The strong desire to tell a good story brought this young talent Rukmini Vasanth to tinsel town. Now she is all set to debut with the Birbal Trilogy, Case 1 Finding Vajramuni, a film by M G Srinivas, the director and actor of the film which will be a 3 part series. Slated to release with an A certificate, the film will hit theatres on November 18 this year. All of 22 years, the first impression one gets while speaking with this debutante is her background. Her father Vasanth Venugopal was in the army and commanded a unit in the Uri district of Kashmir.
In 2007, Venugopal was killed in a terrorist attack and was awarded the Ashoka Chakra, the first one awarded to an officer from Karnataka. Rukmini’s mother Subhashini is a well known dancer who after her husband’s death, started a non-for-profit organization that works with women and children of jawans who have been martyred across the state.
With a legacy of dancers, Rukmini has a lot to look up to. Both her mother and grandmother are veterans in the art and she was always attracted to performances since a young age. “I am the third generation of dancers from my family.
I started with Bharathanatyam and Ballet. I also enjoyed performing at schools . When I was about 13, I started thinking about theatre seriously and I thought I had potential. Eventually I went to London, where I learnt theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art,” she tells City Express.
Coming from a strong theatre background, she always wanted to place herself in front of the camera and give acting a try and that brought her to Birbal. She says.”It was my agent who helped me audition for Birbal.” She termed it as a ‘pretty grueling audition, which lasted for four hours.
“In my very first audition, the team helped me with my body language and dialogue delivery. And when I was chosen to be part of the project, the director took my mother and me through a two and a half hour long narration before I signed the film,” says the debutante, who takes her mother’s advice when it comes to films. “I feel I am new to this field, and bank upon my mother for advice,” she adds.
Rukmini as Janavi Bhargav, plays an advocate in Birbal..., and she explains why the character drew her to be part of the film. “Janavi, is a strong opinionated woman and her only appearance is not meant to be in a song or in a few romantic sequences. She has a job to do. For a debutante, it was exciting to be able to portray such a character,” says Rukmini, who made sure to work on her dialogue delivery before she began to shoot.
“Firstly, I should be grateful to Srinivas who insisted I dub for this film and it pushed me to get the Kannada accent right. Even though I stayed in Bengaluru, I was away in London for few years. So I wanted to strengthen my Kannada diction as I didn’t want somebody to feel that a foreigner is speaking the local language,” she adds.
Birbal... has strong talent attached to it, and that was another attraction, says Rukmini for whom Srinivas comes across as a perfectionist. “He has put together a great team coming from across the world and a he has a strong vision,” she says.
According to Rukmini, Birbal... is the story of a highly intelligent man who navigates around the world to solve a problem. “There are a lot of exciting elements in this thriller genre film, which I am confident will create a new wave in the Kannada industry,” says the first timer, who makes a special mention of Sujay Shastry, her co-artiste in Birbal... “ He helped me big time, and pushed me with confidence,” she signs off.