I am grateful to my audience: Rashami Desai

Yogesh Mishra | yogesh@bollywoodtown.in

Rashami Desai is a renowned actress and a popular household name in the Indian television industry. Prior to TV series, she has worked in Bollywood movies like Shah Rukh Khan starrer, Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke, and a few other regional languages movies. She achieved great success with the Uttaran TV series and won the hearts of the audience. In an exclusive interview with Yogesh Mishra, she spoke about her opinion about OTT being a threat to the big screen, her favourite Bollywood actor, if she joins politics, upcoming projects, and more..

It is widely noticed that, post-lockdown, the trend of moviegoers has changed. How do you look after this change?
Well, change is the only constant in this world, isn’t it? Nothing is really permanent, and change is important so that we don’t get comfortable and constantly reinvent ourselves in the process. Yes, after COVID-19, the dynamics have changed. People are now exposed to content from all over the globe, and that’s why they can decide very quickly what to spend their money on and what not. One thing is for sure: We can’t get away with average stuff anymore. There has to be merit in the content and subject, and only then will the results be in the project’s favour. In a way, it is good for our industry overall, as we will all enhance our game in the process, which will lead to better quality work. So, I see this as a sea change towards enhancing our craft as an industry overall.
You have worked with TV and big screens as well. What are the differences, according to you?
As an actor, from our viewpoint and where we work, the medium has nothing to do with our job as actors. Be it a TV show, a web show, a music video, or a movie, the crux of acting and the process don’t change. You still do your preparation, rehearsals, and workshops; get the brief of the creative people in terms of what they expect from you; and deliver to the best of your abilities. There’s really no difference in the process. The only difference would be the schedule and how your day is planned. When it comes to TV, there’s a long-term commitment of time involved until, of course, it’s a cameo. With music videos, 3-5 days are generally good, and for web shows, a few months are good enough. For me, there’s no such staggering difference. I am a performing artist, and my responsibility is to act and deliver to my audience. That’s what I want to focus on, not the medium.
In a very short span of time in the Indian TV industry, you became a popular household name. How did it all happen?
Well, it’s truly difficult to say exactly how it happened. It’s been a long journey for me. Not just patience; my journey has also involved consistency and hard work day in and day out. There’s a saying that you work hard day in and day out for a long time, and suddenly, one fine morning, you get lucky and things change. I guess for most actors, it’s the same. We all work hard, and then suddenly there’s that one role that changes things. So yes. I am grateful to my audience for accepting me and to my creative directors and producers for showing faith in my work and giving me opportunities to prove my skills and mettle.
OTT has not just changed the industry but has also given viewers a wide range of content. Do you personally feel it can be a threat to the big screen in the long run?
No, I genuinely don’t think so. Human beings are naturally resistant to any form of change. The change might eventually result in advancement. However, initially, there are always fears. I remember that when computers came, humans thought that they would lose their jobs. However, with time, both co-existed, right? That’s exactly the case here as well. The 70mm screen will never fade away. The magic and experience there are completely different. You can’t compare that with anything else. OTT has its own fun with binge-watching. But the wholesome experience of going to cinemas with families, enjoying popcorn snacks, and watching stuff is here to stay and will always stay.
Who is your favourite Bollywood actor and why?
I like everyone tbh. All of them work very hard and everyone is inspiring in their own ways. However, my personal favourites are Madhuri Dixit, Alia Bhatt, Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan.
You achieved a grand success with Uttaran; how was it different from your other works?
Tbh, yes it was indeed a game-changer for me as far as Indian TV is concerned. However, the experience wasn’t entirely new. I was just blessed to get a whole new legion of fans who used to enjoy watching me in that show. However, I have always been someone who’s worked everywhere across all industries and in different formats as well. Everyone talks about Pan-India and regional work now. However, I have been doing Pan-India work across different regional industries at a time when it wasn’t looked upon with a lot of respect. At that time, Hindi was considered the top-notch thing. So, for me, experience is similar to what I have had in other industries. I was just blessed with a new legion of fans and I am thankful to everyone for the love.
Apart from Bollywood, regional cinemas, and TV series, you have worked on many TV reality shows as well. Which segment gives you more work satisfaction among these and why?
Like I said, I am a performing artiste and I feel an artiste should be like water. As per the need of the hour, he or she should be flexible enough to mould themselves in such a way so that their audience enjoys watching them on-screen. I enjoy doing everything. For me, even creation of reels on social media is an art and I pay equal attention to that as well. Content creation is a full-time job. I really can’t pick and choose between what’s better and what’s not so nice when I am blessed to be in a profession that allows me to do multiple things at the same time, unlike someone who’s working in a 9-5 corporate work setup. So, I really can’t pick and choose. It’s a blessing to have that freedom to be able to choose my medium. Not everyone has it. So, if you have it, count your blessings and focus on getting better.
Given a chance, would you like to join politics?
I haven’t actively thought of this. So, I really don’t know what to say on this. However, they say that ’never say never.’ So, you never know. Depends on the timing, situation, my mood and a lot of factors. But then, there’s no thought of this in the near future at least.
What are your upcoming projects?
Well, a lot is there in the pipeline and I really can’t talk or share details about it. The announcements will happen as per the ideal timelines. Will request everyone to stay tuned.
Any message for the readers of Bollywood Town?
Thank you so much for reading my interview and thanks to everyone who support me and shower me with love. I am grateful. Stay well, stay healthy and take care of your family and loved ones and be less judgemental. Let’s make the world a better and happier place to live in.