Rashmika Mandanna
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Rashmika Mandanna was last seen in Karthi-starrer Sulthan. She also has Pushpa with Allu Arjun in the pipeline. In this interview with Anupama Chopra, she speaks about her Bollywood debut with Mission Majnu and Goodbye, why Vijay Deverakonda is her go-to person in the industry, and the scariest part about Bollywood. Edited Excerpts…

What was your criteria for a Bollywood debut? And how did Mission Majnu and Goodbye fit into this?

Honestly, Dear Comrade gave us a lot of audience from the North. A lot of my fans or well-wishes have been telling me that I should do a Hindi film. But I felt it was too fast of a journey and it was going to take a couple of years for me to go to Bollywood. Mission Majnu happened during the first lockdown when I got a call from my manager about a Hindi film.

I heard the script and I think it was a film that I had to do in the initial part of my career. So, I felt it was the right film. Mission Majnu and Goodbye are completely different genres. I was happy that both of them were coming out because the audience can know that I can do both kinds of films. 

With Goodbye, I read the script. If I can read a 150-page script in an hour and a half or something, it’s a go because that’s not normal. I usually take a few days. I felt I was the character. So, they just happened. 

Are you doing Anudeep KV’s next film? 

Hey, you can’t ask me such questions (laughs). I’ve heard that he’s hilarious in real life when you meet him. Even I watched Jathi Ratnalu and I loved the boys’ performances and everything. So, the news is such but I’m an extremely secretive person. I’m a producer’s and director’s baby. They don’t say anything, I don’t say anything. 

They say it’s hard to find genuine friendships in Bollywood because it’s all about the Friday and what serves oneself. So, how do you have this friendship with an actor like Vijay [Deverakonda]?

I think we got together at an early time in our career. Once an actor grows and has seen so much, we keep barriers. Because who wants drama in life? Vijay and I met early in our careers and have been dealing with a lot of things together as we worked on two films. If I have a go-to person in the industry, it’s him. He gives me advice, but I take what I want. 

What was the scariest thing about Bollywood?

People (laughs)? My first icebreaker for me in Bollywood was where Amitabh Bachchan sir had a shot. My shot was over but I was staying back to say hi to sir. Because to just start acting with him wouldn’t be easy. So, I stayed back to introduce myself. The next day when I was shooting with sir, he was just sir. He played his character perfectly which made me want to fit in my character as well. It was just two characters acting together. It was wonderful.

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