Though just a couple of films old, Rashmika Mandanna captured the audience’s attention and rose to fame as the heartthrob of South India.
She marked her debut with Kannada film Kirik Party, but soon enough, took the Telugu industry by storm with her cute persona in Chalo and Geetha Govindam. After her stint in the multi-starrer Devadas, the actor is being touted as ‘the next big thing’ in Telugu film industry.
In an exclusive interview with Tabloid Today, the ‘Karnataka crush’ gives a sneak peek into her life after ‘Cut’.
Bonds for life
Simple at heart, Rashmika has an adorable close-knit family. “At home, it’s my mom, dad and my six-year-old sister. I dote on my little sister and treat her like a baby,” says Rashmika.
Her formative years were spent in the hostel, where she formed a strong bond with friends. The actor adds, “I did my schooling in Coorg Public School and PUC from Mysore Institute of Commerce and Arts.
I also studied psychology, journalism and English literature from Ramaiah College. So, most of my childhood was spent in the hostel, and I am still extremely close to my school friends. I hang out or travel with them from time to time.”
Talking about her foray into acting, she says, “It was just a personal choice. It just happened and when the opportunity comes twice, you’ve definitely got to grab it…right?”
When asked, if she understood the pros and cons of the glamour world, Rashmika says, “Well, being an outsider you never really know, but it was like, ‘I want to see how this is by myself, so I’ll do it. Let’s see how it is to work here, understand how the industry works, …kind of thing.”
Rashmika credits all her films for adding something to her overall experience. Asked if she has any personal favourites, she explains, “Kirik Party, Geetha Govindam, Chalo, Chamak, Devadas, Anjaniputra… if we go by the order. Some of them were what I wanted to do and some, a learning experience.”
When it comes to co-stars and directors, the actor feels she was lucky to collaborate with such talent. “The people I’ve worked with are such lovely human beings. I wish I get to work with them again and again. They teach me something new each time – about them and everything else.”
When asked, if there is any role that she looks forward to, “A historic or biopic film would be lovely. And I want to play many characters – ones that can challenge and bring out the best in me. Characters that can bring out a side which probably even I am not aware of,” says Rashmika. She has a similar mindset, when it comes to collaborating with actors and directors.
“Each of them (all those she has worked with previously) have taught me something each time.
I am a hyper person… always, and none of them stopped me from being myself, and that’s what I love about them. And, in fact, everyone just told me to be the same and not change a bit. I’d literally never be bored working with people I’ve worked with before ever,” adds Rashmika.
Behind the bright lights
“Off camera, I am the most hyper person you’d meet and I’ll do anything to get a smile on your face. I’ll make you talk no matter who you are or what you are doing, except sleeping of course… I wouldn’t disturb then,” says the actor laughingly, and adds, “I love sports, fitness, music, dance and learning new skills. I like the small stuff mainly.”
Getting this magnitude of fame at such an early stage is not something that everyone experiences. In this regard, Rashmika feels lucky to have gotten the opportunities so far. “I got to work with amazing and accomplished people. And when they have such amazing things to say about me to the world, I see each of those moments as milestones. But, most of all, when I hear fans screaming, it gets me to work harder each time and that’s the moment I feel, ‘I am here’!” shares the actor.
Hyderabad as a city
“OMG! Hyderabad! There are tons of ice cream and dessert places here. Also, in contrast, there are tons of healthy places too. And my work of course. So, I don’t really go out for anything else.
The actor will be next seen in Telugu films Dear Comrade and Bheeshma.