Nurturing a passion: Aashish Raj's journey from theatre to the big screen

Hyderabadi ladka Aashish Raj had a gut feeling that he would be seen on the big screen at some time in the future. His rendezvous with acting began when he was 18 at Samahaara theatre group. “I did theatre at Samahaara and back then, my friends asked me to try my luck in modeling.

Within no time, I shifted to Mumbai and did a few commercials. I used to visit film sets on a regular basis and watch a lot of stuff from a corner, understood the acting process as I knew this is what I wanted to do for rest of my life. This observance in me helped to discover the many layers in me and inculcate a few things.” He adds, “One day when I was auditioning for a commercial, I got a call from VKA films for my debut film Aakatayi. 

I won accolades for my performance in that film and eventually, the same producers signed me on for my second film Ego. My short stint in theatre and commercial space made me prepare for the things to come. It was quite natural for me to graduate from theatre and modelling to films.

”Ego, his next release, is set in urban and rural backdrops. “I play Gopi, a spirited and an affable village lad, who has an inherited disposition called ego. It was his temperament that causes a rift with his father and family which is the key component of the film. Although the film was set in a village backdrop, the story slowly shifts to the city.”

Aashish says that the team had a great time shooting in villages near Rajahmundry and Palakollu. “We enjoyed shooting in the scenic locales of Coastal Andhra. Especially, the villagers and their love for films was exceptional. They used to come in large numbers, ask for selfies and made us all comfortable.

The set ambiance was animated and shooting with actors Posani Krishna Murali, Rao Ramesh, Ajay and Prudhvi was memorable. While working, I was in a completely different world as I couldn’t believe that around 400 people are working diligently on one film. We used to share everything and this experience will be cherished for long.”

Despite being fluent in Telugu, Aashish couldn’t dub his lines for Ego due to an injury he sustained on the sets. “I have sprained my ankle and I couldn’t get out of the bed. As the dubbing was underway simultaneously and the unit is determined to wrap up the shoot quickly, director Subrahmanyam has asked someone to dub for me,” he explains. Produced by Vijay, Kaushal and Anil Karan under VKA Films, the film also has Simran Sharma and Diksha Panth as the female leads.

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