Getting into films was totally unplanned for Raashii Khanna, but destiny had its own plans. And today, she’s established herself as a popular actor in Telugu and Tamil films. Currently she’s filming for the Malayalam remake of Andhadhun, and lined up next is her web debut alongside Shahid Kapoor.

Hailing from Delhi, she had IAS on her mind when showbiz came calling. “I was modelling while in college, that too happened all of a sudden as I was put on magazine covers and commercials. I was a very shy kid, and thought acting is not my cup of tea. I ran from my first audition! From that, to suddenly becoming a character on camera was very unreal for me, for me to also realise I had it in me. As soon as I realised that, I started doing more commercials, and was asked to go to Mumbai for six months by my agency,” she recalls.

Within a month, she was doing a TV series, and Madras Café, her Bollywood debut, came her way. She almost let go of it. “I said no, why will they take me. I didn’t go for the audition thrice. Then they called, Shoojit (Sircar, director) said I had high chances. I auditioned and got it. Then I sort of accepted this profession,” adds Khanna.

She, then, went on to work with the likes of Vijay Deverakonda, Ravi Teja and Vijay Sethupati. The actor had a totally different perception of the south Indian film industry, which turned out to be far from reality once she worked there.

“Before that honestly I didn’t have any idea. I wouldn’t even go to movies in general, I was a studious, geek girl. I was a reluctant actor too. I always had this image of the south industry as only known for dancing and singing, coming from the north. But when I actually started working in Telugu cinema, I realised I was really wrong, they have great stories. Of course, there is the commercial aspect of it. Malayalam and Tamil have amazing content which keeps getting remade in Bollywood. I hold them in high respect, real regards now,” confesses Khanna.

Her selfie with Shahid recently created a lot of buzz. We ask her how did the Raj and DK web series happen for her and she reveals, “I have known Mukesh Chhabra (casting director) since he was the first one to call me after Madras Cafe and say ‘you have great talent, I will make sure you get something big’ After that too he called me a couple of times, but I told him those projects were not for me, he understood. Then he called me for this. I was a huge fan of The Family Man. I said I would love to do it, it just fell in my lap.”

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