After making waves at Cannes in French Riviera, Shruti Haasan is back in the country to promote her upcoming film Behen Hogi Teri co-starring Rajkummar Rao. Shruti who is playing Binny Arora in the film spoke at length about this project, walking out of Sanghamitra and working with father Kamal Haasan in Saabash Naidu. Below are the excerpts from the interview:
Does Behen Hogi Teri promote stalking?
Not at all. If you see the film, you’ll understand. The trailer also shows Rajkummar Rao’s character Gattu as ‘cultured launda’ (cultured man). He says that, ‘Listen, I like you. Now, what do we do?’ Gattu is not saying, ‘Main ladki ko 10 din tak follow karunga, phir ladki pat jayegi’ (He is not hitting on a girl). And if Binny would have said, ‘chal nikal le (get lost)’ probably then it might have been the case of stalking.
How do you see film’s title Behen Hogi Teri, a popular slang in North India?
I think it’s all in good intention and good nature. If you look it in a humorous way, it’s very very positive. Guys always say this. When you see this, you will find it apt.
Why did you leave Sangamithra?
It’s a project that I am no longer a part of. So I wouldn’t like to elaborate on it further. It’s just that the way I work is I would like to have a firm and clear idea of a script and the character. If that doesn’t happen, I just move on to the next project. But I wish the team all the very best.
How do you react to the charge of nepotism in the industry?
The only thing I can say is that I am very proud of being Kamal Haasan and Saarika’s daughter. I am proud of my surname. But I can also say very proudly that I never used it to move ahead in my career. What it did for me was to open doors. But I can’t push through those doors without my work. But yes there must be nepotism. A lot of people have accused me of nepotism. But I can say, I have never used nepotism. In fact, it has been harder for me than most people to succeed in life.
How has been the experience of working with father Kamal Haasan in Saabash Naidu?
Honestly, it’s like any other film. We are both professionals on the sets. I can not relax on sets just because he is my papa. He is very strict on sets as this film is his vision. So on sets, it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, it’s my father’s film.’ But on a personal level, it was a wonderful emotional experience.
What is your take on actors turning singers?
While growing up, I had the opportunity to see my father who is a good singer, good writer and actor. So we have that kind of example. But he always told us one thing that you do your research and study before attempting anything. Even after my first film, he told me, ‘This is wrong. Learn it. Study it. You can’t just step in and become an actor.’
So when singers are offended, it’s fair enough for them. But I believe that a comprehensive performer should be or can do more than one thing. In Hollywood, a lot of actors are trained vocalists and dancers. So, it’s wonderful if actors are singing, but one should put that much effort and hard work into it.
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How do you juggle the various industries?
I don’t see it as the geographical difference. What matters is the nature of the project and nature of people involved with it. I have grown up in a pan India house. So I find it difficult to separate the regions of India. My mum is from Mumbai, my dad is from South. We grew up with almost all languages in the house. So I don’t find any real difference. We all are Indians ultimately.