I Had To Deal With A Lot Of Negative People In My Life: Rashmika Mandanna!

I don’t take myself as a sensation yet!

After her first hit  of 2016 Kannada movie, kirik party, Actress Rashmika Mandanna had a string of movies in line. Her second was Telugu rom-com Chalo, on the side was Anjaniputra in Kanada, and in the mean time she was making an announcement about Geetha Govindam. And then came Chamak, Dev Das, Dear Comrade and now Sarileru Neekevvaru where she stars along with Mahesh Babu.

She is currently shooting for Beesham in Telugu, Sultan in Tamil and Pogaru in Kannada.

If they treat me as an actress with very little to contribute to the film, I do not like it.

While the privilege of choosing films isn’t handed down early in filming career, Rashmika likes to choose her scripts carefully. “What draws me to a script is how different the character is, and whether I feel strongly about the content. Even if there is a louder voice in the film that is delivering a good message, I’ll extend my support,” She reveals. “It is also important to me that I be included in the narration from the initial script. Only then I feel like I’m a part of the film. If they treat me as just a heroine playing second fiddle in the film, I do not like it. If the team is getting together, sitting on a script narration, I know that I need to be there.” She says.

It was the first film that I gave in so much. Physically, mentally, emotionally.

This is one of the reasons that the Oscar-nominated Dear Comrade remains close to Rashmika’s heart. She played the role of a star cricketer, for which she had to train four months before the shooting even began.“From the script narration, to moulding myself  mentally and physically, into the role of the tough cricketer, I was very involved in the movie. The output from all the training was only a two-minute scene; they could have edited or just put in a double or something like that. But the director came to me and said he wanted very specific behaviour for this cricket-oriented character, and that it was important for me to know the game. The team would call me when they played matches. Dear Comrade is the first film that I gave in so much, physically, mentally, emotionally. They made me work harder, and that’s when I became a true part of the movie.”

I don’t take myself as a sensation yet.

With more than 3 million followers on Instagram, movies from three languages, commercial hits and more, Rashmika is the south’s newest sensation. At just 23, all this can get a bit over-whelming, but Rashmika is a far from taking herself too seriously.  “For me, nothing was an overnight sensation, it was a whole process. I find myself journeying with each of my movies. Even if it is a massive hit, it doesn’t go to my head. Even now when I’m in my hometown not many people recognise me. Apparently I look very different off-screen. I look like a little girl off-screen, and very mature on screen. I get a lot of ‘Are you Rashmika Mandanna?’ to which I reply ‘No sorry, a lot of people get me confused with her a lot.’ I know that’s evil but I do it for the kick of it,” she laughs. “I don’t take myself as a sensation yet. I want to grow more and I want people to appreciate my work.”

For an outsider, the film industry can look like a very scary field to be in

When Rashmika was new to the limelight and was taking her initial steps into the film industry she was warned by her close ones to be careful, since the cine field is most of the time not considered safe especially for “young girls” and she was barely 19 when she started her career. “Growing up, there were a lot of such negative people I had to deal with in my life. But when I came into the industry, what I personally realised was that we have some of the sweetest people here. Everyone I’ve met so far in the industry and worked with are such nice people, I don’t mind working with them a hundred more times. I have no complaints. This was a shocker to me, when I was about to enter the industry, all my friends and relatives warned me to be careful,” she says looking back.  “Thank god I’m in the film industry, I feel blessed. Not because of the fame and all that but for the love I get, from the people here. It is amazing. It was rather a beautiful surprise than a shock delving this deep into the film industry.


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