Sunday, May 19, 2024

Ragini called off another film for Vrushabha

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Actress Ragini Dwivedi, who has already been in the limelight for her upcoming magnum-opus Vrushabha, speaks exclusively to The Pioneer about her formative days, working on the sets of Vrushabha, and more.

SHIKHA DUGGAL

Tollywood actress Ragini Dwivedi is no less than a dream girl — many girls want to be an actress like her and be in the spotlight. Before long, she’s in the limelight here and now for the upcoming magnum-opus Vrushabha and as a skilled entertainer, she is succeeding well as a working actor on the sets.

In an exclusive interview with Kempe Gowda fame, she unfolds, “My grandfather was a ticket-collector in the Indian Railways—so my Rewari roots are coming from my father’s side of the family, and that’s why the distinctive personality. We have a cultural history, but we are making our way towards a modern outlook. The many spectacles in my city take you back to the Mughal rule and reflect easily on the bygone era. I had no intention of getting into South films: how will I adapt to the dialect is what I used to wonder.”

Then, what happened? Megahit after megahit, she became an aspiring actress for the Telugu film industry. She relates, “I was more into athletic activities because of the army background my father had provided to me, but when I did Miss India South — I was discovered by a top fashion designer and went onto do the main pageant. I didn’t win the title, but my exposure expanded ten fold in South cinema spontaneously. My first offer was for a Kannada film and it was an arthouse film. Very eccentric to me? The director was persuading my mother to let me be a pivotal part of the film, and my mother was interested in giving me a chance for an outre kind of a film. She was okay with this genre coming my way!”

The recital doesn’t stop here, the overjoyed daughter of a colonel says, “During the press-meet of the former debut, I was spotted by the team of Kiccha Sudeep, and that turned out to be my official debut in films. I am learning every day because I don’t believe in any preparation for a role. I like to be unconstrained on the sets, and it’s been fourteen years by now; I haven’t changed a bit. I am forty films down!” And, interestingly, she had previously worked with Nanda Kishore. They are a family now. The script of Vrushabha was narrated to her six months ago, at the basic writing stage and the production was uncompromising with her part. She cancelled another film for Vrushabha and approved the script. Besides being a magnum-opus, the way it takes her back to the past was appealing to her, which made her say yes to the upcoming film with Mohanlal.

She continued, “It never occurred to me that I was going on a new film set. I was joining my bosoming cast! Shanaya Kapoor and Zahrah S Khan were the newcomers. My director is very sensitive when it comes to handling emotions on sets. He takes the pain and interest in every single detail in the script! It’s not always about the grandeur; sometimes it’s about attention to detail. Then, I was re-uniting with Mohanlal sir, and there are no qualms about him being a superstar. He doesn’t have any attitude issues, instead, he’s so communicative.”

Orating a little about Ekta Kapoor who is her co-producer, she speaks, “Her production house is venturing into only versatile projects — she’s changing the cinematic landscape like a lone wolf. Shanaya Kapoor is an interesting person on board with us, she’s working so hard. When I see her, I see myself some years ago. These kids are so prepared, launching themselves on their own! She’s always so excited to be on a Telugu movie set!”

Never intimidated by starring opposite superstars, the Femina Miss India runner-up goes on, “Most of the superstars I have worked with are very grounded. They never threw any tantrums. I did a film with Nani, a couple of years ago in Hyderabad, and that’s where my association with the city began. I intend on doing more telugu films now. But, I am a big foodie so whenever in your city—you can try spotting me at financial district gobbling down the hyderabadi food.”

On a significant note, there was a raid conducted at the actress’ residence, and she went on to spent 140 days of her life in prison — this left her traumatized for a while. Discussing the same, the actress asserts, “Those days when the crime branch was circling around me gave me so much anxiety. Just because I am in the public eye, many took undue advantage of it. I was going through really unfortunate moments of my life when I was connected to the drug racket case. I am a very outspoken actress and I felt very targetted.

My mental health was screwed! I was being held for something that I wasn’t a part of, honestly. Those days in the prison taught me self-love. Nobody came to resuscitate me! My last film talks about the setbacks a modern working woman has to go through, I could relate to it so much. It’s not the same for the boys around me! The woman’s character and questioning of it in society is amplified way too much than it should be. I want to demolish this after my unfortunate stint.”

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