Q & A with Nithiin, Rashmika, Vekny Kudumula
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19 February 2020

Director Venky Kudumula’s Bheeshma starring Nithiin and Rashmika Mandanna is to hit the screens this week. Ahead of the big release, we caught up with the trio for a quick chat. Here’s a lowdown on how it panned out:

Nithiin’s failure streak
After the phenomenal success of director Trivikram Srinivas’ A… Aa, Nithiin hasn’t quite seen a high point again and is seeing a series of failures. And it seems, after four years of the blockbuster film, he would surely hope for a film that changes things for him all over again. Talking about the same, he shares, “Soon after A… Aa, I chose to try something new and did a film like LIE. Unfortunately, the film didn’t quite receive the kind of acceptance that I’d hope for. That’s when I wondered if something different wouldn’t work and did a love story like Chal Mohan Ranga. But that didn’t work either for various reasons despite being a decent film. A film like Rangasthalam released right before it and we got lost in the success of that movie. Then I decided to do a family film and worked on Srinivasa Kalyanam but well, that didn’t work either. When three different things didn’t work, I was in a confusion as to what I can do next.”

It was apparently around that time that Chalo released and director Venky Kudumula, a fan of Nithiin’s Dil – that released when he was in his teenage – came to the actor with the idea that he saw him as a commercial actor and wanted to write a film on those lines. “He wrote the story and I loved it. But at this moment, the pressure is that nothing has worked in four years and neither of these two will understand that,” he jokes pointing at Venky and Rashmika.

We remind him that he is also getting married around the same time, and he says in jest, “Yes, I hope the film works as we have some expenses with the marriage and could do with some money coming in.”

Rashmika Mandanna
This marks the second collaboration of Rashmika Mandanna with director Venky Kudumula and when asked if casting her was a deliberate choice, he shares, “Yes, I loved the experience of working with her and wished to collaborate again. When I was writing this script, I felt she would be perfect.” Nithiin jokes at this juncture that Rashmika was in the project way before the story came in and that it was the story that brought him in. “He fixed on the Chalo team!” says Nithiin.

In fact, Rashmika has had a dream run and is doing a huge number of films as she balances between commercial cinema’s miniscule roles with content oriented films. She says that she never looked at her run as a “dream” ever. “It takes over 8-9 months to finish a film and the process is going on! The success has surely not sunk in. I just like to think that I am trying new things and doing a good job and people are liking it. And it surely is a conscious move to juggle different kind of films. Right now, I just want to see what I am capable of. With each film, I am surprising myself and the audience too. I don’t want to bore them,” says the actress.

On Bheeshma
Talking of her character Chaitra from Bheeshma, Rashmika shares, “There’s no one thing that attracted me to the character. I liked many aspects of her that I haven’t done before. But then there is a sense of familiarity.”

We point to the trio that the trailer reminds us of the lead pair’s boss-subordinate chemistry in Gunde Jaari Gallanthayinde, and Nithiin shares that the chemistry with Rashmika worked out really well. “The three of us became friends at the very beginning and that really helped make this work,” he shares.

Talking of how he approached the subject, Venky shares, “I personally enjoy entertainment and want to tell every story in a humorous way, which is exactly how I approached this film too. I can only do what I like and entertainment is something I enjoy. You’ll see the result on screen. The character of Nithiin was inspired by all those single boys who keep wondering why no girls fall for them.”

Rashmika adds to it and says, “This is the kind of film that will help people relax. I can vouch that this film is breezy and fun.”

Nithiin says despite having a sense of contentment after every film, this time he feels like a hit is in the queue. “I am waiting for the result on 21st. My dad (popular distributor Sudhakar Reddy) has watched the film and feels it’s going to work. There’s a lot of positive vibes to it!” says the actor on his expectations from the film.

Other stuff
We bring up the viral video of Vijay Deverakonda and Rashmika Mandanna from an interview where he tells her not to commit that she will do only performance oriented roles, just in case she changes track later in her career. The video had caught up amongst Telugu cine buffs soon after the release of Sarileru Neekevvaru. Agreeing that the film was a huge plus to her, Rashmika explains her side of things and says, “I somehow believe that it is a very meaty role to play. There’s so much drama and she’s grabbing so much attention in the little screen space that she got. I was glad that I took it up and when I said that in the interview, I was actually working on the film! Having said that, good or bad, people are talking about the role and I am sorted. I will never be able to create that kind of an impact again. If my role was longer I don’t know if it would have been spoken about in the same way. I think it all happened in a right perspective and a right way.”

Rashmika has managed to keep her Kannada fans satisfied with films there often. Sharing why and how she works on them despite a hectic schedule in Telugu, Rashmika reflects, “I was given huge love for my debut film in Kannada and I feel equally responsible to do a film in Kannada for my fans because not everyone understands Telugu. I want to give something to the audience in Tamil Nadu also as they have given me a lot of love.”

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Nani(Gang Leader)
Adivi Sesh (Evaru)

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