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An Interview with Young and Versatile Actor - Rishi Saxena

Starting his career in Marathi Daily soap being a Non-Marathi , he achieved many levels of acting through Historical Films in Marathi. I had chance to interview him and know about his journey. Here are some talks we had:

Q1 How did you enter Film and Television Industry?

Answer: I came to Mumbai around 8 to 9 years to try my luck at modeling, which I later found is not my cup of tea. My dad suggested to stay back and look around for an acting course , someone recommended me Neeraj Kabi's workshop, after which I realize that acting is what I like to do. But I wasn't able to find good work so I traveled back to my home which is Jaipur. There I directed some short films wrote some stuff also joined theatre groups and did plays too. At that time I was pursuing CS and was in final exams, Still, I wanted to be part of the Acting field, and my parents backed me in this decision after seeing my performance in a play where I had invited them , My parents supported me and I switched my way again to acting with some small roles in Hindi. I also worked initially in Saavdhan India and Ye Hai Mahobateein as a cameo character, till I got an offer of "Kahe Diya Pardes ". I was coordinated by my friend for this role and went to audition on the last day. , which was taken by Ajay Mayekar Sir.

After that I worked for a Hindi Show Saleem Anarkali which unfortunately didn't do that well, I played a negative character in that show. I accidentally met Mr Digpal Lanjekar, director of Fatteshikst, Farjand, PawanKhind, and now Sher Shivraj. He offered me the character of Fattekhan which was an important cameo character.

I am a non Maharashtrian but i have always received a lot of love and admiration from Maharashtra, for which I will always be grateful

Q2 Please tell us about your experience working in Kahe Diya Pardes?

Answer: Fantastic. Whatever I am today is because of Kahe Diya .It taught me many things, for the initial 2 to 3 months , it was a little tough for me, as I couldn't speak or understand Marathi. But the thing is as "Shiv" started learning Marathi, so did "Rishi".

Initially, our director Mr. Ajay Mayekar told everyone, not to explain the scene to me, because he wanted the character Shiv to not understand anything which did wonders for us in the show, Also working with senior actors like Mohan Joshi and Shubhangi Gokhale, was a nice learning experience for me. It has been an unbelievable journey for me.

Q3. Please tell us about your experience working with Sayali Sanjeev and some funny incidents on sets

Answer: Actually, it was the first TV show for both of us. We both were in the learning process, like facing the camera and dialogue delivery, We both were facing the same difficulties, so that connected us more. . We supported each other in every aspect while doing KDP. It's like perfect people at a perfect time in a perfect place. Some funny incidents which I have mentioned many times in interviews like, in the first two-three months of the shoot, I got a script in Marathi and was told to learn it for a shot within 1/2 hour and later got known that this was done by Shubhagi mam , whom I went complaining about learning the Marathi script.

Q4. Please tell us about your experience of Fatteshikast and also working with Digpal Lanjekar

Answer: I have done 3 films with Digpal. Talking about him, I can say he knows everything, like exactly what he wants from me for the character. His visions are clear about the film and also its process. So, it makes it easy for an actor to work on the craft. Digpal is really good on the editing table. He concentrates a lot on Dubbing. He says, " Film are actually made on edit table and while dubbing " which is very interesting.

Q5. Please tell us your experience about your short film "The Right One."

Answer: The director of the film Sagar Ladhe, directly contacted me for this film, and also narrated to me on call, and then I decided to hear the script which I found to be very natural , dialogues are very genuine , so i loved the script. I have always wanted to work on a script like this. the film released on MX player and later on Youtube too. The audience like the film and are still demanding for the 2nd part of the short film, It was a nice acting experience for me.

Q6. Please tell us about your experience working with Lekha Prajapati for The Right One.

Answer: Talking about Lekha, she is a very compatible actor. Every actor has his own method of acting, and it does not always match with the actor opposite you, Lekha is an actor who looks around what the opposite actor wants, and response that way, which made it really easy for me.

