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'Life in a suit looked bleak, I picked art'- Cinema express

'Life in a suit looked bleak, I picked art'

...says Rishi, an engineer who ditched his corporate career for a stint in acting; he is excited about his movie debut, Operation Alamelamma

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Published: 11th July 2017

An engineer, who was in a highly paying corporate job, switched his career and chose acting. Rishi, who first worked in TV serials, is making his movie debut with Operation Alamelamma, and he says that this transition was not an accident, and this was not his childhood dream. But his popularity, even before the release of his first outing on silverscreen is something to be noted.

Thanks to ‘Purmy’, the character he plays in the movie, and the buzz around Suni’s upcoming directorial, the young actor’s career seems to be on a fast-track. Rishi, in a conversation with CE, tells us that his first stint on stage was during his engineering days. “Theatre was an attempt to gauge myself as an actor, and my first experience was not mindblowing. On my second attempt, I found the medium interesting and gradually the temptation grew,” says Rishi. “I think way into my future, and when I analysed where corporate life would take me in ten years, I realised that it is bleak. With due respect to corporate culture, I felt art had better career prospects.”

Rishi was polishing up his acting skills and trying to enter tinsel town, when he had a chance encounter with director Suni. This fetched him his role in Operation Alamelamma. “I was in discussions with the director about another project and that didn’t take off,” he says. “He told me a one-liner of Operation Alamellamma, and I got excited about the subject. I gave it a push and finally we got into the actual ‘operation’.”

Ask him to define Operation Alamelamma today, and he says, “It is a new age masala entertainer. While opinions may vary if the movie is experimental or mainstream commercial, thriller or a romantic comedy, I believe it cannot be classified into one genre. To me it is a complete package and will be a favourite with families.”

Calling Suni the “simplest” director he has ever come across, Rishi says, “Give him a pen and paper and he’ll instantly write you a scene. It is a divine gift, and he agrees. His natural talent is something which has always surprised me about him.”

The film also has him sharing screen space with Shraddha Srinath. “She has easy and natural talent, working with her has been so much of give and take,” he says. “When you work with real actors like her, you tend to enhance your performance and that was the case with all the actors with whom I worked in Operation Alamelamma.”

Looks like Rishi has already arrived. The actor has already been signed on by Hemanth M Rao for Kavalu Daari, a film presented and produced by Puneeth Rajkumar along with KRG Studios. “I feel extremely grateful, and it is nice to hear there is an interest in my work,” says Rishi, adding that all the attention is making him nervous, too. “Whenever I hear from people that they are looking forward to seeing my performance on screen, I get worried. That is a lot of expectation, but I am taking it slowly. I am relieved that people know I exist, and that I am getting a good entry into this industry. From here on, it is up to me -- how I pick my movies and how I keep the filmmakers and audiences happy.”

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