Shooting from the Heart – Mahat Raghavendra

Being a part of films since 2006 (albeit in uncredited roles), Mahat Raghavendra entered movies in a full time role with Thala Ajith’s Mankatha, in 2011! Since then, he has shared screen space with biggies like Thalapathy Vijay, Mohanlal and STR. The recently concluded Season 2 of the Tamil version of Bigg Boss, has given him a much-needed break. Mahat earned the name for wearing his heart on his sleeve and speaking his heart out at all times, even if it meant antagonising his fellow housemates. However, the sweeter side of him was also evident when he used to immediately make up with them. His attitude earned him a fair share of both fans and haters. Now, after the Bigg Boss house Mahat has quite a lot of movie offers coming his way and is busy with projects lining up. We recently caught up with him and picked his thoughts on his Bigg Boss experiences, his fellow contestants, upcoming projects and more…

Text: MOHANK K

Photographer: DINESH BABURAJ

Styling: ROSH & PAVI

Hair & Makeup: RAMYA & TEAM

Location: RAMADA PLAZA, CHENNAI

Wardrobe: Gatsby.Aliph and Celio

HOW WAS THE WHOLE BIGG BOSS EXPERIENCE? 

It was great and overall, it was a fantastic experience. It has worked wonders for my career and I have gotten a lot of offers that have come my way. Very soon, I shall reveal more details about the three movies that I have lined up. They are all big production houses.

WHO ACCORDING TO YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE WINNER? 

Every single participant deserves to be a winner. Each and every person is unique in their own way. It is a show where they have to bring out their reality. The show is over now and Rythvika is the winner as adjudged on the show. To me, everybody has won, as all of us are getting more work and I am happy for that.

WHAT HAS CHANGED IN MAHAT FROM BEFORE BIGG BOSS AND AFTER IT? 

My patience level has increased tremendously. Earlier, I used to have some fears and insecurities regarding my work and career. Thankfully, I don’t have them now. I am now very happy and confident in life.

HAVE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE OTHER PARTICIPANTS CHANGED, NOW THAT THE COMPETITION IS OVER? 

I am good with everybody. I don’t have anything against anyone. We cannot travel with a personal hatred or vengeance against anybody. Even if there’s a fight, I would only carry my anger for ten minutes and not more than that. Everybody has a different personality and I respect their individuality. We are all good friends at the end of the day.

WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST POSITIVES YOU TOOK AWAY FROM THE COMPETITION? 

Apart from a lot of confidence for my career and high levels of patience, I also learned the value of food. Valuing relationships is another big positive that I have learned. I’ve learned to appreciate things in life and have stopped taking a lot of things for granted.

DO YOU THINK YOUR IMAGE HAS BEEN DAMAGED OR ENHANCED BY BIGG BOSS? 

It has only helped me in all ways and my image has only been enhanced in the public eye. The audiences shouted at me but after I got eliminated they have shown a lot of love towards me. The audiences did not have an aversion towards me but more of a disappointment that the Mahat they liked was reacting this way. I got to know a lot from the way people reacted. I thank each and every single person who watched Bigg Boss and supported & voted for me. 

HOW WAS THE EXPERIENCE OF INTERACTING WITH KAMAL HAASAN?

All of us travelled throughout the Bigg Boss journey, like a family and I was honoured and blessed to have Kamal sir as our family’s head – guiding us. He’s such a legend whose movies we watched while growing up. I thank Bigg Boss & Vijay TV for such an opportunity and Kamal sir for being there for us. 

TELL US ABOUT HOW YOUR FRIENDSHIP WITH STR STARTED AND HOW THE JOURNEY HAS BEEN?

Both of us have been friends since childhood. It was him who forced me to become a part of Bigg Boss, despite me being apprehensive. Even after I stepped out of the house, he has been very supportive of me. He pointed out my mistakes and told me how to correct them. He has stood by my life always and he will definitely continue doing so. Even when I was inside the house, he supported me and is even now guiding me as to what kind of movies I should choose. He is doing his best to see me succeed in my career. He always believes in all of his friends and everybody around him, becoming successful.

WHAT TYPE OF PROJECTS ARE COMING YOUR WAY NOW?

