Amongst the most expected debut from a star family, this one is quite special. He comes from an illustrated family. His mother Mamatha Rao, is an actress, who featured in a couple of ventures including the most popular one, wherein she acted alongside Kananda thespian Dr. Rajkumar in one of the most popular number Cheluveye Ninna Nodalu from the movie Hosabelaku, before she married popular cinematographer B C Gowrishankar. His sister, Rakshitha Prem ruled the Kannada film industry for over a decade after making her debut alongside Power Star Puneeth Rajkumar in Appu, and his brother-in-law Prem is a renowned director who recently delivered one of the biggest hits in Sandalwood —The Villain, featuring two of the biggest stars — Shivarajkumar and Kichcha Sudeepa. Now, it is his turn to make a mark on the silver screen. Abhishek Rao, who is being introduced to the film industry as Raanna in his debut venture Ek Love Ya, which is produced by his sister Rakhitha Prem and directed by Prem, speaks to Bengaluru Chronicle in an exclusive interview on his debut, and all the excitement and expectations running into it as the shooting for his movie kick-starts in the coming days.
The debutant who learnt acting especially the art of method acting from the renowned Lee Strasberg Institute in New York, for over a year shares that he was always interested in acting but he made sure he fulfilled his one of his most important commitment, which was his studies by graduating as a mechanical engineer from the RV College of Engineering, before he expressed this desire to his family members to become an actor.
“My mother knew it from the beginning but my family consciously kept me away from the industry as studies were important too. Though I studied to make them happy, acting was something which always in my mind. For me, this phase of life from 2015 ever since I joined Lee Strasberg, has been amazing. I loved every bit of it. Apart from my mother, everyone were bit surprised with my choice of career. They wanted me to do my masters abroad. But, I made it clear to them that I desired to become an actor. They eventually realised my passion and thus my journey with Ek Love Ya began,” says Abhishek.
After spending a year in New York, he soon landed on the sets of The Villain, learning the practicalities of filmmaking under his brother-in-law Prem, as his assistant director. In the meanwhile, he was preparing himself for the big role of his life, training to be an actor from Krishnamurthy, who happened to have taught acting to his sister Rakshitha during her debut venture Appu.
“While I would go to college, I would see my sister going for her shoots And, also my mother being an actress herself, it was obvious that there was always an inclination towards films and acting. They (his family) protected me from getting exposed to films soon. I agree, it is not so easy and is risky too which requires a bit of luck too. Hence, I had to prepare well and work hard on every aspect and hope for the best,” he adds.
When Prem who has several projects lined up, decided to direct Ek Love Ya, as Raanna feels lucky to be making his debut under his family banner.
“My sister has been working hard from the beginning for my launch. I can understand the level of stress which my sister is going through. All our efforts is to give our best,” shares the actor.
About his brother- in- law, who is directing him, he says that he is one of most hardworking filmmaker he has ever seen. “Even if he is out at dinner, he will be thinking only about his films. On sets, he is disciplined and short tempered but, that is his way of getting his work done but after pack up is done, he is back to his old self,” he adds.