Actress Richa Panai is back to Malayalam cinema playing the lead in Lakehouse, a segment in the upcoming portmanteau film Crossroad. Back then, before acting came her way, she has carved a niche in modelling and was the face of a popular jewellery brand.
Since three back-to-back filmy appearances in 2011, Richa vanished all of a sudden, from both small and big screens. Where did she go? “Coming from an airline background, I didn’t know how the movie scene functions. I was new to acting and was not able to understand or adapt to it properly. Then I took a break and meanwhile, got an offer from Telugu and began doing movies there,” she says, adding, “It’s nothing like I don’t want to do Malayalam, just that I didn’t get the right opportunity to come back. When this film came, I was just happy.”
Richa had no aeroplane shots in the script, albeit her character is an airhostess. How did she get into Lakehouse? She was filmmaker Alberrt Antoni’s pick, who suggested the name to Sasi Paravoor the director of Lakehouse. Alberrt is also doing a short movie in the anthology film. “The Vadamalli director introduced me to Sasi sir and we talked over the phone and he was so nice to me. I wanted to be back in Malayalam and felt this is the right time to hit. I liked the script a lot and enjoyed the shoot as if we were in a family. Though short in length, Sasi sir presented me well in the movie. So I hope for the best,” gushes Richa. In this movie as well, she is paired opposite her Vadamalli co-star Rahul Madhav.
In chronology, Lakehouse counts her fourth movie that marks her return to where she started off her film career with. Richa, but chips in to correct that it happened a bit earlier. She was part of Rajesh Pillai’s Traffic Hindi remake.
“Though I was shooting for a Bollywood movie, I actually felt that it was my comeback movie in Malayalam. The entire crew had Malayalis, be it the director, assistant director, associate director or cinematographer. After a long time, I was talking to Malayalis,” she beams.
The dalliance with Telugu industry pushed her modelling stint to backseat. The Mumbai-based girl from Lucknow has acting on top of her charts. Given good roles, Richa is only happy to continue her association with Malayalam.
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