ask her what she thought of the debate around Arjun Reddy/Kabir Singh. “I’m a feminist and always make sure to stand up for my rights, but when I choose a film, will not see such factors because filmmaking is all about narrating beautiful stories. Even in Kabir Singh, I don’t see anything wrong in Preeti’s character. Her silence provided an emotional connect to the film.”
She continues, “While choosing scripts, I want my character to contribute to the story in some way. I don’t want to play an eye-candy heroine. But in case of debut films, it’s all about establishing yourself to the audiences. After establishing myself, can do experimental roles? Who knows? I may even play a bossy woman in my next.”
Though Rashmika doesn’t have a film background, she gauges the taste of audiences by directly interacting with them. "First and foremost, I should feel proud of my films. Even if it doesn't click at the box office, people should remember my character after ten years."
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