Rashmika Mandanna on Sulthan, juggling multiple industries, and possible return to Kannada cinema

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Rashmika Mandanna says she got a lot of offers before Sulthan in the Tamil film industry, but she waited for the right moment and role

Rashmika Mandanna is the most popular Pan-Indian star in the current generation that she has been doing films across the four industries —Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, and Hindi. Though Sulthan is her debut film in Tamil, she is already a well-known name among the fans in Tamil Nadu, thanks to her hit songs in Dear Comrade and Geetha Govindam.

“My dad and I grew up watching Tamil films. When I got the offer of Sulthan, my dad was super excited because he always wanted me to act in a Tamil film. I had spent a little part of my life in Chennai. My family like the people here, their culture, the food, and the overall vibe of this state”, says Rashmika while talking to the media ahead of her big release Sulthan.

Rashmika adds that she got a lot of offers before Sulthan in Tamil but she waited for the right moment and role. “I did get several offers from Tamil but I was particular about my debut in any language. If you look at my career, I was very cautious about my debut film in each industry. For Tamil, I had visualised myself as a girl who hails from the village and Bakkiyaraj Kannan rightly approached me with one such lovely character that I couldn’t say no. Also, who wouldn’t pair opposite an incredible performer like Karthi sir?”, she says.

“I was super excited about playing the village girl but when director Bakkiyaraj asked me to drive the tractor and hold the rooster, understood the difficulty in playing the ever pleasant Tamil Ponnu. Though the visuals are pleasant and cute, exploring the unknown territories isn’t that easy”, she laughs.

While shooting for Sulthan, Rashmika fell sick but didn’t inform her crew and continued shooting. “I hate when my team cancels the shoot because of me. Despite the high fever, I was shooting for Sulthan but Karthi sir and my director Bakkiyaraj found that I was struggling and my body started shrinking. They insisted me to go and consult with the doctor. Later, doctors found that it was dengue. If not for the caring team, I wouldn’t have rushed to the hospital”.

Sharing her experience with Karthi, the actress says “The world needs more people like Karthi sir. Being an actress who acts in multiple languages, I would like to know the thought process of incredible performers like Karthi sir. His preparation for a role and how he pulls off a character like the one he did Kaithi are inspiring”.

Talking about her ability to act in multiple languages, Rashmika says “Well, it’s indeed a difficult process. Though I dub my lines in Kannada, Telugu, and Hindi, it’s not all easy to shift among these languages. I would take at least one or two days to tune myself to the vibe of the language. I badly wanted to dub my lines in Tamil for Sulthan but unfortunately, they completed the dubbing process during the pandemic that I couldn’t travel”.

Rashmika has been signing only big films featuring leading stars like Mahesh Babu, Allu Arjun, Vijay Devarakonda, and Karthi. “I think these big films happened only because of my body of work. They feel that somehow I add value to their film. Also, as an actor, I have to predict my future and hence, choosing the right films at the right time is my strength”.

When asked whether choosing big projects only make her unapproachable, the actress says “That’s good right? People wouldn’t take me for granted and they approach me only with good scripts and roles”.

During the interviews and promotional events, Rashmika appears to be super energetic and a happy person who would never upset or lose her temper. Whether this particular image affects her in professional life that people might not take her seriously. “Well, when it comes to my profession, I’m particular about everything. If someone in my team is not doing their work properly, would tell them once and might give them a second chance. But if they are not true to their work, would expel them. There is also a serious side in me but it comes out only when needed”, she explains.

Talking about her success journey, Rashmika says “Initially, I was super stressed out about my career. Later, found that when we work hard, things would fall in place and there is no need to think too much. You wouldn’t believe that I only slept two to three hours a day for the past fifteen days but my busy schedule and the encouragement from my fans give me happiness. In one year, I’ve completed around five films. As you said, I appear energetic in the promotional events and look happy because of the support and positive comments I get from my fans. One can’t fake happiness”.

On her possible return to Kannada cinema, the actress says “As a human being, I’m trying to do a lot of films but since I have signing films across all the languages, things are a bit difficult to return to Kannada cinema but if a good script and project come my way, I wouldn’t say no”.

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