Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Ramachari twins are back on screen

They were born just five minutes apart, and that's the only time that they seem to have spent without each other. Adhvithi and Ashwithi Shetty have taught themselves everything — from dancing, to modeling and now acting. The twins made their filmi debut with the blockbuster Mr & Mrs Ramachari and are now readying for the release of their next, Suli . They spoke to BT about their unexpected journey into Sandalwood and how it is passion that has driven everything that they have achieved so far... Tell us about your journey from Mangaluru to Bengaluru... Adhvithi: We completed our schooling and did our BCom in Mangaluru, and then moved to Manipal to pursue an MBA degree, before coming to Bengaluru to work as HR managers. We began dancing in Mangaluru, but our father wasn't very happy with our interest in dance, so we couldn't take any classes. We learnt it on our own and went on to participate in five dance-reality shows. We also joined a dance troupe in Mangaluru for some time. Ashwithi: We struggled a lot when it came to dance, as it was only the two of us and our maid, who was our biggest support. We are proud that we never took money from our parents; we used to make our own ornaments, costumes and props. We took part in a lot of shows with our dance troupe when we were in Manipal. We used to go to class in the morning, and at 6 pm, as soon as college was over, we'd rush to catch the 6.15 pm bus to Mangaluru (a 1.5-hour ride). We'd go home and then head out for dance class for another 1.5 hours, go back home, have dinner, talk to our parents and go to bed. The next morning, we were up at 6 am to go back to college. I don't even remember how many times we did this. Our classmates used to say that they didn't even know us. During our shows, people used to tell us that they would only keep looking at us dance, so we decided not to depend on anyone else and then it was just the two of us dancing. To be frank, I'm never confident when I perform solo; I'm only confident when Adhvithi is with me. We've done everything together all our lives. You had a stint in modeling as well... Adhvithi: We still model. We have walked for many designers and have been in several print ads. We used to participate in fashion shows in college, and that again, was something that we taught ourselves. People used to come up to us and ask us if we had learnt how to walk the ramp. We used to laugh about it back then, but later, I decided to take it up professionally. Ashwithi: I was never interested in modelling, but Adhvithi pulled me into it. She taught me how to walk and pose, so I owe it all to her. I am proud that we now groom models and choreograph shows. How did you bag a role in Mr & Mrs Ramachari? Adhvithi: We never had plans of getting into films. Someone told us that they were looking for twins for a movie with Yash and Radhika Pandit . We were not interested and never thought that we had acting skills, but we sent our pictures anyway, thinking that we wouldn't even get selected. But then we got a call from the director (Santhosh Ananddram), asking us to meet him. He told us that he had auditioned other people, but that he liked us. He said that we looked dedicated, which is why he was picking us. Ashwithi: I still remember our first scene. We were in Malleswaram and several hundreds of people had come to watch the shoot. There are no words to express how that felt. Ramachari gave us a lot of recognition and love from people, which is something that we never expected. Did that pave the way for Suli? Adhvithi: Nada Shetty, our college teacher in Mangaluru, told us about this movie and asked us if we were interested. We sent our pictures to Vishwanath sir (director). Nada sir had they didn't want twins and will pick only one girl, and we were OK with that. We both auditioned for the role and were surprised when we were told that both of us were selected. Tell us about your role in the film... Adhvithi: I play Srinath sir's third and youngest daughter. My character is close to her eldest sister and father, but she doesn't like her second sister, who is played by Ashwithi. Our characters are constantly fighting with each other. Ashwithi: My character is not close to her family and is more into fashion and makeup. She is very arrogant and rude at times. She doesn't like working and is very lazy. She just wants to get married and leave. Adhvithi: People who have seen us in real life won't be able to recognize us in the film as our look is very subtle and natural. Also, they didn't want us to look like twins, and we don't in the movie. What kind of preparations did you have to undergo for this film? Adhvithi: We weren't fluent in Kannada, so we were selected on the condition that we have to work on the language. We started speaking to each other and our friends only in Kannada and were even reading Kannada newspapers. We participated in a workshop conducted by Joseph sir from Neenasam, which was very helpful. We have dubbed for the movie, so that's an achievement for us. What was it like working with a senior actor like Srinath? Ashwithi: He is popular all over the world, yet he is such a simple person. Adhvithi: With him around, we never missed our parents. Srinath sir has 49 years experience, but he will never let you feel that. Even when his scenes were not being shot, he would sit at a distance and watch the other actors. If he sensed that someone was struggling with their scene, then no matter how far away he was, he would go to that person and give them advice. Ashwithi: We have to learn patience and punctuality from him. What have you taken away from the movie? Ashwithi: Initially, we weren't very open when it came to emoting, because we used to worry about what people might think. But after this film, if someone asks me to emote even like a monkey, I will confidently do it. Also, earlier, I used to get nervous when I was handed a script for auditions and used to take at least an hour to memorize it. But after Suli, I can memorize a script in minutes. The movie has given us a lot of confidence and I am proud to have worked with this team. We are not trained actors, so, I feel like we have now achieved something in life.

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