'You will see me in a new avatar in Hudugaru'
If her charming personality has made her a hot favourite with the Kannada hudugaru (boys), it's her talent that appeals to the critics and award juries.
Kannada lass Radhika Pandit is once again set to raise the standards with her first ever traditional role in multi-starrer Hudugaru that's up for release.
The actress talks to Shruti Indira Lakshminarayana about her role and why she is yet to watch Nadodigal of which this film is a remake.
Isn't Hudugaru your first remake?
Yes. Hudugaru is a remake of the Tamil film Nadodigal. The film is about what happens when relationships between friends or lovers is taken casually. The film will appeal to youngsters and families alike.
Tell us about your character.
I play Gayathri, a very lively girl. She is a foodie and shares a great rapport with everyone around her. I had to render dialogues and munch on food simultaneously through the film.
In this film you'll see me in a new avatar. I sport traditional clothes -- mostly half saris. It was a very challenging role. The character I play here is totally non-glamorous.
Image: Radhika and Puneet in Hudugaru
'It felt great to be working with a superstar'
Did you see how your character was portrayed in Nadodigal?
No. I didn't want to watch the film as I wanted to give my own streak to the character. And there was always my team to fall back on if I needed any inputs on how to improvise. I will watch the original only after I have watched my act in Hudugaru.
We hear you had a great time touring Shravanabelogala on a luna during the shoot.
Oh yes! Gayathri rides a luna in the film and so you can say I was just playing the character off screen too! Most of my portions were shot in Shravanabelogala and since the streets there are hardly crowded, during breaks I often took off on the Luna and explored the place. It was great fun.
How was it working with Puneet Rajkumar?
This film comes with a multi star cast. While I'm paired opposite Puneet, the others is the cast are Kitty, Abhinaya, Yogish and Vishal Hegde. Working with Puneet's production house Vajreshwari Combines has been a great pleasure. And it felt great to be working with a superstar. It was particularly fun shooting a colourful song with Kitty, Puneet and Yogish.
Image: Radhika Pandit in Hudugaru
'Moggina Manasu will always remain special as it is my first film'
Like Hudugaru, your previous release Gaana Bajana was also hyped, but the film tanked. Were you disappointed?
Gaana Bajana gave me an opportunity to experiment with my looks. I played a tomboy in that film, a role that I hadn't essayed before. I have no regrets for having done the film.
As for the success of the film, well, it's very difficult to predict what works and what doesn't. The songs were a great hit and a similar response was expected of the film. But I still can't pinpoint and say what went wrong. I'll just say that I am very satisfied with my performance.
Your performance in Krishnan Love Story was much appreciated, but there was a mixed response to the climax. Do you now feel a happy ending would have worked better?
Thank you for the appreciation. I am happy that it got people to discuss. I'm glad that they didn't come, watch the film and forget about it. There was a hangover and that worked well for us. And as for my opinion, I did the film because I was convinced that there couldn't have been a better ending.
Starting from your debut in Moggina Manasu, your performances have been critically acclaimed but which is that one performance that gave you utmost satisfaction?
It's every flattering to be praised for each of your efforts. It has in fact inspired me to outdo myself each time. But I feel my best is yet to come. Having said that Moggina Manasu will always remain special as it is my first film.
Image: Radhika Pandit
'I would love to do play Jodhaa in Jodhaa Akbar'
Is there a particular role that you would want to enact?
I don't have a dream role as such, but given a chance, I would want to play a historic role. Recently I was watching Jodhaa Akbar and I felt like playing the role of Jodhaa.
What are your future projects?
There is Adhuri, a sweet love story with newbie Dhruv and Sagar with Prajwal. In this film I play an NRI with deep rooted Indian values. I am looking at a few more scripts.
You were doing a film opoosite director Nagshekar (of Sanju Weds Geetha fame)?
The film came with a great story. Unfortunately due to date problems I had to let go of the project.
Image: Radhika Pandit
'I had conditioned myself to tackle with link-ups and controversies'
You have never been a part of a controversies.
Even before entering the industry, I had conditioned myself to tackle with link-ups and controversies, which are a part of this industry. Even if something is attributed to me, I dont care. I just do my work and get going and I guess that's what's worked for me.
How do you look back at your film journey ?It has been fairly decent. Back to back awards (State and Filmfare for Moggina Manasu and Love guru) hit films, an opportunity to work with some of the best technicians and now a film with a super star. I think I'm doing well given that it's just my third year in this industry.
Image: Radhika Pandit and Tarun