Rashi Mal, who has done a lot of work on television and web, is playing actor Riddhi Sen’s onscreen girlfriend in the upcoming film, which also stars Kajol in the lead role. In an exclusive interaction with indianexpress.com, the young actor opened up about sharing screen space with her two talented co-stars and how she manages her various talents.
“My character Nikita is Vivaan’s (Riddhi Sen) girlfriend and she becomes the voice of reason in his equation with his mother (Kajol). She helps diffuse the tension, or at least attempts to, when things get a bit too heated up between the two since she has a great rapport with both. It’s a very heartwarming story and my character will definitely bring some comic relief and few smiles to the audience’s faces,” Rashi said.
Helicopter Eela is the story about a mother-son. The slice-of-life drama has Kajol playing a single overprotective mother who joins her son’s college to stay close to him. But things go for a toss when her son starts feeling suffocated and finds it an invasion into his privacy. While Kajol is one of Bollywood’s most iconic actors, Riddhi is the recipient of a National Award. So, where did Rashi fit in such a story and between such powerhouse performers?
“This has been an exceptional experience. I think your own game gets elevated when in the company of such good actors. I have grown up watching Kajol and I used to have a poster of her in my room. Riddhi has a lot of work under his belt. The energy they exude is infectious. I saw them dissect each scene to understand the motivation of their character and then make it their own,” Rashi shared.
Helicopter Eela has been directed by Pradeep Sarkar, the man who discovered Rashi. Though the ad film she had auditioned for couldn’t happen, Rashi remembered her first meeting with the talented filmmaker. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I remember dada said to me that I have a very interesting face. I have worked with him on several projects and I am very grateful for that. Not only is he a brilliant director, he is also an amazing person. He takes people with him, up the ladder of success, and I haven’t seen many people do that,” the Delhi girl said.
Rashi started her career as a choreographer at Ashley Lobo’s dance academy. After completing her engineering from Mumbai, she got into theatre and soon began working in various ads, TV and web shows. Her prominent work includes MTV Webbed, Love By Chance, Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya, Yeh Hai Aashiqui, Gulmohar Grand, A.I.SHA, Time Out, Boy Giri, Adulting and others.
Rashi reveals how she manages to multi-task. “Acting is my primary focus, dance is the love and music (singing and song writing) is the soul food. Each of these skills lends to the other so it isn’t so hard to keep them all going. It actually helps to have other interests. It makes you a well-rounded individual and that in turn helps your craft,” she shared.
Rashi’s yet-to-release film Sir won big at the Cannes Film festival this year. She will also be seen in Pyaar Actually, a project by Y-Films.
“I am definitely looking at Bollywood full throttle. I think this is a great time to be in the industry given the kind of stories being told. I am an actor at the end of the day and I want to do good work,” Rashi said.