Raising The Roof

It has been just a little over a year since Rashmika Mandanna, the young starlet from Karnataka, debuted in Tollywood. Within this short span, she has become one of the youngest to enter the Tollywood rs. 100 crore club, thanks to the blockbuster hit Geetha Govindam. When she walks into any room, we immediately realise that all the vivacity we see in her on-screens is very much original! Rashmika may be one of the most sought-after actors in the south but she is also a happy millenial with a cute and highly expressive face and a spirited heart. We can confidently state that she will become the next sensation in Tamil cinema too and our conversation with this lovely lass confirms our view! Read on for some exercepts from our lively chat sensation with Rashmika Mandanna…

Text: MOHAN K

Dear Comrade had been a popular movie even before its release and now we hear that you are being approached for several Tamil films apart from Sulthan?

(Laughing) It feels wonderful and if these movies materialise, it would be a great thing.

You and the crew of Dear Comrade had music concerts in most of the popular south Indian cities as part of promoting the film. How did this idea come to be?

Dear Comrade initially began as a Telugu movie. During the pre-production stage, we decided that it can be taken as a pan-south bilingual, as the crew began to feel that the story could be more than just for a regional flick. When we began to look for marketing ideas, somebody suggested that we do a tour of all the major cities in the South. The crew immediately got excited and that was what set it all rolling. We had shows in Bengaluru, Kochi and Chennai. I’m trying to learn Tamil and though I haven’t tried a lot of the cuisine there, I did enjoy the fish curry here.

You’ve acted twice as Vijay Deverakonda’s love interest. Between Bobby and Govinda, who would you like to date?

Bobby, maybe.

You are very active on social media and troll people online often. Is that habitual? And you are regularly copied on Tik Tok. One of the most copied clips is you adjusting your saree in the ‘Inkem Inkem’ song…

I’ve always been a person who would ask questions and voice out on the issues I see. Actually, even I am amused with all the videos I get tagged in, on Tik Tok. I get tagged in a lot of videos copying that saree-adjusting video. When that was recorded, I was simply getting ready for a shot. They asked me to look over and I did. I used to get tagged in a lot of videos and I thought, “this is amusing”. Even boys are copying it!

You were born in Karnataka and have a substantial fan base in the Telugu states. Now, you are fast gaining huge numbers of fans in Tamil Nadu too. What do you think about this rapidly growing popularity?

I was born in Coorg and debuted in a Kannada movie. I later got an offer in Tollywood and now I’m here. In this journey, the biggest focus is on the cultural differences in our states. I’m surprised that India can exist as one country, given the number of languages in our land. People are different in different states – the languages are different; the way of talking is different; but I enjoy the process because I like learning and I like researching. If I want to work in a Tamil movie, I need to understand what the sensibilities of the Tamil audience are. If one cannot figure that out, they can get into trouble.

We heard that you may be acting in Thalapathy 64?

 Oh my! That is just a rumour. How can Thalapathy select a small-time actress like me! (Laughing)

Your tattoo says, ‘Irreplacable’… What’s the story behind it?

I got this tattoo when I was 16 years old. I did not have permission from my parents to actually get a tattoo. I hid the intention and only showed it to my parents, after I had gotten it done. By then, they couldn’t do anything about it! Back then, I used to walk around saying “I’m irreplaceable.” Now, when girls tell me stories of their lives, their struggles and insecurities, I keep telling them that they are irreplaceable.

RAPID FIRE

You played a cricketer in Dear Comrade. Name some batting moves in cricket?

Defense, drive, hook, slog!

Movies that you recently watched from all the five major languages?

Super Deluxe, Remo, Mersal, Sarkar, Maari 2 and NGK in Tamil. I watch Mollywood movies but it is difficult to remember the names. Off the bat, I remember that Charlie is a wonderful movie. In Telugu, recently I watched Maharshi and Oh Baby!

First time you broke down?

I sobbed my eyes out once, because of poor marks in school exams.

First time you were appreciated?

Was for a dance performance at school.

First salary?

Kirik Party!

A teacher you remember well?

I remember Padma ma’am from school, because she is the first one who told me I dance well and encouraged me to follow it.

First love?

Was in 5th standard. Sadly, every time I fall in love, it will be one sided. It’s pretty sad but that’s how it is.

First trip abroad?

The first time I went abroad was for a movie’s shooting only.

First concert?

I attended my first concert when I was studying in PUC. And the second concert was for Dear Comrade!

And on this note, the bubby Rashmika Mandanna signed off! We wish her all success for her future endeavours!