Yash and Radhika: Kannada industry has given us name, fame and a life partner
Having completed a decade together in the industry, the self-made actors talk to CE about their journey, experience and the challenges they faced en route to stardom
Once a nervous newcomer to the Kannada industry, Radhika Pandit has worked relentlessly over the last ten years to carve out a niche for herself. Having debuted with Moggina Manasu, the 20-film-old heroine tells us that she has come to realise that it is not just about survival in the industry, but about sustenance. "The lifespan of a heroine, in particular, is considered very short. Having said that they are also heroines who have been in the industry for more than 15 years. Being in demand after so many years requires hard work and luck," she says.
As a school and college student who loved theatre, getting into films was a natural progression for Radhika. But it's been her talent and love for art that has helped the 'outsider' make it big. She credits her transition from television to silver screen to producer E Krishanappa (producer of Mungaru Male), director Shashank and the team of Moggina Manasu. "When Krishnappa was making Moggina Manasu, he insisted on choosing artistes and technicians from our state, which is how we got opportunities," she says, adding, "Secondly, director Shashank gave me that opportunity to play a beautiful role in my debut."
As an artiste, Radhika has always been clear about her vision. "I had talent to offer and wanted to be known as a good performer. I made sure to take up films that did justice to my talent and were in line with my goals. Working with good teams made it possible to stay strong in the industry without getting involved in any controversy. I completely value this industry, which has given me name and fame. Kannada industry has given me everything and more than I imagined including my life partner (Yash)," she says.
Radhika has just wrapped up shoot for V Priya's yet-to-be-titled project, made under Rockline Productions. Incidentally, this is her first film post marriage. "While my film career is an integral part of my life, it's not my sole focus. Besides being an actor, I'm also a daughter, sister, wife, and daughter-in-law. I have been able to balance my personal and professional life so far, and I hope to do the same in the future," she says.
Radhika looks back at her decade-long career, glad that she has a number of hits and awards to her credit. "Whether it is the audience or my colleagues in the industry, they have always looked up to me with admiration and respect, which feels good. It is something difficult to earn. I have come across fans who have tattooed my name on their hands and come up in huge numbers to celebrate my birthday. I look at all this as an achievement," she says.
Radhika has gotten a variety of roles, but she still has a long wishlist. "I still haven't done a historic role. I also want to play twins. I haven't done a thriller nor have I been part of a mystery. There are so many roles to be fulfilled and there's no end to this list. Nowadays, filmmakers are coming up with subjects that are so unique that there is no dearth of interesting roles for an actor. I still have a long way to go," she signs off.
Yash was not born with a silver spoon nor was he handed over a film career on a silver platter. An outsider to the industry, just like Radhika, he believes in conviction, hardwork and self-belief. This has helped him make it big.
How does Yash explain his decade-old career in the industry? "I have to thank my fans. They don't care where you come from. As long as you entertain them and give them what they expect from an actor, they'll shower you with love, praise and respect. They are unbiased and open to new talent ," says the actor who is a household name today.
"I also owe it to producers, directors, technicians and their contributions. They have made us. What we are today is because of them," he adds.
Even after a decade, Yash feels like it was just yesterday that he stepped into the industry. "When people say that I have completed a decade as a hero, that's when I realise how long I have been part of it," says the actor, who started off as a television and theatre actor. "It's been quite a journey."
The 15-films-old actor recalls his debut in Moggina Manasu, that featured him alongside Radhika Pandit. It was his first experience of signing a film. "Director Shashank narrated the story to me and I picked this up after rejecting seven scripts. I remember a few people didn't want to narrate their script to me just because I was a newcomer. It was Shashank, E Krishnappa, and Gangadhar who respected my talent. They had watched me on television and decided to give me an opportunity," he says.
Ever since Yash can remember, he always wanted to become an actor. So, his decision to join the film industry was not much of a surprise. "They say you should start loving what you do and I strongly believe this. I love my craft and give it 100 per cent," says the Rocking star, who adds, that each film has allowed him climb the ladder. "Every step is important and each film has contributed to my career in a different way. I don't measure films by the success they see at the box office. Even an average film I have done has added to my career," he says.
The KGF actor also feels blessed that both Radhika and he have been part of his film and life journey. "We both started off together in serials and then got into films. Both of us have seen success together. Both of us have received awards together. We have seen ups and downs and we are in a position where we are happy. Whatever happened in our lives has made us stronger and better. When you have a companion who has travelled with you, and she is with you for life, that itself is a blessing. Not everyone gets that opportunity. It looks like God has scripted our destiny," he says.
While Yash says he still has a long way to go, he also takes this opportuntity to thank everybody. "I want to thank my parents, my producers, directors, technicians, my staff who are with me in this wonderful journey," he says.
Signing off, Yash also gives us a good news that he is going to get rid of his beard either by July end or August firstweek. "We are hoping to shoot a song for KGF in the coming days and then the beard goes."