In this interview, Dhanya Ramkumar speaks about growing up in a famous film family, her dreams and what lies ahead.

More exciting than scary Dhanya on being first woman actor from Rajkumar family
Flix Interview Thursday, June 06, 2019 - 13:07

When you belong to an illustrious film family, it’s hard not to get drawn towards the fascinating field around which you’ve grown up. Dr. Rajkumar’s granddaughter Dhanya Ramkumar is the next aspiring actor from the family to be making her Sandalwood debut. The offspring of Dr. Rajkumar’s daughter Poornima and her husband Ramkumar, will be seen in a flick with Suraj Gowda to be directed by debutante director Suman Jadhugar.

Talking about how the project happened, Dhanya reveals, “The team got in touch with me and narrated the script. My mother and I heard it and I thought it was extremely relatable. I could see myself doing what the character was doing.”

Ask her if she always wanted to do films and she admits, “Deep down, I always wanted to be an actor, but I never opened up about it. None of the women in my family had come forward with acting aspirations. I’d studied media studies and worked for a year in PR before this. But, I wasn’t really satisfied, so I thought I’d ask my mum about entering films.”

After her stint in PR, Dhanya is kicked that she will now get to be on the other side of the spectrum.

“My mom said ‘if you really want to do it, you should – we’re not going to not let you do what you want. However, she was expecting this! She said she was waiting for me to speak to her about my film debut,” smiles Dhanya. Her uncles Shivrajkumar, Puneeth and Raghavendra were all supportive of her decision. “All of them gave me good advice and told me how to be dedicated and how to manage my time,” she adds.

Does she feel a lot of pressure now that she’s the first girl from the Rajkumar family to be entering films?

“I would be facing pressure even if I weren’t a girl. I’m sure my brother (Dhereen) faces the same amount of pressure and the same goes with my cousins Vinay and Yuva. But me being the first girl, it might add a bit of nerve, if not pressure. But I’m taking it in my stride and I’d say it’s more exciting than scary,” says Dhanya, who sees her debut role as a strong one.

With the Kannada film industry writing better roles for women of late, she maintains that she’d like to do more films which will have an impact on society.

Considering she grew up with actors and filmmakers around her, did she pick up cues along the way while watching her family of artistes?

“Actually, I’ve done a six-month training programme with Gowri Dattu of Abhinaya Taranga. When it comes to picking cues, when I was growing up, I wasn’t old enough to understand the art of filmmaking or the skills an actor possesses. But ever since I decided I wanted to be an actor, I started to learn under my teacher, I started to observe more – the expressions, the body language, the eye movements etc and I’ve been picking up on those clues,” she answers.

Talk veers towards her education and Dhanya reveals that she’s switched a number of schools post which she studied Journalism and Mass communication in CMS Jain university. “My school and college friends said they always knew I’d be joining the industry. When they got to know about my debut, they were like – we told you this would happen!” laughs the actor, who starts shooting for her film in July.

While her grandfather remains her all-time favourite actor, Dhanya also admires Alia Bhatt and Jodie Foster for their acting skills. As for the legendary Dr. Rajkumar, she says, “I have tonnes of special memories of my grandpa. But one that I’ll always cherish is how he would remember what I’d like to eat and if he was eating it, he’d call out to me and feed me.”

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