with a big kitty of meaningful films in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, Raashii Khanna couldn’t be in a happier stage of her acting career than now. She has been on a shooting spree with back-to-back films slated for release this year and in the coming year. The Delhi girl made home in many hearts across the south, with her acting prowess and also mastered Telugu and Tamil language, to do complete justice to the roles she was playing. With super duper hit films like Bengal Tiger, Supreme, Jai Lava Kusa, Tholi Prema, Imaikkaa Nodigal, Venky Mama, Prati Roju Pandage and many more, she seems to be on a roll. Here’s a freewheeling interview with the ravishing star who confesses to be extremely romantic at heart, yet has her head planted firmly on her shoulders, when it comes to picking her dream man.

What does cinema mean to you?
Cinema is my life today. It’s a beautiful feeling to be a part of a film, to be a part of a journey where the characters come alive, where you’re playing characters of a story. It’s a journey that teaches you so much about other people as you’re constantly playing so many different characters, that you start empathising with people, without judging anyone, as you start understanding where each one is coming from. But, cinema as a whole, is something that moves me emotionally. I relate to characters. I think it’s beautiful as it gives one hope and makes one believe in love and believe in the good things and also shows you the reality of life, so you’re not just living in a bubble. So, cinema is a reflection of life.

What is in the pipeline in terms of your work currently. Please share the current movies that you’re working on in Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam. There’s also a web series that you’re doing. Tell us about it.
After the release of my Telugu film World Famous Lover, we shot for Aranmanai 3, a horror film in Tamil, directed by Sundar C, which is under post production now. Currently there’s a lot on my plate. I will also be working on Sardar alongside Karthi, directed by PS Mithran. I have signed up four Tamil films. One is with Arya. There’s one with Jiva which is still in the making. Another one that I’ve signed is yet to be announced and I’m really excited about it, as it’s a really nice and a big film. There’s also Tughlaq Durbar with Vijay Sethupati, which is slated for release whenever it releases. The shoot of the film is over and it is directed by Delhi Prasad Deenadayal and is a political thriller. Apart from that, there’s Thank you in Telugu with Naga Chaitanya and Gopichand’s Pakka Commercial for which I’m teaming with Maruthi sir for the second time. I’m also hearing a few films and some of them are really exciting, so I’m almost going to sign them up soon. I’ll be announcing them next month. There’s also this web series with Shahid Kapoor. Then there’s Bhramam, a Malayalam remake of the popular Hindi film Andhadhun opposite Prithviraj Sukumaran Sir. I’m so happy to be working in so many different languages and so much exciting work coming my way. I’m in a pretty good space right now.

It’s not easy the way we women juggle around so many things- our work, homes, families, social life, fitness etc. Some tips on how you balance it all so beautifully?
I think women in general are all super women. Specially women around me. I’ve always grown up around really strong women who have always told me you need to be self-assured and you need to take care of yourself and if a partner comes along, great, but you shouldn’t depend on anyone for anything. I’ve also seen other women who live by this philosophy and are working on it. It gives me immense joy to see women like that and honestly, it’s not just me, even other actors I see around, they all work so hard and that’s why any person, infact, not just a woman, even a man, who knows how to balance his life to reach where they reach, is great.

Would you like to share something more about your personal life that many out there don’t know yet?
I’ve always been personal about my personal life. I don’t like to discuss my personal life ever. I’ve never discussed my personal life in the media and it’s going to remain like that. I’m happy keeping it like that. I love to balance my life. I value time a lot. I’m quite disciplined and discipline is something that comes to me from my grandfather. I start my morning with my spiritual practice and work the whole day and go to the gym. All of my time is very regimented and that’s the best possible way to live your life. At the end of the day, when I’m lying down, I’m thankful that I utilised the day in the best possible way. Once you realise the value of time, you’ll give meaning to your life.

What is your take on women standing up for each other, especially in the glamour and entertainment industry, do women really do that?
Women off late have been very supportive of each other and it genuinely comes from the bottom of our hearts. It’s not some publicity stunt or anything like that. We are there for each other. We may not always talk on social media, but we do talk to each other in times of need. I think only when we support each other is when we can rise together. And this should be in every field. Otherwise, it’s very difficult to be powered if we don’t empower each other.

