Chikmagalur girl Ranya Rao quit engineering to chase her dreams. Southscope talks to the actress and finds out more.
Acting, always my priority
I always wanted to be an actress. During my childhood too, I was active and more interested in extra-circular activities than academic. I’m also trained in martial arts and dance and performed in quite a few stage plays. So the thought of becoming an actress gained momentum after plus 2 and acting became my priority. I was fascinated to be seen on stage and wearing coloured clothes. But I joined Engineering on my parents compulsion. I used to go home cribbing everyday telling my parents that I was never interested in studies. So after six months into my graduation, they realised my passion for acting and decided to support me. I quit my engineering and left to Mumbai where I have underwent training in acting for four months. At that point I short for my first portfolio and. Somehow those photos reached actor and Sudeep.
He later called me for an audition and I was on board for the Kannada film ‘Maanikya’. Rest is history. But I like it and I’m feeling great! People recognise me as the actress from ‘Maanikya’. I felt nice as they wanted to take photos with me and I happily posed for them. This is what I always wanted to get – the attention, fame etc. But I’m enjoying it even more because I’m experiencing real-time after being an actress.
Wagah, a different experience
Working for ‘Wagah’, my first Tamil debut was another experience. The language was new to me. When I went to audition, my director was very particular that I emote well and get my expressions right. So the unit was preparing me with the language and other things to look the part. While ‘Maanikya’ had a glamorous role ‘Wagah’ had everything. It was a like a whole package. It is a romantic film and is about a girl and boy (Vikram Prabhu) from the South who fall in love. Director GNR Kumaravelan has shot the film beautifully.
Shooting for the film, a challenge
It was really tough shooting at minus 15 degrees in Kashmir. Since we are shooting at high altitudes, we had to trek all the way up and then shoot. But I’m someone who can’t take too much cold. But thanks to my team, they’ve done a great job and motivated every one. I used to wonder how come the technicians used to carry the huge equipment walking up in bitter cold, so such things motivate. Health was affected to a certain extent. But I was able to shed a few inhibitions because of the role.
My friends were really thrilled and surprised to me because they feel I look completely different. They say, ‘Is that really you? But they have been seeing me from school and they know how much I was interested in this field. They were very happy for me that I’m finally doing what I want. They know that acting was the only thing I could do (smiles) because I’m good at it. But sometimes I do feel that I missed out on my campus life like bunking classes, having fun with friends but when you are passionate about something else (films), I don’t mind giving up anything for that. I felt may be Engineering doesn’t suit me.
I was in an all girls boarding school. But I was into co-education in plus 2. I was like a Tomboy running and playing around and was occupied with my circular activities. But I did receive a few proposals and felt shy of such things. I was like ‘What are you saying! My God! No way’ – I used to run away from the scene. I used to play basketball in my plus two and if that guy was around I felt embarrassing (laughs).
I love doing Palliatives and aerial yoga. These are my new discoveries as they’ve helped me shape my personality. I love to travel and explore new places. I’m a wanderer. I’m also obsessed about watches and bags like any other girls. Whenever I get a chance, I play I love basketball. I also practise dance a lot.