The tag line of the film, ‘Mayakkam Enna – Follow Your Heart’, suits its heroine, Richa Gangopadhyay, who is incidentally making her debut in Kollywood with it.
Begins Richa with a smile, “It all began with the Miss India USA pageant in 2008. It was a cultural pageant with talent rounds and in which there was no swim suit round at all. That pageant played an important role in shaping up my film career. I gave a violin and dance performance on ‘Vande Mataram’ at the pageant which was received well. The same year, at another pageant titled Miss Indian Worldwide 2008, I won the Miss Beautiful Eyes and Miss Photogenic face, representing US Indians.”
“As bagging titles at pageants open avenues for acting in the film industry, I decided to polish my skills in acting and that’s when I pursued a course in acting from Anupam Kher’s acting school in Mumbai, Actor Prepares. After that, I made my film debut in Telugu with ‘Leader’, which was a hit. In the two years that I have been in the film industry, I have done five films –three in Telugu and two in Tamil, the second one being ‘Osthi’,” says Richa, whose performance in ‘Nagavalli’, the sequel to ‘Chandramukhi’ in Telugu, and as a Brahmin girl in ‘Mirapakaay’ later, were well-received.
On the experience of working with both directors – Selvaraghavan and Dharani, she says, “Although both of them are great task masters, Selvaraghavan and his crew would spend a lot of time together on the sets. Dharani and his crew, on the other hand, prefer to venture out and have fun after pack up.”
The actress discloses that one schedule is already over and the songs are being shot. ‘Osthi’, the Tamil remake of the Hindi blockbuster ‘Dabangg’ starring Salman Khan, has Richa playing Sonakshi’s role.
“It is completely rustic as opposed to the urban and sophisticated look of Yamini in ‘Mayakkam Enna’. Yamini is a strong, independent and intense girl who is true to her beliefs. Of course, ‘Osthi’ will have the flavour of the place and some great upbeat numbers by Thaman, the music director. It is a Simbu film. So, music will be peppy as well. Two of the tunes are on the lines of two numbers from ‘Mirapakaay’ in Telugu for which again Thaman had scored music,” she chuckles.
Richa is clear about the kind of scripts she is looking forward to. “I am looking for roles that are glamorous and at the same time have substance. Language has never been a barrier for me. I believe that when you are acting in a particular language film, you need to know the language of the place to connect with the masses. After three films in Telugu, I can understand 70 percent of the Telugu lines given to me and I’m sure I will be able to understand Tamil also very well, soon,” says the actress whose mother-tongue is Bengali.
“From the US to India, I have travelled 8,000 miles and I'm here to prove my mettle,” she says.