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23 Apr 2014
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Exclusive interview with Rishi

Rishi (earlier known as Richard) is the hero of A Film by Aravind and the latest Bhagyalaxmi Bumperdraw. Not only that, his familiarity with the Telugu audience dates back to early 90s when he played child roles in Jagadekaveerudu Atiloka Sundari, Anjali etc. He is one of the partners of Cinema Paradiso and one last one.... .he is the brother of Shalini and Shamili. TotalTollywood caught up with Rishi for a quick chat

Tell us about your break into films

Initially, I was into modelling. Director Kadir saw me on a ramp show and offered me lead role in his upcoming film Kadal Virus. (Kadir is the one who directed Prema Desam starring Abbas, Vineet and Tabu). I did a few more films after that. Late 80s and early 90s, - I did few films as child artist - Jagadeka veerudu Atiloka Sundari, Anjali etc. Interestingly both of these roles came to me because of my sisters. In JVAS, Shalini was doing a key role. I was attending the shooting during my holidays. I was asked to jump in if I was interested and I did. Same thing with Anjali. I was taking care of Shamili then.

How are you taking the success of BLBD?

I am very very happy. I knew the movie will be a success the moment I heard the story. I saw the original Malamal Weekly. It is a hillarious comedy but I was concerned about the role I was offered. It did not have much prominence in the original. When I asked director Prasad, he said that there are a few changes done to the narration without changing the flavor.

What are Shalini and Shamili up to?

Shalini is happily settled as a house wife. Shamili is doing her degree now. You never know if she is interested in coming into films.

How did you come into the Telugu films?

I started a DVD rental store - Cinema Paradiso - with my friends. We opened a branch in Hyderabad too. During one of my business trips to Hyderabad, I met director Sekhar Suri. He narrated a script to me and said it is an experimental film. I wanted to do it. A film by Aravind happened. Million thanks to him for giving me that break.

You have both of your films as hits in Telugu. What next?

Actually after 'A Film by Aravind', I acted in a film titled Devathalu directed by Kodi Ramakrishna. The production is all over but is yet to be released. It is a film with heavy graphics work and hence the delay. I have one more film on sets titled Bangaru Konda and is directed by Kola Nageswara Rao. I am doing a pick-pocketer in the film. Also, I signed a bilingual film along with Navadeep to be produced by Gemini Film Circuit.

Earlier your name was Richard. Now it is changed to Rishi?

It is Sekhar Suri who rechristined me. He gave me the name Rishi. It is also the character name in the film. Also it resembles my pet name Richi. So I
changed my name to Rishi.

What is your experience working with top comedians, great actor Rajendra Prasad and director Nidhi Prasad?

In the beginning I was nervous. The rest of the cast except a few are stars in their own domain. On sets, every one is so kind and cooperative. Even
when I had hard time with some Telugu dialogs, they helped me a lot. I thank all of them and especially the director. He had full confidence in me.
The entire film was shot in just 35 days and it was like a picnic.

Personal life?

You said personal right.. so it is personal.. (laughs).. I like spending time with friends. It is close to the new year and every year I celebrate new year in Goa along with friends. This year is no exception. Waiting for the day.

We closed on the chat then with wishing him advance new year wishes and fun at his planned celebrations in Goa.

Interviewed by Phani

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