How did movies happen?
I remember meeting an RJ who told me that I should be on radio because of my voice. He was also doing a TV show at the time and tested me for television, too. Strangely, I had visualized myself in this field, and had on a whim, got some professional pictures clicked. I had forgotten all about it and was in Coorg when we got a call from some folks who had seen my portfolio. I have no clue how it had reached them. But they came all the way to Coorg and my mother and I met them at a resort where I was auditioned and signed on the spot. That is how I landed my first-ever Malayalam film. I haven’t looked back since.
What’s Rajshri like off the camera?
Full of fun and energy. I have a soul of a 70-year-old and a heart of a six-year-old. On one hand, I talk about philosophy and life and on the other, I chatter like a child with wide-eyed wonder. My family calls me the life of a party because they feel any gathering is incomplete without me. I’m always celebrating life.
Your biggest strengths would be?
My mother, first. Then my brother and sister. Closely followed by my extended family including my father’s elder brother and his wife. The sincerity with which they always wish well for me is everything to me.
What is the first thing you do on waking up?
I pray. Then I listen to Karagre Vasathe Laxmi because it soothes my mind. I drink water and then wipe my feet to drain off the excess energy that accumulates in the body during sleep. Post which I rub my palms together and then put my feet down to ground myself for the day.
What’s the last thing you do before sleeping?
I pray. Then I switch off the wifi and in the dark room, I focus on my breathing and thank God for that day. It could be for the perfect cup of green tea that I had or a film that I signed; I express gratitude and then hit the bed.
If not an actor, what would you have been?
I’m a jack of all trades, so I had multiple choices. But I’d have loved to become a singer. Clinical psychology was another favourite option because it was what I majored in during college. I am fascinated by the human mind and how different people react to the same situation. At the flick of a button, the mind swings between being depressed to overwhelming happiness. What is normal, what is abnormal… who constructs all of this… it’s mind boggling, to say the least.
What inspires you?
Life itself inspires me. It stops for no one. There could be an earthquake in one part of the world that claims numerous lives, but that doesn’t stop a mother from giving birth in another. Life keeps going forward and teaches you that you too can’t stay stagnant. Things change for the better and with each sunrise and sunset, you grow as a person.
What is your dream role?
I’m a huge fan of Ingrid Bergman. So any role that can remotely be like the one in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Amelie or Casablanca would just seal it for me.
Skin show in films and your take on it?
Anything aesthetically shot is nice and cannot be termed as vulgar. Also, my guru (Ila Arun) who I do theatre with, told me one thing which sort of sums up everything about acting for me. She said: if the audience has noticed a bra strap peeking out of your outfit or make-up that has gone awry, that’s because you have not been able to grip them with your face. That’s when the vanity that I had as an actor was broken down and I realised the power of acting. To me nothing is independent in acting. It’s all about performance.
Your upcoming films?
In Kannada, I have Gentleman with Prajwal Devraj; in Tamil I have a film with Madhavan and in Hindi, a movie with Namaha Films who recently made a flick with Majid Majidi. I also do a lot of theatre and am happy with life.