Interview- Rashi Mal

Handpicked by director Pradeep Sarkar, Rashi started her journey in Bollywood with ‘Helicopter Eela’ (2018) alongside Kajol and Riddhi Sen, playing one of the protagonists. Rashi is a professional Actor, singer, and dancer and won the best actress (viewer’s choice) at the MTV IWMBuzz awards held in November 2019.Her first film ‘Sir’, an Indo- French co-production that won The GAN Foundation award at Cannes in 2018, had her playing a pivotal role and she is currently working on 2 film projects slated to release in 2020. There is Brahmastra with Dharma Productions, which is still filming, while the other one, a horror film, is in post-production.

*  Your series Hindmata is doing good, tell us a little more about your character?

I play the protagonist Samaira Jal in Hindmata. She is a South Bombay bred fashion designer who comes from money and lives in her own little bubble. And she is oblivious to a life outside her world and therefore naive in her ignorance. She is always putting on a show to hide her own shortcomings and yet is almost endearingly delusional in her self-belief. She has a good heart even though she says the most outrageous things and the show is a coming of age tale that sees her find her voice by the end of it. As she is thrown into this completely alien world of inmates in Hindmata Women’s prison, she discovers who she is and eventually stands up with and for the prisoners.

* When did you decide that you want to become an actor?

I can’t put it down to a single moment because my journey has been very organic. I started with workshops and classes in school/college performances etc. One thing led to another and in trying to find me, I found myself a career.  But yes a more conscious pursuit started after having finished my Engineering degree. Before that, I didn’t know it was a career option. No one in my family has ever been in the performing arts so I am an alone crusader of sorts from my clan making my place in the industry.

*  Are you flexible enough to work on short notice as a stand-in? How quickly can you assume a new role?

The flexibility would depend on my schedule but if I am not locked in for another project, I am pretty quick with getting into character. I am fairly instinctive as an actor so that helps. Also I am naturally a very curious person so I also try and constantly acquire different skill sets.I am a trained actor, dancer, and singer. I train in martial arts and swimming. I learned how to ride a bike for a project. So I try to give myself as manyexperiences as possible which can only help in my work.

* Describe your most challenging role to date.

I have been very conscious in picking extremely different characters with every project and each of those comes with its own challenges. And I think my character in Hindmata was challenging because I had to tow the fine line between saying all these outrageous things and yet making it believable enough for peopleto buy that a person like this could exist. I also had to craft a different body language for Samaira and then create very subtle shifts in demeanor as she changes as a person during the course of the show.

*   What suggestion would you give to young aspiring actors?

I would say train yourself and be very clear about why you want to do this. If you are just chasing the glamour and glitz, you will very quickly become disillusioned because this profession will challenge you in every way possible…emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually.

* The entertainment industry is changing, where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

The industry is definitely changing and gradually becoming more of a meritocracy than it has been ever before. In 5 years I  see myself continuing to work with the best and being one of the best in the industry. I am also looking to do a lot more International work going forward.

*  You will be seen in Brahmastra along with Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. Tell us more about the project and your character.

I am not at liberty to tell you much about either of those unfortunately but I can tell you that it is a very fun part and I am very grateful to be working with the best in the industry. I signed the film 3 years ago before Helicopter Eela even released. It has been a great learning experience and one that I will carry with me to hopefully even bigger and better projects.

*  Anything in works that you can talk about? Any exciting new projects?

I have another film that should be out later this year; A very quirky film and one that I can’t wait to tell you guys more about. I can tell you that I play a fiery journalist in it and that shoot has been one of the most creatively satisfying experiences of my life so far. I have also started work on my nextoriginal song. Will be making an announcement soon about both of these.

 About Rashi Mal

Rashi started her acting journey on the stage working with and being trained by some of the best mentors in theatre, including Jeff Goldberg, Makrand Deshpande, Sunil Shanbag, and Divya Palat. Rashi got her diploma in Method Acting from the Jeff Goldberg Studio and has also trained at the New York film academy and London academy of music and dramatic art. She has worked on several web series including Pyaar Actually with YRF, Akarsh Khurana’s Boygiri, and A.I.SHA (that has seen a lot of International success and airs on the biggest TV Channel, TF1, in France)

She has shot for over 40 commercials for names like Close Up, Volkswagen, Nivea, KFC, Myntra. Multi-talented as she is, Rashi has also done multiple music projects. From singing to trying her hand at rapping in the film ‘Dear Maya’ starring Manisha Koirala. She’s a trained singer in western classical based singing with opera singer Deirdre Lobo (renowned concert artist and vocal coach based in California) and is currently training with Ms. Samantha Edwards who has also coached big names like Priyanka Chopra and Ananya Birla.

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