Time to spread my wings and teach myself: Rashmika Mandanna
Actor Rashmika Mandanna says she is at a stage in her career where she wants to "spread her wings" and fly into uncharted territories as she wants to learn more about her capabilities.
This led Mandanna to Goodbye, her first Hindi film in which she stars alongside the likes of megastar Amitabh Bachchan and seasoned actor Neena Gupta.
"This is the time for me to spread my wings and do every kind of film because it is important to do so as an actor. I don't want to be comfortable doing a particular kind of film.
"I want to learn and teach myself what my kind of films are because I haven't figured it out yet," Mandanna told PTI in an interview.
Since her debut with Kannada film Kirik Party in 2016, the actor has fast emerged as one of the top stars of south cinema with critically-acclaimed movies such as Sulthan, Geetha Govindam, Dear Comrade and the 2021 pan-India blockbuster Pushpa: The Rise.
With Goodbye, the aim is to follow the heart and see where it takes her, she said, adding language has never been a barrier.
"The barrier of language has never been a problem. For me, content is the hero. Stories speak to me more than anything else... I want to work with so many people, I have a huge to-do list.
"The game plan is to follow my heart, continue to do what I do and hope it all goes well."
"Goodbye" is a family drama which highlights themes of self-discovery, family dynamics and celebration of a journey called life.
Mandanna said the film happened organically to her.
According to the actor, the makers approached her with the script during the first lockdown of COVID-19 in 2020 and she immediately agreed to come on board after reading it.
"It is not something that I had planned... It is receiving so much love for the trailer and songs that it is getting me excited. I wanted to be part of these films, regardless of the language, she added.
The Pushpa star said working with Bachchan pushed her to up her game as an actor.
"I had sheets and pages of long dialogues and I was like, can I do this with Mr Bachchan? But then I took it as a competition that I gave to myself and the idea was to get better with every film. I see a lot of change in me before and after Goodbye', she added.
The movie also gave Mandanna the opportunity to play the role of Tara, a strong, rational yet cranky woman, which is a bit unlike her real self, she said.
The actor said when she started working on the movie, she never felt like someone who was new to the Hindi film industry.
"When I came to the Hindi industry, it felt like home because people from all around the country were working on the sets. In Goodbye', the director of photography is from Hyderabad, so we would talk in Telugu.
"The light boys are from Chennai, so they would speak in Kannada and Tamil. I may be acting in Hindi films but the feeling of home never went away. I am happy to be here, Mandanna said.
Goodbye is produced by Balaji Motion Pictures in association with Good Co. Also starring Pavail Gulati, Elli Avram, Sunil Grover, Sahil Mehta and Abhishek Khan, the film is scheduled to be released in theatres on October 7.
Mandanna has two more Hindi movies in her kitty -- Mission Majnu with Sidharth Malhotra and Animal , starring Ranbir Kapoor, Bobby Deol and Anil Kapoor.