Raambo 2 gave me popularity and recognition: Ashika Ranganath
Ashika, who feels lucky to have been associated with some of the best directors in the industry wants to balance commercial roles and mature roles that will push her as an actor
Booth of Ashika Ranganath's upcoming films — Suni’s Avatar Purusha, starring Sharan and Pavan Wadeyar’s Raymo, in which she is paired opposite Ishan — are in the last leg of completion. She is now waiting to begin shooting her portions for Sriimurali-starrer MadaGaja, directed by Mahesh Kumar. In the meantime, a couple of filmmakers approached her for their films, but Ashika has asked them to wait till they can hold detailed discussions in person.
“I don’t like listening to scripts over the phone, and would rather prefer discussing them in detail with the team. I will do that as and when I find it safe to venture out,” says Ashika. She adds that the second phase of her film career started with Raambo 2. “As an actor, the phrase, ‘climbing the ladder’, perfectly fits my film journey. Having started with Crazy Boy opposite a newcomer, and having played important characters in films like Raju Kannada Medium and Mugulu Nage, it was Raambo 2 that gave me the break to play a solo heroine. The name Ashika Ranganath got known among the audience through this film,” she says.
Ashika admits that since Raambo 2, she has been very choosy about her projects. “As a beginner, I didn’t know how to choose a script and was not much aware of acting either. I would just follow what directors would tell me. But with Raambo 2, I realised that picking the right script is very important for an actor, and that was the sole reason I chose Raambo 2, which ran for 100 days,” she recalls.
For six-film-old Ashika, it is the directors who play an important role in helping her establish her acting credentials. “Even though I have to do small roles in a couple of films, they have given me learning experience,” she says. Her wish list now consists of mature roles. “Every character I have played to date is of my age. They have been cute, soft and subtle characters. However, I feel mature roles like the ones we see in historical projects or woman-oriented script is where we can carry more responsibility on our shoulders. Though I have a long way to go, I have this thirst for doing serious roles,” says Ashika, giving examples of films like Thappad and Chhapaak. “To be in showbiz, it is equally important to be part of commercial entertainers, and I want to balance both these types of films,” she adds.
“I got to spend some quality time with family. Irrespective of our arguments, I do have my mother and my sister (Anusha Ranganath), and we still enjoy staying together. This time also allowed me to understand the importance of a homemaker, for whom lockdown has never made a difference,” she says.
As an actor, there is no end to mastering the art, and Ashika, who likes to observe and learn, made it a point to watch one film a day. “While dance has been an escape, I, along with my family, have watched some of the best films in all languages. We have also watched a few web series. This has been the schedule over the last few months. Having got used to this lifestyle, I am afraid how it’s going to be once I get back to the film sets,” she signs off.