Exclusive : Ashika Ranganath Interview

Ashika Ranganath, the heroine of Amigos in a chat with Y.Sunita Chowdhary of Klapboardpost.com says that she is lucky to have parents who have supported her and moved base to Bangalore to help her pursue a career in cinema. Her parents were always interested in films and took her along to the theatre whenever something new was released. Ashika wasn’t interested at that time but later she developed a liking for art alongside dance. “My mother always wanted to be a singer but she didn’t get the encouragement and there was no exposure at her time i.e when she was young. So she made sure Ashika got all the support the moment she showed interest in dance and extracurricular activities in school and college. “Whenever there was a discussion and I said this is not my type, my parents always stood by my decisions. Sometimes at a young age, you don’t know what is good for you, you are lucky if you have parents who see your passion and encourage you to follow your dreams.”

She further says, “There are people who still admire celebrities, like films but when a family member or an extended relative gets into it, they have many questions. My parents never bothered, I am lucky in that way. Also when I see my parents go to work and get back in the evening, I still ask how these guys do it. I can’t imagine myself sitting in one place and working for long hours, doing the same stuff every day. I am so glad this has happened to me.” Ashika concurs that every Friday, there is a new talent showing up and you don’t know how people will receive you. It is important you be recognised for not doing just about any film that comes your way. There should also be gratitude for being there, I have three releases in Kannada this year and I am glad I’m focussing on other languages as well. The graph I have in Kannada is something that I don’t want to let go. I want to maintain it.”

Everyone from Ashika’s family is in Bangalore and she finds it nice to be in a comfort zone and work. She is right now coming out and facing a new industry, new language and finds it a lot more challenging. She shares, “I started working in Telugu and Tamil simultaneously and the opportunity came just like and now I want to explore. This time frame didn’t give me much time to learn the language but this is how my workflow has been. There is no time to sit and think. Two months ago I began working in a Tamil film starring Siddharth and I am just figuring out things. It is a new language.” Ashika has kept her personal and social life separate. She says her film team has remarked that she works like a schoolgirl, goes to the sets and returns home straight on time. She is truly disconnected once she is at home.

She adds, “I am not much into film parties and events and I wish to strike that balance of managing everyone and everything in my life. Even now when I get a break, I go meet my cousins, go out with them. That makes me feel like a normal person, it’s not like I am in a different zone. It’s so easy to get carried away when you are totally with the film team. You are treated like a celeb, but when you go back to your roots you know who you are. People say I am simple and they don’t recognise how come I am with them. I want to do everything that everyone does. I don’t want to be restricted. People might ask for a picture but that’s okay. That is fine. Everyone has their own perspective, I keep everything balanced.”

Ashika goes through nervousness and excitement every time before her film gets released. She is slightly comfortable with Kannada films now because she says she knows the audiences and understands them quite a bit. She has seen the first day first show with audiences. She says further, “I believe in positive vibes with the team, that has always worked for me. The script, the process of filming, dubbing, somewhere you know the result but these days you don’t know which one will be a pan Indian film. Lot of surprises are being thrown in. I tell myself don’t stress yourself, things will happen whatever.”

Kannada cinema is very popular now, earlier it wasn’t. Ashika cites the reason, “I have seen that span when we are trying to make good films and that is not reaching a lot of people. Very good films were made then there wasn’t much exposure and reach. KGF showed the path to all the good films. It is a proud thing for all of us that such films are made in Kannada. It is now just one industry, and only a hit film. Language is no barrier.”
The OTT scene in Kannada is also picking up. Certain films meant to have a theatrical release are now streaming and films like Dia was a huge hit during the pandemic. Love Mocktail is also doing so well. “True, for actors..OTT is a blessing. Opportunities are being created in a big way but we are missing the way actors get celebrated in the theatres. The big screen viewing experience is beautiful. I love to see that and that will never go away. People who watch cinema in the theatre will always go there, there is no such tension. I hope that people in theatres and then on OTT,” she quips. Ashika likes promoting her films on instagram, she is aware people like her for what she is and that is evident by the comments people post on her platform. She signs off, “I always see the positive side of it. It is sad that a few people are being trolled for just every act. if i’m not getting it now, some other time in future I might be trolled. There is both good and bad. There are people sitting there and commenting, so we might as well ignore it, which is the best thing to do. We should not read it, have time for ourselves and focus on the positive things of life.”

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