Q.7 Would you love to do any Marathi Television Show again?

Answer: i would want to but as of now i am doing films and i am enjoying everything about it.

Q8. Please tell us about your experience in PawanKhind, also about your character Rustam-E-Jaman, how did you prepare for it?

Answer: Yes, I did change my body language in it. If you observe in film, I always have a bent neck in the film , showing this characteristic for the role was showing Rustam as a drained out guy, who has been fighting many wara and is frustrated and angry for always losing. Also, I made a modification in the voice for the character. Also, I have tried to make the character very intense and that worked well, The audience hated me, which I wanted to do, I can call it a success as an actor.

Q9. Did you know about the history of PavaanKhind or you got to know about it in process of doing movie?

Answer: See, I am from Jaipur, and was taught through the CBSE board, where we weren't taught this, which is very sad. Maratha Empire was one of the biggest Empires in India. Digpal provides me with information about every character and the real story behind it.

Digpal Lanjekar knows everything about History. Not only about Shivaji Maharaj and Maratha Empire, but overall everything. It's like i am learning about our history through the work i am doing

Q10. How about your experience of doing the " Rainbow" film with Planet Marathi?

Answer: Actually we haven't started the shoot yet. We are in rehearsal mode, reading sessions, discussions, and most probably in the coming months, it will be ready to release.

Talking about team, like Akshay Bardapukar, Sonalee Kulkarni, Kranti Redkar, Urmila Kanetkar, . It is a very hardworking team. I actually know Mr Akshay before this film. I got to know him through Sayali Sanjeev, and then we became friends. We still talk as friends and not as Producer- Actor. He is like a mentor to me. Sonalee and I have the same acting method, i think, which is very rare to find

talking about Urmila Kanetkar, we have been continuously working on the script , she is a very sweet person to work with.

Kranti Redkar is the director, she has a very new age vision for the film..something that i immediately resonate with... We meet regularly for reading and rehearsals

Q11. Please tell us about your role and experience in Sher Shivraj playing "Fajalkhan" in it.

Answer: Actually Fajalkhan is a small character in the film. He is always with Afzalkhan played by Mukesh Rishi in this film. It's like dream come true sharing the screen with him. This is my 3rd film with Digpal, so I surrendered myself completely to him and asked what should be done for this character.

Q12. Are you willing to do a Hindi Film or enter Bollywood?

Answer: Actually as I said, I have done a film in Hindi, and waiting for it to be released. We have really good artists in the film. It's an Anthology and yes , I would definitely want to do a Bollywood Film.

Q13. What do you see the difference between Hindi and Marathi films based on Production and Acting?

Answer: See, I have done a small-budget Hindi film, so i don't see any difference yet but I think a difference might occur when doing a big-budget Hindi film. But i am not sure.. On side of Acting, Marathi films are focused on small resources with the best output which is the general attitude in Marathi films. It doesn't matter which language the film is, a good film is a good film.

Q14. Any message for upcoming and aspiring actors in Industry?

Answer: Yes. Everyone wants to be a hero, but the fact is we have to be an actor first, You can learn by doing workshops, and theatres and should be ready to face everything. If you are under-prepared and focus just on the body and looks it might hamper your growth , these aspects are also necessary but The main point is Acting. We should focus on that.

Q15. How we are going to see Rishi Saxena in projects in the upcoming year?

Answer: There are 5 films lined up. Including 2 Marathi films which I have done with Mr.Sameer Joshi shot in London, one film is Medley and the second part of it is Choomantar. One more film, I have done with Mr.Mahesh Manjrekar. Also, one Hindi film Malhari, which I have done with Anjali Patil, Sharib Hashmi, and Mohammad Samad. There is a total of 5 projects pending, and 2-3 projects in the process of the shoot.

Q16. What genre Rishi Saxena wants to explore?

Answer: I have done Romantic, Negative, and Historical. I would love to do a Horror -Comedy film, I would also love to do a superhero film, and explore acting and actions done on the green screen.

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