Rashmika Mandanna became a pan-India sensation after the stupendous success of Pushpa: The Rise. Now, she is all set to make her Bollywood debut alongside Amitabh Bachchan in Goodbye. The film is helmed by Vikas Bahl and will release on October 7. The Free Press Journal caught up with the actress for a candid conversation. Excerpts:
How does it feel to mark your acting debut in Hindi films with Goodbye?
It feels amazing and it has been exciting for me for the last couple of years. This is perhaps my favourite part of life ever. I feel grateful that finally my hard work is paying off. It’s such a beautiful feeling that people are accepting actors in a better way. Since lines are blurring between industries, it is very liberating for actors. We as actors are here to entertain. It’s a wonderful time to be there in the Indian film industry.
Sharing screen with Amitabh Bachchan might be intimidating. Your thoughts?
Yes, of course I was. The persona he has, the experience he carries and the power of being himself is so right there around him. I was very intimidated, not because of anything but the experience he holds. He is a legend. I am an actor, who just started off trying to talk to a man, who has lived through the formation of the Indian film industry. I had to perform anyhow. Throughout the shoot, he was welcoming.
Goodbye has introduced a new genre, funeral comedy. How did you react to the script when it was first offered to you?
It was offered to me during the first lockdown. This was the first script that I read at one go. It was surprising for me that I finished reading it in an hour and half. It is gripping and I immediately agreed to do it. When I got to know that Mr. Bachchan is a part of it too, I got even more interested.
How do you take the rumours doing the rounds on social media?
Rumours are something when people talk about you but they don’t know you. People know the third person and believe what they say. But, I feel, rumours are part and parcel in any actor’s life. It doesn’t matter how many years you have spent in the industry, rumours will also be there about you. One should be welcoming to both positive and negative comments.
Do you believe that the success of Pushpa: The Rise and Sita Ramam were game changers for you?
I believe that every film has its own destiny and contributes to the filmography. Without my debut film Kirik Party (2016), I wouldn’t have got Pushpa:The Rise and Sita Ramam. I don’t know about game changers, but I feel there are certain roles that take people by storm. As an actor, I take it as a stepping stone.
How do you see your journey from hereon?
Goodbye is just the title but I am here to stay. Lines weren’t blurred so much back in the time due to no existence of social media. OTT and social media have drastically changed the landscape of cinema. I want to work with Hrithik (Roshan) sir and Ranveer (Singh) sir in Hindi films. They are extremely talented.