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"The Girl on Fire" - A Blazing Success Story of Rashmika Mandanna

You made your debut in a Kanada film titled “Kirik Party”. How was the experience?

It was entirely a new experience for me, totally alien to what I’ve known or done so far. There was a lot I didn’t know about the industry back then and maybe that’s why I could keep it as real on-screen as I had absolutely no idea how to act.

How did it feel to look at you on-screen for the first time?

Watching myself on-screen for the first time felt so surreal. Even today after a couple of movies it stills feels new. Since the beginning, until now it's been the same thing, It feels like someone else is on-screen and not me. Maybe because I’ve played so many different characters that it doesn't feel like me.

What did the industry teach you?

I don’t know how to describe it exactly, may be to be patient. I have been learning a lot every day, meeting so many kinds of people, doing plenty new things and visiting different places. Therefore, I would say the industry keeps teaching me something new every day.

What’s your dream role?

It depends. I like experimenting. I like living different lives and that's what it’s been in my films.

Can you tell us about your upcoming movies?

Well I’ve Pushpa lined up for now which has been announced and others I can reveal only after the official announcements from the respective production houses. I am a very secretive person so you will never know.

A genre that you love?

As an audience, I am more of a rom-com kind of a person and love a complete mass, action kind of a movie too. I have not watched a horror film in my life ever.

Among all the characters you’ve played, which one is close to your heart and why?

I think 'Lilly'. I don't even have to think twice about it. I loved portraying her in "Dear Comrade" because it felt extremely real and therefore is very close to my heart.

Whom do you consider as your perfect co-star?

Well I’ve worked with some of the most amazing people in the industry. Those who I had worked with were perfect for their roles and yeah I don't know who my perfect co-star is.

How did you get into this career?

It was not planned though; I took part in a campaign called Fresh Face of the year 2014. My “Kirik Party” team had seen my picture from there and contacted me. I had an audition, got selected and here I am.

What’s your preparation ritual before going to the shooting spot?

Well, I prepare as much as possible, of course you have the character running in your mind all the time but you will never know completely till you go out there and start living the character. It takes a minimum of 2 days to a week for me to start knowing the character completely but the preparation process continues for almost the entire film as I try my best to follow my director’s instructions to the core. The first day is always the most scariest, doubting if I know the character well, how are people going be on the set, other experiences and so on.

Memory you recall from the film Geetha Govindam...!

My first memory of the movie was the first day shoot of the Inkem song. I was styled in a saree and 'chalar theh sen meh mariponama' was my first scene. I didn't know much of telugu back then and was struggling with the lines.

How do you handle controversies?

Yeah, good question. I am okay with it because people talk as they have no other choice. I like being in a controversy, it’s amusing. No matter the truth I tell, nobody wants to know the actual fact is. They will believe what they want to believe so yeah i actually don’t mind.

A style that sets you apart from others?

It’s being real. It’s not a style but I think I am as real as anything can get and that's what people like about me.

What has been the most beautiful moment in your career?

It’s when people show their love. Most beautiful moment has been when my family felt so proud of me for the work I’d done. Also, when people walk out of the theater with appreciation like 'Wow, that was a good fun film.

How would you define yourself?

I can't. I don’t think I can or will ever be able to define myself. If you would ask me the same question in about a year, you might get a completely different answer for it and that is exactly why I can't define myself.

What is your biggest strength?

It’s patience. I have a lot of patience. My family thinks it’s my smile, I too could consider that as my strength, maybe you should ask this to others as to what they think is Rashmika's biggest strength.

Your thoughts on the concept of perfect happiness?

Love, I think it is absolute unconditional love from your family, from the people around or anyone you cherish and when you receive that love, you find happiness. I think all the peace and sanity comes from that kind of a love

Earlier you were titled as Karnataka’s crush, is it only Karnataka?

Well, I think you got to answer this for me; please go ahead and answer.

Your favorite travel spot and why?

Well I want to travel the world. So maybe after I’ve lived this dream of mine, I shall have an answer but right now I have a long way to go.

Tell us about your adorable pets.

Well for starters, I would like to tell that my home is a huge jungle. Once you step foot, you will find trees, wild fruits, vegetables, everything from snakes to new born puppies, German shepherds, pigeons, kittens and what not. I can't choose one among them. On a lighter note, I think my little sister. She is my little pet. She gives me the most joy.

If you would like to describe your life in a song, which one would it be?

Well right now, "Apna time aayaga". I have no idea why. I would also say "Stronger".

Your quarantine story.

Wakeup, eat, watch a film, study something, workout, eat and sleep. Wake up and repeat.

Favorite ice cream flavor: Butterscotch

Would you choose women centric movies?

Well it depends on the script. I want to be a part of good films. I want to work with good film maker and that's my choice.

What is the other side of Rashmika which many don't know about?

Well you don’t know that side of Rashmika because it’s not supposed to be known. I am a secretive person; you will have to figure me out. I might seem to be an open book but I think there is more to me than that aspect. It will be fun figuring that out.

Love, Team She


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