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'Osthe is similar to Dabbang in many ways'

Last updated on: December 8, 2011 12:36 IST

'Osthe is similar to Dabbang in many ways'

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

A former Miss India, USA, Richa Gangopadhyay entered acting via the modelling route. After her screen debut in the Telugu film Leader (with another debutant Rana Daggubati), directed by Sekhar Kammula, she acted in two more Telugu films, Mirapakaay and Nagavalli.

She made an impressive debut in Tamil with Selvaraghavan's Mayakkam Enna oposite Dhanush. And now her second Tamil film, Osthe, a remake of the Hindi film Dabbang, will hit the screens on December 9. It is directed by Dharani and co-stars Simbu.

Richa talks about her Osthe experience in this interview with Radhika Rajamani  

What made you foray into Tamil films?

The Tamil industry is a close neighbour to the Telugu industry so it was a natural transition for me. When it comes to my film decisions, I always select them based on the script and the role, not the language. 

I was approached by Selvaraghavan's and Dharani's teams shortly after my Telugu film Mirapakaay was released and started shooting for both their films simultaneously immediately after.

How did you get the offer of Osthe?

Dharani sir liked me in Mirapakaay as Vinamra and decided that I would be his heroine in Osthe. He said he selected me because I had a strong screen presence and had that right balance of sweetness and charm, with the spunky, independent aura that my character in Osthe is all about.

When I started shooting for Osthe, I was also simultaneously shooting for Selvaraghavan sir's Mayakkam Enna. I feel fortunate that I am debuting with two back-to-back, completely contrasting films in Tamil!


Image: Richa Gangopadhyay


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I'm sure the audience will like Osthe'

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Are you happy to start your career in Tamil with the remake of the Hindi film Dabbang?

Of course! Thanks to Dharani sir I could act in this popular record-breaking movie's remake! Everyone loved Dabangg and I'm sure the Tamil audience will like Osthe.

What did you like about Dabbang that made you do the remake?

I loved Dabbang. It was one of the record-breaking hits of the year. I didn't have to think twice when Dharani sir asked me to be his Neduvaali, the role Sonakshi played in the Hindi version.

Huge thanks to Salman Khan for making Dabangg a blockbuster that has been an inspiration for us!

Is Osthe adapted to suit Tamil audiences?

Though Osthe is very similar to Dabbang in many ways, Dharani sir has added some of his own flair to it to suit Tamil audiences.

It is not a frame-to-frame remake and has several new additions which will hopefully make audiences curious enough to watch the film.


Image: Richa Gangopadhyay


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'The audience will see me in a different avatar'

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You play the role that Sonakshi Sinha was much acclaimed for.

Dabbang was Sonakshi's debut film and she was great in it. We look totally different. I portray the character in my own style and as Dharani sir wanted it. In the end, I strongly believe both Sonakshi and I gave the characters our very best and that's what the audience should like.

You had to de-glamorise yourself for the role, as it were.

Though I play a rustic village girl, my character in Osthe has a chance to portray her naturally beautiful side with a very simple look, while being very glamorous in the songs.

The audience will see me in a different avatar; my hair is in a long braid and I wear chiffon half saris throughout the film.

How did you surmount the language barrier?

Well, interestingly enough, I do have a Tamil connection! My family used to live in Coimbatore before we moved to the US, and I could speak fluent Tamil at the age of three. I think that's why Tamil comes pretty easy to me now, and I don't have any trouble with pronunciation and diction.


Image: A scene from Osthe


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'Simbu enjoys what he does'

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How was Simbu as a co-star?

Simbu is very professional so I was comfortable even though this was my first movie with him. He's an excellent dancer, singer and actor. So he's multi-faceted. No wonder he has such a great fan following which he deserves. He enjoys what he does and it shows.

Where was Osthe filmed?

We primarily shot in Mysore, one of the most beautiful cities in India I have visited. We got a chance to absorb its natural beauty and enjoyed the breezy climate.

We also went to Dubai, Muscat and Oman to shoot for the songs-- my first time in the Middle East! I was completely enthralled by all of our locations.

How was it working under director Dharani?

He's friendly, easy going yet motivational. He's one of the most caring directors I have worked with.

He made sure I always got enough rest and the best of everything so that I could give a good performance. All that he wanted from me was to look fresh, happy and act well.


Image: Richa Gangopadhyay


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'I have done extremely performance-oriented roles'

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Sonu Sood reprises the role he played in Hindi. How was he to act with?

I loved Sonu's acting as the villain in Dabbang and he's done just as great in Osthe. We don't have too many scenes together so I didn't get to see him too often during the shooting.

What's funny is that we bumped into each other more often at our gym in Mumbai in between schedules than we did while shooting for Osthe! He's very down-to-earth and a wonderful performer.

How do you compare the Telugu and Tamil film industries?

Both have been very open-hearted and kind to me since I began. Both gave me the opportunity to do a variety of roles early on in my career and show my versatility.

In a short span of two-and-a-half years, I have done extremely performance-oriented, character-driven roles that require minimal make-up, as well as commercially glamorous, modern characters.

I hope to keep showing audiences the different angles of Richa!

Image: Richa Gangopadhyay

Tags: Richa , Osthe , Dabbang

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