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Exclusive! Raashi Khanna: The concept of stardom is fading away; people are now more interested in real stories

The actress, who has a slew of projects in Tamil and Telugu, apart from a couple of most-anticipated web series, talks in detail about her choice of films  

Thinkal Menon
Sep 14, 2021
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Raashi Khanna

Raashi Khanna, who made her debut in Tamil three years ago with Nayanthara-Anurag Kashyap's Imaikkaa Nodigal, is one of the busiest actresses in Kollywood now, with a project each with Dhanush, Karthi, Arya and Jiiva in her kitty. Her second movie with Vijay Sethupathi, Tughlaq Durbar, was released on Netflix recently, and she has no qualms about admitting that the film has been receiving mixed reviews. 

The actress, who has around 10 projects in the pipeline, including films in different languages and OTT projects, is kicked about the most exciting phase of her career. In an exclusive interview to OTTplay, Raashi opens up on the different reasons based on which she chooses projects, her interest in headlining female-centric movies, being part of Andhadhun's remake, concept of stardom during the current OTT boom, working with a movie which has PC Sreeram cranking the camera, and more...    

Your second outing with Vijay Sethupathi, Tughlaq Durbar, has dropped on Netflix a few days ago. How has been the response?

Well, I came across a few mixed reviews, though I really liked the movie. I felt Vijay carried the entire film on his shoulders. Parthiban sir, too, played a great part in it. I know my character is not as strong as theirs, but it is fine. I honestly miss the experience in theatres and the feedback from audience who come out of movie halls. I don't know how much we are ready for it, though. Anyway, the safest best now is to release films on OTT platforms.

Since you said your character isn't as strong as the male counterparts in the film, tell us about your process of choosing roles?

Sometimes, you sign a project because of your co-star; it helps your career in certain ways. Sometimes, you sign a film for the filmmaker, and there are times when you say "yes" to a project for its engaging script. Female actors still don't get strong roles often, though the scenario is slowly changing.   

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A still from Aranmanai 3

Aranmanai 3 is getting ready for a theatrical release next month. There are lots of expectations on the project as it is the third installment of the successful franchise...

I'm aware of its popularity; I enjoyed being part of the horror-comedy. I'm paired opposite Arya in the film. The film deserves a theatrical release because it has elements which can be enjoyed more in movie halls. Director Sundar C sir is the most chilled out person I have ever worked with. He takes care of everything on set. You feel like you are part of a fun photo shoot or a party. You just have to come to set and follow his instructions.

You have Thiruchitrambalam, Sardar and Methavi with Dhanush, Karthi and Jiiva respectively...

I am not at a liberty to talk about Thiruchitrambalam. As far as Sardar is concerned, I will be joining the team in October. I have started shooting for Methavi; it's a horror thriller. I will join the next schedule later. 

Your second outing in Malayalam, Bhramam, which has Prithviraj playing the lead, is the remake of Andhadhun. What made you say "yes" to the remake of such a popular movie?

Though Andhadhun is a hugely popular movie, doing remakes are difficult. It's all about how you approach it and bring in some changes. Prithvi has his own unique style of performing in a natural way. It was great to be paired opposite a superstar like him. I play the character Radhika Apte essayed in the Hindi version. We have tried to bring some changes to the screenplay. It isn't a scene-by-scene remake of Andhadhun. I'm happy to have worked again in a Malayalam project. I have fallen in love with Malayalam films during the lockdown. Thanks to subtitles, Malayalam cinema has opened a new world to me. The industry has got interesting story writers and scripts.  

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From the set of Thank You

Thank you with Naga Chaitanya and Pakka Commercial with Gopichand...you have two hyped films in Telugu as well...

Chaitanya and I had teamed up for Venky Mama, and now it's Thank You, an intense love story, under Vikram Kumar. He is a fantastic director. The legendary cinematographer PC Sreeram is cranking the camera for the project, It was my dream to be shot by him. I believe the film will release in December. On the other hand, director Maruti has written an exciting role for me in Pakka Commercial. My role has lot of humour elements and I can't wait for people to watch it.

Going by the current line-up, you seem to be keen on dabbling between Tamil and Telugu projects...

It's not that I have decided to strike a balance between Tamil and Telugu industries. I choose only from those projects I'm offered. In fact, for me, language doesn't matter at all. Things may not happen as per your plan. I just go with the flow.  

You have two anticipated web series, Sunny and Rudra: The Edge of Darkness. How do you look at the manner in which OTT content has revolutionized the entertainment industry?

I think this is a great time for content creators and actors. Several artists, who have been struggling for a long time, are getting their due because of OTT platforms. The concept of stardom is fading away. People are more interested in real stories and characterizations that they can relate to.  

With female-centric movies becoming quite common these days, don't you want to headline such projects?

I would love to take up such films. I might choose such projects in an year or two. It doesn't matter in which language I do such movies. Thanks to the influx of pan-Indian projects and subtitles, such films have the scope to garner wide attention now.  

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