Bengaluru women Rashmika Mandanna, Shraddha Srinath and Samyuktha Hegde have ventured into the Telugu and Tamil industries and have appealed to the audiences there too.

From Rashmika to Shraddha The Bengaluru women whove become multilingual actors
Flix Entertainment Saturday, May 04, 2019 - 12:19

You’ve seen them own Sandalwood, and now, they are receiving adulation and praise for their stellar performances in other film industries. Bengaluru women Rashmika Mandanna, Shraddha Srinath and Samyuktha Hegde have ventured into the Telugu and Tamil industries and have managed to appeal to the audiences there too. While Rashmika’s Telugu flick Geetha Govindam was a blockbuster that garnered high acclaim, Shraddha’s Tollywood debut Jersey has brought the actor a shower of compliments. On the other hand, Kirik Party actor Samyuktha Hegde did the film’s Telugu remake Kirrak Party, and is now doing three Tamil films.

The spunky Samyuktha says, “It’s been a good journey exploring three languages in the last two years. There’s a lot of learning, and I’ve even learnt Telugu and Tamil. Each film set has a different routine and style of working. No one’s ever treated me like an outsider and I’ve enjoyed working in all the industries." She's now back in Bengaluru to consider new scripts. “The number of movies made in Telugu and Tamil are more, so there are more options there. In Kannada, it’s mostly outside heroines or the same heroines who are cast repeatedly. Also, I’m really young and look like a baby compared to the rest, so I guess nobody wants to experiment to see if I look older or not.” The actor, who’s also known for her Roadies stint, is now doing Comali with Jayam Ravi, Puppy with newcomer Varun and Theal with Prabhu Deva.

For Shraddha, there’s not much of a difference between Sandalwood and other industries. “There has been acceptance from all industries, but since Kannada is my mother tongue, I probably understand it better. The other industries are perhaps bigger in terms of the number of movies being made and it’s been great juggling between all of them,” says the actor, whose Tamil flick K13 released this month. Nerkonda Paarvai is her upcoming realese where she's acting along with Ajith.

A common phenomenon on social media is the trolling that these Kannada women actors ecperience for being part of movies in other languages or sometimes, even speaking other languages. How do they deal with this negativity?

“I ignore such comments – I have two films up for release in Kannada, but nobody remembers that! I’m just being a professional and picking the best out of the films I’m being offered. I don’t look at it as our state or their state - work is work. What’s important to me is that I get satisfied creatively. I did Godhra, an amazing political drama, in Kannada, and now I have Rustom, an out and out commercial film. If I’m not busy in Kannada, it may be because of a lack of good scripts – I’m not abandoning the industry! My basis for rejection when it comes to any script is whether the team will be able to pull it off or not. Having a script on paper is one thing, but making sure it reaches theatres is another. I need to have faith that the team will be able to do it. The Kannada film industry too has young writers who are as good as any other industry,” states Shraddha, who made her Tamil debut with the blockbuster Vikram Vedha and also ventured into Bollywood with Milan Talkies.

Samyuktha, who’s had to deal with immense trolling and abuse online, says that she’s used to it now. “Trolling is so normal for me now. I got trolled for acting in other industries too, but I choose to ignore it. Nothing holds you back unless you want it too,” she says. “I have gotten the typical heroine roles with newcomers, but I don’t want to do such roles. I really want to set a benchmark and prove that I don’t have to be conventional looking to become a successful actor. Just look at Priyanka Chopra – not conventional and still doing so well,” she adds.

While these fairly new women actors have just about started making a mark in industries apart from Sandalwood, Bengaluru hudugi and actor Nandita Shweta is someone who did this quite a few years ago. Having made her debut in Kannada with Nanda Loves Nanditha, Nandita has managed to create her own market in Tamil and Telugu through her offbeat and women-oriented roles. The Kannadathi is back in Sandalwood opposite Yash in My Name Is Kiraataka.

“When I made my debut in Kannada, I was really young, so I took a break and went back to finish my education. As for other languages, I never had to put in an effort to get roles. I used to laugh when people would say I’d do Tamil films one day, and now I’m doing so many of them! All languages have different styles and characterisation. Kannada will always be special because it’s my mother tongue,” smiles the actor, who’s now doing IPC376, Akshara, Devi 2, 7 and Kalki, all of which are bilingual (Tamil and Telugu).

After making her Tamil debut in Attakathi followed by Ethir Neechal, Nandita was a bit confused about the choice of her future roles. However, she has managed to get noticed and stay consistent over the years. “I’m my own competition. Even though there are new heroines coming in, I’ve been able to maintain my fanbase and do niche films,” says the actor, whose Telugu debut Ekkadiki Pothavu Chinnavada won her a Filmfare award. Thrilled to see Bengaluru women making their presence felt in other industries, Nandita hopes to see the Kannada industry cast more Kannada and Bengaluru women.

Rashmika Mandanna is another actor whose second Telugu film Geetha Govindam catapulted her into the big league. Having garnered a huge fan following in Tollywood, Rashmika’s upcoming flicks are Dear Comrade with Vijay Deverakonda, Bhheshma, AA 20 and Tamil film Karthi 19.  “I feel proud seeing Rashmika making a mark in so many industries. Ultimately, it’s our career, and we know how we want to shape it. There’s no obligation that we need to do this or that. At the end of the day, I want to do good roles, make money, go home and be happy with my family,” says Shraddha.

Samyuktha, who made her Kannada debut with Rashmika in Kirik Party, says, “Her aim was always to be an actor, and I’m happy for her growth. As for me, apart from films, there’s a whole lot of things I want to do. Career is important, but I want to live my life too.”

With these talented women from Bengaluru making their mark in other film industries, all we can say is – you go, girls!

Ikyatha Yerasala is a Bengaluru-based journalist who’s also a movie, pun and anti-patriarchy enthusiast.

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