Actress Raashi Khanna says it takes more than just “good looks” to survive in the Malayalam film industry as the focus is on getting good performances from the actors. Since her debut in 2013 with “Madras Cafe” directed by Shoojit Sircar, Khanna has worked in Tamil and Telugu industries, including “Bengal Tiger”, “Supreme”, “Jai Luv Kush”, “Tholi Prema”, Movies like “Imaicka Nodigal”. and “Prati Roju Pandage”. He forayed into Malayalam films with the 2017 action thriller “Villain”, co-starring the veteran actor Mohan Lal.
Khanna said he is thrilled with the kind of risks that filmmakers from the Malayalam film industry take. Even artists are constantly pushing the envelope with their work. “I did ‘Khalnayak’ with Mohanlal sir, but I’m not sure if I registered that much in the industry. I felt as an actor, I wanted to tap this market as well. In the Malayalam industry, really from you. You are expected to act. You cannot move forward without acting.
“You can’t be a good-looking and just be in that industry. It doesn’t work that way. There are a lot of daring actors in that industry who would choose characters that any other industry wouldn’t. ,” the 30-year-old actor told PTI in an interview.
Khanna is currently gearing up for her second Malayalam film, “Bhramam”, in which she stars opposite Prithviraj Sukumaran. An adaptation of the Bollywood hit “Andhadhun”, the film sees him in the role that was played by actor Radhika Apte in the 2018 original.
The actor said that “Bhram”, directed by cinematographer-turned-director Ravi K Chandran, gave him an opportunity to establish himself as an artiste in the Malayalam industry.
“While Radhika’s character was more attractive, my character is a bit mellow. However, all the characters are extremely grey.
“It’s a remake, but it still feels original because the actors have brought out their personalities in the characters we’re playing,” he added.
The actor said that when Khanna was offered the film, she went out of her way to be a part of it and adjusted other projects to make room for it. “When this film came to me, I didn’t have dates at all. But I really wanted to do it, so I fought people and got those dates. The fact that Ravi sir thought I was Radhika’s To be able to recreate the role myself, it was a huge compliment.”
“Bhramam” is the story of a pianist who pretends to be blind but gets embroiled in a murder. While filmmaker Sriram Raghavan set “Andhadhun” in Pune, Chandran set up the remake in Kochi, Kerala. For Khanna, who was born and raised in Delhi, it was important not to look “worthless” in “Bhramam”.
“Ravi sir was sure that she should look local, people should relate to her. Which was difficult as I am not from that area and I could not look out of place. So the focus was on the way I dressed Was.
“He was clear that he didn’t want any makeup. He wanted my hair and clothes to look a certain way, which I might not have fit into in other commercial movies. But here I was, totally on board.”
The actor said that Chandran had approached the film with a “clean slate” like a newcomer. “I have felt, every time I have done a Malayalam film, I have grown as an actor. Ravi sir wanted me to do everything that I had done earlier. I felt a lot on my shoulder. There is responsibility and I hope people like my work,” she added.
Jointly produced by AP International and Viacom18 Studios, Bhram also stars Unni Mukundan, Sudhir Karmana and Mamta Mohandas in pivotal roles.