Friday, July 19, 2024

‘STARRING ALONGSIDE SIDDHARTH WAS MY “DREAM-COME-TRUE” COLLAB’

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Actress Ashika Ranganathan is quite busy working on some major Telugu films, and she is really happy with the affection she has been receiving from people in the South. She talks about her incredible career, collaborating with megastar Chiranjeevi in Vishwambhara, and her “dream come true” collaboration with Siddharth in an exclusive interview with The Pioneer.

Tejal Sinha
After her prowess in the Kannada industry, Ashika Ranganathan has certainly been making waves in the Tollywood industry ever since her debut with Amigos and then going on to star in Naa Saami Ranga and O2. The Bengaluru beauty is now having her hands full with projects, especially those in the Telugu industry.
But would you believe it if we said that she did not enter the cinema world to stay? Well, yes, today Ashika is enrapturing hearts from all over the south. However, she reveals in our fun telephonic chitter-chatter on a bright Sunday morning that she just started it all just for an experience. “I just wanted to try because I had gotten the opportunity and didn’t want to let go of it,” begins the Amigos fame. “Though I had no dream to act, my journey since the beginning has been pretty overwhelming. Getting so much love and broadening my perspective to other languages has also been a very new experience.”
She goes on to reveal how she had no plans to learn any other language because, after all, Kannada was her mother tongue and something she was pretty comfortable with. But again, it was her mother who helped her push the boundary and she very well credits her for the same.
“She’s always been someone who has been bold as a woman and on the other hand, I’ve been very shy and had a lot of stage fright. Today, if I am an actor, a major credit goes to my mom. Initially, I did face a lot of difficulties in terms of acting, performance, and talking to the team. In other industries, I used to put in 200 percent of my hard work and that made me a better actor and gave me a career in other languages too with a lot of exposure.”
Now that she has done films in Telugu, she’s enjoying the love that she has been receiving. In fact, she goes on to recall how every time she goes on to promote her other films, people recognise her through Telugu films.
She further says, “People texting and appreciating the performance is what an actor needs at times. At some point or other, you need that validation, and I personally feel so satisfied working on O2. I would want to explore more such films.”
The Naa Saami Ranga actress is currently shooting for the much-anticipated Vishwambhara, alongside megastars Chiranjeevi and Trisha. Working with the stalwarts, she says, has been a great opportunity to learn every single day. “The way people love and respect them is commendable. Just when it was announced that I was going to be a part of the film, people from my circle started texting me because of the love Chiru Garu has and how much people have celebrated his films in theatres. Even now, he enjoys a major fan following. I have watched so many films of Chiranjeevi and Trisha as a kid and to be a part of the film, even if it means having a small screen presence is a dream come true and I feel very grateful.”
Working on the sets of Vishwambhara, she says that she did not feel pressured at all. She goes on to reveal, “Trisha ma’am and I haven’t shot yet and with Chiranjeevi garu, it was so much fun; he’s so friendly and made me so comfortable that I didn’t for once feel pressured to work with him. I know about the aura and image that he carries outside, but on the sets, he is very friendly and that’s never been the case for me. I am always prepared to work on the character I am given and confident enough to go on a set. But when it comes to films with big actors, you of course need to put in extra effort and give your best.”
Speaking of her character, without revealing much of the details, she shares that it’s going to be a never-seen-before avatar. Basically, she is going to play a warrior princess and Vishwambhara, she says, is going to be a whole different world that the audience is going to enjoy. “I am an archer in the film and my character has a very good impact and weightage on the story. It’s going to be a different avatar,” shares the Raymo actress, who always looks up for projects that excites her. “For me, it’s not like it needs to be a never-before-done story, but the way the director presents me or the story matters. Sometimes, you need to be a part of a project because it brings out the best in you. And sometimes, because of its vast canvas and the way it is being presented.”
Apart from Vishwambhara, she also has Miss You alongside Siddharth, which she’s very excited about. And guess what? The film holds a special place in her heart. Why, you wonder? Let’s hear what she has to tell us: “When I was in school, I used to watch a lot of Siddharth’s films and Allu Arjun sir’s movies. It was because of their films that I learned about the language and I used to watch these films for them. Since my childhood, I’ve had a major crush on him (Siddharth), and my whole school knew how much I adored him as an actor.”
Next, what happened was something she couldn’t believe: “They offered me a role with him. I was actually cross-checking every now and then if it was actually Siddharth, until I went to the ‘Mahuratham’. Even then, until I saw him, I couldn’t believe it. Miss You is something I personally connected to and that is very special to me. There was never a point for me, ‘Let’s just give it a read’. I was very happy that I had a full-fledged role to perform alongside him and to be seen with him. I still feel like it’s a dream. It’s a very special film for me.”
Sharing some more exclusive tidbits, she reveals, “We are done filming Miss You and I am playing a character called Subhalakshmi, who has a different kind of role. There are two shades to her role. She is very cute and innocent and at the same time, there’s a lot of maturity. There’s a lot of secret side to the character too, which I cannot reveal much, but it’s definitely like the girl-next-door character you would connect to. It’s a very performance-oriented role and I had to put in a lot of effort to bring out the differences between the two variations my character has.”
But also on the workfront, she says, she’s manifesting to work alongside her another personal favourite Nani.

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