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Richa Gangopadhyay: I am taking a break from acting

October 11, 2013 09:38 IST

Richa Gangopadhyay: I am taking a break from acting

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

Richa Gangopadhyay has had a dream run in tinsel town working in three languages, with big stars and directors in the last three years.

She will shortly be seen in the Nagarjuna starrer Bhai directed by Virabhadram where she is paired opposite the superstar for the first time.

In this exclusive interview to rediff.com she talks about Bhai and reveals that she will be taking a break to study in the US –her place of residence.

Was Nagarjuna’s presence in Bhai a deciding factor in your accepting the film?

I had just started shooting for Mirchi when I learned that Veerabhadram sir wanted me to be the leading lady for his upcoming film with Nagarjuna, after seeing me in Mirapakaay.

He told me that he liked the sweet innocence of my character and felt I was right for Radhika in Bhai.

I am a solo female lead in this film, and signed it immediately after hearing the multi-dimensional story and versatility of my character.

And, of course, it was a role opposite Nag sir so, how could I say no!

Is the film a mass entertainer?

I would describe it as a mass plus class family entertainer, with elements of comedy, action, romance and sentiment.

I think the casting was done appropriately and the story will be enjoyed by youngsters.

The film’s title Bhai has a double-meaning, as the hero plays both a mafia character as well as a brother/bhai.

The highlights of this film are Nagarjuna’s dual role and completely different look, DSP’s (Devisriprasad) awesome music, the beautiful foreign locations where we shot the songs, and of course, me!


Image: Richa Gangopadhyay


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'I consider myself a director's actor'

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Radhika Rajamani

Do you have a substantial part to play?

Having a substantial role is a relative term. I have been very fortunate to have got the opportunity to do both solid, substantial roles and glam doll roles.

The most substantial was Mayakkam Enna (Tamil film) for which Igot six best actress awards last year. But solid women-centric roles such as Yamini or Archana in Leader are super-hard to find as unfortunately most Indian movies are not made to be performance-oriented especially for the heroines.

My role in Bhai as Radhika is midway between performance and glamour. I do have a marked presence in the movie as I am the single and lead heroine, the hero's primary love interest, and the one who "changes" Bhai with her distinct yet innocent personality.

I consider myself a director’s actor and did my best to bring the character of Radhika to life.

How was it being cast opposite the dashing Nagarjuna?

Super. I am in awe of how fit he keeps himself. It’s such an honour to be cast opposite a legendary actor like Nag sir.

He's very down-to-earth but also very punctual and so professional. I loved working with him and felt very comfortable. I hope the audience likes our pairing.


Image: Nagarjuna and Richa Gangopadhyay in Bhai


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'Director Veerabhadram never gets upset or angry'

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Radhika Rajamani

Some songs were shot in Slovenia and other parts of Europe. Could you describe the experience?

Travelling abroad for shoots is always my favourite part of shooting. How else can you get to visit such exotic locations?

Slovenia is truly Europe’s hidden gem. It has so much natural beauty, with lakes, mountains, an emerald green river, and a quaint small-town feel. It was an ethereal place - one of the best kept secrets. 

The best part of Slovenia is that it is only two hours driving distance from the borders of four countries - Italy, Hungary, Austria and Croatia. I really don’t think I can do justice describing how much I enjoyed exploring Slovenia.

I would encourage people to visit the tiny country at some point in their lives. I know I will surely go back there some day.

Working with Veerabhadram was...

(Interrupts) Truly wonderful. He is one director who I have never seen get upset or angry. He always had a smiling face even in the most tense situations.

He has such a positive vibe that it spreads to everyone else on the set. He is focused and knows exactly how he wants every shot and scene to be portrayed, and he is particular about subtle nuances of expressions.

He has come up with some very funny dialogues that I am sure the audience will love. To me, he was a great mentor who was always there guiding me, for which I am grateful.

What excites you in a script these days for you to sign it?

Generally speaking, I like it if the story is somewhat unpredictable, has a twist or suspense in it. Stories that are common are less exciting to me. That's why, frankly speaking, I am not very excited with remakes.

I also see if my character has depth and breadth and ability to showcase some versatility and a non-stereotypical profile.

Other important things come into play like the hero, director, production house. Without these, the script cannot be brought to life. Amongst the movies I have done, I like Mayakkam Enna and Leader the best but I also liked Mirapakaay and Mirchi.


Image: Nagarjuna and Richa Gangopadhyay in Bhai


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'I want to finish my studies and even pursuing higher studies'

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Radhika Rajamani

You have been in the industry for four years now. You have straddled the Telugu, Tamil and Bengali cinema industries. How do you see yourself in the film industry?

From the time I started doing films I wanted to be a pan-Indian actress. I was lucky to have done nine films in less than three years in three industries. I also got three or four offers last year in Hindi which I eventually opted out of.

 I would like to continue in any and all industries provided the script is good, my role is good and I can do the films on my terms, which I am very particular about.

I can’t be pressured to do a movie just to ‘stay on top’ or be the ‘most popular’. And I definitely don't do movies just for the money.

People feel I am too choosy but I have not regretted most of my gut decisions. I have had the best of the best opportunities so far working with big heroes like Nagarjuna, Venkatesh, Rana, Prabhas, Ravi Teja, Dhanush, Simbu and Prosenjit, and great directors.

I would like to keep doing roles that are either super glamorous, totally action-oriented or super challenging performance-oriented roles. Something different and beyond what I have done so far.

Acting has always been a hobby of mine from a young age, and it is something I won’t ever leave as I enjoy it.

Have you signed any films in Telugu or Tamil?

I have intentionally not signed my film after Bhai. I have been thinking deeply for the last one year whether I want to just continue doing films or pick up on my studies in the USA which I left off when I moved to India in 2008 to try my luck in films.

I have been super fortunate to have had such phenomenal experiences working with the best of the best in the Telugu, Tamil and Bengali industries.

But now I am seriously considering taking a break from acting for a while and finishing my studies and even pursuing higher studies. I am certainly not quitting films, just prioritising academics at this juncture in my life.


Image: Nagarjuna and Richa Gangopadhyay in Bhai


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