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Rediff News  All News  » Movies » Raashi Khanna: I am destiny's child

Raashi Khanna: I am destiny's child

June 18, 2014 09:50 IST

Image: Raashi Khanna
Radhika Rajamani/ in Hyderabad

Raashi Khanna came to the world of films via modelling. The Delhi born, Lady Shri Ram College graduate moved to Mumbai where she soon got the role of John Abraham’s wife in Madras Cafe.

She plays a leading role in her first Telugu film Oohalu Gusa Gusa Lade (directed by Avasarala Srinivas) that releases this Friday, June 20.

Raashi talks about how she was drawn into the world of films and why she considers herself destiny’s child.

How did you come to sign Oohalu Gusa Gusa Lade?

Sai (the producer) saw Madras Café and felt I would be right for the role of Prabhavati in Oohalu Gusa Gusa Lade.

They called me for a narration. Initially I thought it would be more of a dancing role with not much acting.

When I went down for the narration, I was excited to find that the film would revolve around the girl who was there in practically every scene.

My only worry was the language. We had workshops and rehearsals.

My pronunciation was corrected. The more you learn, the more you understand.

I learnt about the pauses in the sentences. The director was strict. Everything paid off in the end.

The director is happy and I am able to understand Telugu better now. With time I will learn it better.

'I always thought that girls were used as props in films'

Image: Raashi Khanna and Shourya in Oohalu Gusa Gusa Lade

What interested you about the script?

It’s a romantic film. The character I play is selfish, egoistic and stubborn, which is very different from what I am. I’m a little shy.

It’s not glossy. It’s not just about a girl from Delhi and boy from Hyderabad. The first challenge was to become Prabhavati.

Initially, when I saw myself in the monitor, I felt there was a bit of Raashi still left in the character. But when I saw the film recently, I finally saw Prabhavati.

The director and I worked hard on the character. He had clarity about the character and how she would react.

Did you know anything about Telugu cinema? Did you watch any Telugu films before signing this one?

Honestly, no. I was a nerd in college. I watched movies though I was not a film buff. 

I always thought there were songs and dances in Telugu cinema and girls were used as props! That changed with this film I did.

Had you heard of Srinivas or did you know that he acts in films?

I did not. He told me he acted in films and he was good in comedy.

He is a director and a script-writer and he is an inspiration as a person.

Shourya supported me a lot and helped me with the lines'

Image: Raashi Khanna and Shourya in Oohalu Gusa Gusa Lade

What was the first day on the sets like?

We shot the sequence where we were on a bike. I was supposed to be driving with Shaurya behind me.

I was confident. However, I couldn’t balance the Scooty and we fell!

It was embarrassing. I got the shot right the second-third time. In fact the on the first day of every schedule, I fell and it became a joke!

How did you find Srinivas as a director?

Since he is the writer of the film, he knew the characters inside out. He would stop me if he found Raashi coming in. That way he ensured consistency in performance.

He was very clear and calm. There was mutual respect on the sets for each other.

Your co-star Naga Shourya is also a relative newcomer like you…

Shourya is extremely hard working. He helped to get the best out of me.

Acting is all about reciprocating. He supported me a lot and helped me with the lines.

He is passionate about his work and is a great co-star.

'I think this is the best phase of my life'

Image: Raashi Khanna

How do you feel doing this film?

I think this is the best phase of my life. I want to thank Sai, the producer who believed in me and thought I could pull it off. I am blessed to be part of this film.

You have signed another film with Sundeep Kishan which is being directed by Kumar Nagendra. Have you started work on it?

We have finished the shoot. It should release in July-August.

Do you want to do more Telugu films?

Of course. It’s the script I must look at as it is the most important thing. Language does not matter.

I want to do different roles. I must feel satisfied. Some films in Hindi did not work out on account of date issues and some I didn’t do as I was given the same kind of wife roles.

'I am learning more about the art of acting by watching a lot of cult films'

Image: Raashi Khanna

You said you were a nerd and did not watch many films. How did acting happen?

 I was a topper in school and was doing my English Honours in Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi. I wanted to be a copywriter in advertising because I love to read and write.

A modelling agency asked me to join them. I said my focus was on studies. But I agreed to do some modelling on weekends.

I was put on the Femina cover. Then I got a commercial and some print ads. People wanted me to come to Mumbai but I did not want to shift because of my studies.

After I graduated, Anirban of Kwan International Global Media and Marketing met me and told me I should shift to Mumbai.

I gave myself six months. My parents were supportive and asked me to do what I like.

Within a month of arriving in Mumbai, I got my first ad and also auditioned for Madras Café!

For a person who was only into books, it is destiny. I am destiny’s child.

Did you take any formal training in acting?

No, I did not take any training. I just hear what is required and perform.

Now I am learning more about the art of acting by watching a lot of cult films.

Apart from reading what are your other hobbies?

I love singing and writing poetry and stories.