Mixed martial artist Ritika Singh talks about her acting debut in ‘Saala Khadoos’

She is no ordinary actress, though she’s got the pretty looks. Ritika Singh is a national-level kick boxer who is well-versed with mixed martial arts and is a black belt in karate. Bollywood’s ace director and producer Rajkumar Hirani wanted a real boxer to play the role in the sports drama and Ritika was chosen after auditioning about a 100 boxers. Making her debut in Hindi films with actor R Madhavan’s Saala Khadoos (Irudhi Suttru in Tamil), the kick boxer-turned-actress talks to dna about her experience.

Ritika Singh

Watch the ‘Irudhi Suttru’ trailer here:

Directed by Sudha Kongara, Madhavan plays a boxing coach in the film and Ritika, a boxer. Ask her why she accepted the film and Riktika says excitedly, “It’s a dream come true for me! I didn’t think twice, I just said yes. Imagine acting in a Raj Kumar Hirani film with Madhavan – who can get a better role than this?”

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Ritika with Madhavan in the film

But Ritika points out that she realised fighting off-screen and on-screen are quite different. “When you’re in a real match, your punches are hard. Initially when we started shooting, I was fighting like I was in a real match. Then I realised you can’t hit that hard.”

Ritika is making her debut in Tamil cinema as well as a Bollywood debut with this film which is a bi-lingual. “Making a debut in a Rajkuamr Hirani film is something I never imagined,” she says, adding that even talking to the media and being in front of so many cameras is all new to her.

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Madhavan training Ritika in the film

So what advice did Rajkumar Hirani give her? “When I walked on set, I was overwhelmed. Raju ji asked me if I was nervous and told me something that actor Boman Irani had said. He told me that when I walk onto the set to just observe and absorb the atmosphere, people, the set, etc. He told me just take in everything and when you are on camera, just react to the other person. That’s what I’ve tried to follow,” explains Ritika.

And what does Ritika want to do next – boxing or films? The confident boxer says, “I want to continue acting in films!”