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SHE IS ALL AND SUBSTANCE SHINE

Call her lucky, call her hard working or just call her persistent, Raashi Khanna has definitely captured a top spot in the marquee with verve and zest. Hers is a story of aspiration, ambition, aptitude and attitude. Be it her killer smile, her infallible comic timing or her spunky aura, her fans lap up whatever she serves. Maintaining a perfect balance of shine and substance in her reel and real life, she has established herself as one of the most successful leading actresses. The excitement in her tone is palpable as she gives insights into her journey, career and how she aspires to be better and the best.

WHAT’S HAPPENING
Congarts for the success of Tholi Prema. Thoughts?
I am on cloud 9 but at the same time a tad nervous since Tholi Prema raised the bar for me.

What did you discover?
Tholi Prema was an emotionally draining experience. It is one of the toughest characters I have ever played till date as it is a journey of three different looks and three different emotions. I discovered my emotional side.

Overwhelmed by praise?
No! I am balanced; I neither take praise to my head nor criticism to my heart. I cherish all my films, be it a hit or flop. I constantly try to figure out what I could have done better. I believe in total improvisation.

Unforgettable incident
There is one scene, where after a big fight with Varun Tej, I go crying to his mom, played by Suhasini, to inquire about his whereabouts. I got so immersed in that character that I actually cried, feeling that emotion.

Working with co-star Varun Tej
I know him pretty well, even before we started working. We are good friends and share a cordial relationship. On sets, the conversation was always about how we could enact a scene better, and sometimes we took inputs from each other.

Working with director Venky?
He is just amazing! There were times when I wouldn’t agree with him but went ahead with his call, and trusted his instincts. He is the captain of the ship; he knows the characters inside out. I must admit that he would always take my suggestions, and help me out with every minute emotion. I feel that all of us, as a team, put our heart and soul in this film, and that reflected in its success.



REWIND
How did you become an actor?
I became an actor by accident. I was contacted by a modelling agency when I was studying at Lady Shri Ram College. I was not interested initially but did it for my pocket money. My parents also supported my decision. Later, I started getting offers for TVCs. And it was during one such TVC, I got an audition call for Madras Cafe. Rest as they say is history!

On facing the camera for the first time?
I ran away! The very first time I went to shoot for a commercial, I was shocked to see the number of people on the set. However, I realised that this opportunity might not come back again. So, I pulled myself up, gave it my best shot and nailed it.

Initial struggles
Nothing as such. Yes, many times, people spoke about my weight issues and what not. It didn’t bother me much as I knew I would get there one day. I am a firm believer of hard work and have full faith in myself. Trust me, a strong belief in yourself can take you places.

Switch from Bollywood to Tollywood
I don’t plan anything; I just go with the flow. So, after Madras Cafe, Oohalu Gusagusalade came to me but I was not ready for Tollywood. However, I loved the script of Oohalu... and went for it. It doesn’t really matter if it is Tollywood or Bollywood, as long as I am part of good cinema.

Biggest achievement
My character Ruby in Madras Café. Till then I never realised that I had an actor in me.



FORTE
Acting style
Subtle. I can do drama too but I enjoy comedy a lot.

Any acting workshops? Dialect trainings?
I did a few workshops for Oohalu Gusagusalade. Being on the set is a big learning experience.

What kind of pictures do you prefer to act in?
Action or periodic.

Were you dropped from a film because of a star kid or a star?
I never faced a scenario where I signed a film and got dropped.

Improvise as an actor?
All emotions can be improvised. It is a learning process.

How much do you get affected by the character?
Every character teaches you something. Well, I try to take the positives traits of every role I play and try to inculcate it into my personality too. But I stay in that character only for the day I am shooting. After ‘Cut’, I snap out of it. With time, I have realised that once you are done with a film, you should switch back to reality. My friends and family keep me grounded so that I know the real me.

What is the real Raashi like?
With my school friends, I am bossy and a complete tomboy; funny around my industry friends and quiet and sober at home. So, I have different shades.

Your take on nepotism in films?
Well, you can get the initial start but cannot survive if you don’t have the right skills or talent.
So yes, it does exist but there is always place for outsiders like us who have no film background or any godfather.

UP AND CLOSE
Sacrifices behind glamour There is no time to be with family. This is why my family had to shift to Hyderabad. They sacrificed their comfort and adjusted to new life.

To survive in the industry...
Hone your talent; never feel that you know it all because you never know it all; believe in yourself and don’t be arrogant. Life away from the limelight..

Yes, of course! It is a part of my life, not my life.
Best compliment
I was heaped with praises for Madras Café role- people couldn’t believe that it was my debut film. Even for Oohalu..., they were impressed with my Telugu diction.

Change in yourself?
I am a bit impulsive.

Fitness regimen
I workout for 1.5 hours, six days in a week, and always stick to my diet. I am quite disciplined.

Message for your fans
I am whoever I am because of them. I read everything they write - good or bad. Their love is what keeps me going.

RAPID FIRE
Obsessed with
Perfumes
Biggest turn off
Bad breath
Favourites
...street food
Bhel puri
...actors
Sandra Bullock and Robert Downey Jr.
Funniest thing you read...
They linked me with cricketer Bumrah. It was so weird.
How to impress you?
Just be honest.
Something you can’t do…
Indulge in flattery.
Nude lips or red lips?
Red lips
How do you unwind?
Netflix
Any pressure from the media to look your best?
No! I can go without make-up also. Just smile and that’s it.
Idol
My grandfather Mr.I.L.Khanna.

 
 
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