Kannada actress Radhika Gandhi

She is one half of the Gandhi sisters, as they are known in Sandalwood. Older sis, kannada actress Pooja Gandhi, is one of the most successful leading ladies, amongst the current crop of heroines, in the Kannada film industry. And Radhika Gandhi is gingerly following in her eldest sister Pooja’s footsteps. For a 19-year-old, she is not only wise, but also fresh in her enthusiasm for life and learning. Mistakes, she believes are a stepping stone to success. Four-films old in the industry, Radhika is unfazed with the average success of her debut Chikmagalura Chikka Mallige and others that followed. It is her time to learn now, she points out. We spent a lazy Sunday afternoon with Radhika and cups of chai.


She’s always borrowed my clothes, but will never allow me to touch hers. She is a confused shopper and takes a lot of time to decide. So mom and I shop for her. We usually buy the same outfits in different colours, so we don’t fight over it later. But she is a sweet heart of a sister. I wouldn’t trade her for anyone in this world. She is possessive and caring about me. She is always looking out for me - whether I am being looked after on the sets or whether I eat my food on time etc. With her around, I know I don’t have to worry about anything –well maybe just the remote. We are always fighting over the remote. And she always wins.


I had no plans of acting in films but when I got an offer to act in Chikkamagalura Chikka Mallige, I
decided to give it a try. In fact, Pooja spoke to the producers and told them that I am clueless about acting or the film industry. They were insistent and promised to take care of me, which they did! The entire crew made me feel comfortable. The producer and the director would help me with the dialogues. I learnt about camera angles, profile shots and how to give the right expressions. I was constantly encouraged. From there I went on to do Kalakaar, which was produced and directed by Harish Raj who was also the male lead of the film. I played the role of a journalist in the movie. Other roles just followed.


In the movie, I shared screen space with Murali sir and Pooja. I essayed the role of a married lady. I was told that I am too young, to play this kind of a role, but it was a great learning experience. I worked hard to portray the correct body language and thought process of a housewife. In fact, my mother helped me a lot in playing this role. I would come back home, discuss the scenes and get feedback from my family.


It was a laughriot! We shot in Mangalore and had a blast working in the film. During the Savi savi song, which is a romantic number, I was not around when Pooja was shooting. I thought she would feel nervous or awkward, with me around. During the last scene in the movie, where she hugs me, she would break into laugher, in the middle of the shot. I had to tell Dayal Sir, the director, to put a stop to Pooja’s madness, so that I could enact my crying scene.


I am glad my college understands my acting aspirations. They help me to balance my studies and shooting. I am also designing for Pooja’s film Apta. Maybe in future, I might design for myself too, who knows? I am keen to launch my own label in the next couple of years. I want to take a balanced approach towards designing and acting.


I just shot for a film with Malashree titled Veera. I play a young girl and it is a romantic lead. I had a great time shooting for it with Kiran Sreenivas. In one of the scenes shot at Nandi Hills, I got hurt. In a glass-breaking scene, I got hit by shattered glass splinters. It saved me from using glycerin to cry! I have also signed an untitled film, for which shooting begins soon.