I got Birbal after a gruelling audition, which lasted for four hours: Rukmini Vasanth
Coming from a strong theatre background, the actor is all set to make her debut with MG Srinivas' Birbal Trilogy - Case 1: Finding Vajramuni
The strong desire to tell a good story brought young actor Rukmini Vasanth to tinsel town. Now she is all set to debut with the Birbal Trilogy - Case 1: Finding Vajramuni, a film by MG Srinivas, who directs and stars in this three part series.
All of 22 years, the first impression one gets while speaking with this debutante is her army background. Her father Vasanth Venugopal, who commanded a unit in the Uri district of Kashmir, was killed in a terrorist attack in 2007, 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-profit organisation that works with women and children of jawans who have been martyred across the state.
With her mother and grandmother being veteran dancers, Rukmini was always attracted to performing art 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. Eventually, I went to London, where I learned theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art,” she tells Cinema Express.
Coming from a strong theatre background, she always wanted to work in cinema and that brought her to Birbal. About landing the role, she says, “It was a pretty gruelling 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.” The actor adds that she takes her mother’s advice when it comes to films.
Rukmini plays Janavi Bhargav, an advocate, in Birbal..., and she explains that it was the character that drew her to the film. “Janavi is a strong opinionated woman. It's not a role that is only meant to be in a song or in a few romantic sequences. She has a job to do. As 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. It pushed me to get the Kannada accent right. Even though I stayed in Bengaluru, I was away in London for a 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 from across the world and he has a strong vision.”
Birbal..., she adds, 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, which I am confident will create a new wave in the Kannada industry,” Rukmini signs off.