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'I start Pushpa 2 in a couple of days'

Source: PTI
September 07, 2022 17:17 IST
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'I don't think I ever wanted to work with anyone, no Khans, nobody, except for Mr Amitabh Bachchan.'

IMAGE: Rashmika Mandanna at the trailer launch of her her film Goodbye.

Rashmika Mandanna feels her choices as an artiste are governed by her gut feeling.

The 26-year-old actor, who predominantly works in Telugu and Kannada films, is making her debut in Bollywood with Goodbye.

Having been in the industry for five years, Rashmika -- who featured in the superhit Pushpa -- said she is currently at a phase where she is "testing waters" with her choices.

"I have always picked scripts based on my gut feeling. I believe what is meant for me will happen to me. I feel like that's the universe's way of saying it, so it's purely a gut feeling. When I heard the script (of Goodbye)... I'm at a point in my career, where I'm going out and testing waters.

"I don't know what's right and what's wrong. I don't know what people expect of me... I am an actor and I want to do good films," Rashmika told reporters at the Goodbye trailer launch.

For Rashmika, it is important to have a fun and memorable experience when she is working on a movie.

"I want to have fun while I do it. Till the day, I am able to work like this and make such memories, I am willing to do it and might as well make everyone smile and give good memories to everyone watching the film," she says.

IMAGE: Rashmika with Pavail Gulati at the Goodbye trailer launch.

Rashmika said she is currently living her dream of working with two acting legends: Amitabh Bachchan in Goodbye and Allu Arjun in Pushpa 2.

"I am living my dream. With Allu Arjun sir, I start Pushpa 2 in a couple of days. But right now, having this trailer out in front of the audience with Bachchan sir, what can I say?" the actor added.

Goodbye is a family drama which highlights themes of self-discovery, family dynamics and celebration of a journey called life. It also stars Neena Gupta, Pavail Gulati, Elli Avram, Sunil Grover, Sahil Mehta and Abhishek Khan.

The movie marks the first collaboration between Bachchan and Rashmika.

"I was standing and waiting for him, and sir just walked in, crossed me and went. So I was like, 'Okay, not now, this is not the time' because I was standing there, flashing a big smile... I thought (maybe) he was thinking about the scene," Rashmika says, recalling her first meeting with the Big B two years ago.

"Then I went to him and told him, 'Hi sir, I am Rashmika and I will be playing your daughter'. I was so nervous. It is such a huge responsibility working with such big actors. It is good to get each other's energy on the first day," she said.

Rashmika initially thought Bachchan didn't like her.

"He was so strict, sitting there, and then we started having a banter like a father and a daughter. Our relationship got closer and closer throughout the making of the film. He is a beautiful person, so I'm happy that I got to see his side while working with him," she added.

IMAGE: Neena Gupta at the Goodbye trailer launch.

Rashmika formed an equally warm bond with Neena Gupta.

"I was just so comfortable working with her, and it was easy. The first day I came on set, I wondered how everyone knew everyone on set, and I was like, 'Wait, am I late to the party?' But now I'm chilling with them, they're my people also," she added.

Rashmika will also be seen in another Hindi film, Mission Majnu, opposite Sidharth Malhotra.


IMAGE: Sunil Grover, Producer Ekta Kapoor and Director Vikas Bahl join Pavail, Rashmika and Neena at the Goodbye trailer launch.

For Sunil Grover and Neena Gupta, who play pivotal roles in Goodbye, working with Bachchan was like a dream come true.

"I had never dreamt of working with him (Bachchan). The opportunity fell in my lap, and I was like, 'Is this actually true?'" Neena says.

"When I started in the industry, OTT and TV was not there. I have played smaller roles and at that time, I could have never imagined that I would ever get an opportunity to be working with sir," she added.

Sunil Grover said he would often imitate Bachchan on set. "Everyone has the desire to work with sir and I am one of them," he says.

"I thought I would just go and see sir every day on the sets and do little work. Today, 90 per cent of actors have become actors because of Bachchan sir."

Producer Ekta Kapoor said she had wanted to collaborate with Bachchan since childhood.

"I remember going to birthday parties at Amitji's house; Shweta and Abhishek were my friends. Amit uncle would always call my father and say, 'She just sat there and stared at me'.

"I don't think I ever wanted to work with anyone, no Khans, nobody, except for Mr Amitabh Bachchan and Vikas made my dream come true," she adds.

IMAGE: Amitabh Bachchan virtually attends the launch.

Bachchan, who tested positive for COVID-19 in August, attended the trailer launch virtually and rendered an apology to the media for not attending the event in person on the advice of his doctors.

The acting legend, who currently hosts season 14 of Kaun Banega Crorepati, resumed work last Thursday after he announced his recovery on social media.

Responding to a question about what were the things he would like to say goodbye to, he simply said: "COVID-19."

Bachchan, who turns 80 on October 11, said he is blessed to have the opportunity to play diverse roles at this point in his career.

"(With every film offer), I just think I got one more job. At my age, we hardly get a job and whenever we get a job, I feel fortunate. We just go and do what the writer has written and what the director tells us to do. It is an honour and privilege that they are able to give something different to me," he says.

After Nagraj Manjule's Jhund and Ajay Devgn's Runway 34, Bachchan has three more films lined up for release this year: Ayan Mukerji's Brahmastra, Vikas Bahl's Goodbye and Sooraj Barjatya's Uunchai.

Multiple movies releasing every week is not a new phenomenon, said Bachchan, adding the industry is witnessing back-to-back premieres due to the backlog caused by the pandemic-induced lockdown.

"I hope people will watch this (Goodbye) film and love it. With time, lots of things change. When one technology takes over another technology, it takes time. I hope people get a chance to watch it in theatres and on OTT too," he adds.

IMAGE: Rashmika and Ekta visited Mumbai's famed Lalbaugcha Raja on the same day as the trailer launch.

"Staying with family, spending time with family and listening to them, these things are getting lost nowadays as family dynamics are changing. Our society is changing, our lives are changing. That whole element of being together as a family is what is very attractive about this film," Bachchan added.

Goodbye releases on October 7.

Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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