Please share all the details about your last movie shoot and also some fun incidents on the sets.
The last that I was shooting for was a web series with Shahid Kapoor. The OTT project is being helmed by Amazon Prime’s The Family Man makers, director-duo Raj and DK. I can’t talk about any fun incidents that happened on the sets, as we were shooting in Covid times and we had to take care of so many safety protocols and always be in masks and keep sanitising all the time. But I’ve always been known to be the person who is known to sing randomly on sets and in this set also everyone was wearing masks and here again I did the same. Raj sir noticed it and he made a video of it and posted it on Instagram. That was a fun moment we had. But that’s me. I tend to be at peace even in the middle of all the chaos and make every moment fun. I have reached this zen mode, thanks to the spiritual practice and meditation that I do. I’m always calm and just do my own thing. It was fun, not only for me, but for everyone around.

You’re a Delhi Punjabi girl. How tough was it initially to learn the South Indian languages?
I was extremely petrified when I realised I have to learn a new language, because I knew I’ll suck at it. But I didn’t suck at it and I feel I had undersold myself. I’m hardworking and I think I mastered it. When you’re on the sets and everyone else is talking in that language, you tend to pick it up. You have to keep your ears open and give it your best. And that’s exactly what I did. I learnt it as I wanted to get into people’s hearts. The only way to get into their hearts is when you relate to their culture and language is the first mode of how you can really relate to them. And that’s why people here think of me as a Telugu girl and not as a Hindi speaking girl anymore.

How important do you feel is social media in today’s times?
Social media has become extremely important in todays times. I’ve never been a fan of social media, considering I was a very private person. But considering its power to reach a lot of people and eventually when you need it the most, it gives you a voice and in these tough times specially, a lot of people seek information now only through social media. It brings us all together for a good cause.

What is your dream man like? Are you a romantic person at heart? What is the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you so far?
When you’re grown up and mature, all these words like “dream man” blur. Dream man is just a guy who you have a connection with. When you’re growing up, you have these things in your head – things like your man has to be Prince Charming, or all that jazz. It all goes away soon when you grow up and realise that all you need is a partner who is your friend and who understands you. Someone you can talk your heart out to. That’s what you really need in a partner. I’m extremely romantic at heart. It’s also because I’ve grown up in a family where I’ve had couples who are all romantics. Even my parents. They live for each other. All my boyfriends so far, have also said that about me.

I had this boyfriend who I was dating sometime back in Delhi. He was also a very big romantic at heart. He made a Christmas box during Christmas and always surprise me with gifts. He once gave me a surprised birthday party. I also like love letters and he would write love letters to me and in the time of social media, when you’re a message away, he would take that effort of writing letters. He would also randomly bring flowers for me. Once I was in a really far location and he came just to see me for 5 minutes. He told me just come to your balcony and I’ll see you and go.

Did you formally learn music? Are you going to be singing in any of your future films? Any private albums in the pipeline?
I started training formally in music when I was in class 3 and was also a part of a lot of music competitions. We used to participate in a lot of school gigs and we used to win. In my growing up days, I wanted to be a singer and God has been kind as apart from acting I got the opportunity to sing in some of my films. Not just that, I also got the chance to sing in other films, besides my own films. I don’t go around asking people that I want to sing. If they like my voice, use it. I always tell them please don’t use my voice because I’m famous. Let singers get their due. But if they really like my voice I’m happy to sing. Don’t take me just because you want an actor singing in your film, but take me if you really feel my voice fits in there. I haven’t thought of a private album yet, but in future maybe yes.

What is your beauty mantra?
There’s no mantra, but I’m really into homemade products, more than the fancy brands and products that you get outside in stores. Grandmom’s kitchen secrets have been the best age-old secrets like besan and dahi for your face, or besan for hair, multani mitti for face. I think I have good skin as my mom also has it. So it’s genetics I think. But I also take good care of my skin and hair, but mostly it’s all home treatments. I make my own packs and masks at home and it’s worked for me.

What is your fitness regime like?
Fitness is something you have to be consistent about. It’s not like one day you wake up and work out and you’re done. You have to keep it consistent. Even for me it’s worked only if I’ve been consistent through the year. I don’t believe in crash diets or anything of that sort. The word is balance. One has to balance their fitness with their diet.

What is your fashion quotient?
I like experimenting a lot with fashion according to my body type. Something that looks great on someone might not look great on you and something that looks great on you may not look good on someone else. I go through a lot of phases. There will be a phase when I wear dresses, then there will be a phase when I’ll wear athleisure. There will be a pants and tops phase. I’m not really a jeans and top person. I like to be free in whatever I wear. It’s mostly flowy breezy dresses. I like to dress smart and not according to seasonal or fashion trends.