I guess after seeing me in Bigg Boss, almost all the filmmakers think people would accept me only as an angry young man. Many roles coming my way are either action oriented or romance based.

DID YOU MEET RYTHVIKA AND DANNY AFTER THE SHOW?

All of us met at the success party, recently. It was very happy to catch up with all of the others. Even Mumtaz had spoken well about me in a recent interview. There is no hate or anything between us but whatever happened was just momentary.

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT BIGG BOSS THAT THE PUBLIC HAVEN’T SEEN YET?

I would state that there is nothing fake about Bigg Boss. Some tasks lead us to behave in certain ways. Just because I was eliminated, I cannot claim that the show is scripted. Vijay TV cannot telecast the program 24-hours a day. They have to edit and show the best of what has happened.

ACCORDING TO YOU, WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEASON 1 AND 2 OF BIGG BOSS?

I feel that the people were the biggest difference and also the tasks. It is the contestants that add flavour to the show and I guess that makes the most difference. 

IS THERE ANY RECENTLY RELEASED MOVIE, YOU WISHED YOU HAD BEEN A PART OF?

I have never felt like that and believe that everybody will get what they deserve. Everybody wants to become a superstar and I too want to be successful in my career. 

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM ROLE?

It may sound cliched but I would love to experiment in all kinds of roles. I have loved acting from my childhood and irrespective of the character, I want to act. I would be happy to have a role which lets me be myself. It is not love towards a single role but towards acting in general. 

WHAT ARE THE THREE THINGS THAT YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT?

I love sleeping. All of us work hard for food and sleep but I enjoy my sleep. I absolutely love the refreshed feel we get after a good sleep. I love listening to music and movies. Travelling and long drives are other favourites. Above all of this, spending time with myself is something I love. Just relaxing at home with Netflix is something I am most comfortable with.

THREE THINGS THAT YOU WILL NEVER LEAVE YOUR HOME WITHOUT?

Vehicle key, my phone and some cash along with my license and PAN card. Somehow, I am not used to carrying a wallet.

WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE THING IN YOUR JOURNEY WITH STR, SO FAR?

It has been a very long journey and there are countless things to say. Overall, the way he supports and stands behind a friend, is something that is outstanding. Many of my friends (though I don’t blame them for that), were quiet when the public were disappointed with me while I was in the Bigg Boss house. However, he spoke out in support of me and I am blessed to have such a friend. We go on many long drives together and I sit with him when he composes music. If he has composed some new song, he immediately plays it for me. Also, apart from Simbu there are a few friends whom I definitely have to mention. Daya (Dayanidhi Alagiri), his wife Anusha & Rave (Revathy) are friends who have stood by my side and supported me all through, just like Simbu. They are the reasons for my success. My thanks go to my mom, dad and especially my sister Renu. I would definitely wish to thank the best person ever who has changed my life for the better – Prachi Mishra, my girlfriend. I had actually given up on movies at one point, but it was she who motivated me and gave me the confidence to move on. I thank god for giving me all of these people. She did not give up on me despite many people talking a whole lot of things. I would also like to thank my friend Deva, who handles all my professional work. Despite me getting a bad reputation while inside the house, my good friend Harish Kalyan gave a lot of positive interviews about me and I thank him very much for that. I also want to thank each and every member of the Bigg Boss crew for working so hard on the show and Ritz and Galatta for supporting me always. A special thanks goes out to every person who voted for me.

MAHAT’S ALL TIME FAVOURITES: 

Food – Mutton Biryani

Colour – Black

Movie – VTV, Manmadhan & now CCV.

Book – Am not much of a book person.

Hero – The one and only Simbu. I like Kamal sir, Rajni sir, Ajith sir and Vijay anna. However, the way Simbu stands up for public issues without bothering about anybody or anything, makes him the biggest hero in my eyes.

Heroine – There are many. I like Kajal Aggarwal, Trisha, Nayantara, Jyothika & Simran ma’am.

Holiday location – Kodaikanal, Masinagudi & Dubai.

Superhero – Iron Man. I love the character and Robert Downey Jr., who plays the role. His swag is just wow!

Cartoon – Popeye