Actor Rakul Preet Singh has tasted success in Bollywood with her recent film De De Pyaar De but down South, she’s one of the superstars who has worked in some big films, the recent ones being Manmadhudu 2 (Telugu) with Nagarjuna and NGK (Tamil) with Suriya. Now, she’s gearing up for Marjaavaan in Hindi and will be seen sharing the screen space with Kamal Haasan in the much awaited Indian 2.
At the IIFA press conference in Delhi, Rakul spoke to indianexpress.com about her career graph, her upcoming films and the shift in the Indian film industry.
Here are the excerpts:
What’s your fondest memory of IIFA?
I have grown up watching IIFA. I remember this one time when Priyanka Chopra was performing in an orange saree. It was the moment when I wanted to get on the platform. Now, the fondest memory is the fact that I am associated with them. While this is my first year at IIFA Mumbai, I have been associated with IIFA South for last two years.
Do you think it’s easy to break through South Industry in comparison to Bollywood?
Nothing is easy or difficult. It is just a perspective. In South, there are more number of films that release, be it in Tamil or Telugu. But in Hindi, I will say there are more eyes on you because larger number of people speak Hindi and you have more audience. You have more critical reviews. But otherwise, its not easy or tough, it is how you treat things.
Do you believe Tollywood is more male centric?
The world is male dominated but things are changing now. People who have been changing the scenario have had a great career, be it Nayanthara or Samantha Akkineni. Things are changing. For instance, Taapsee, who started out in Telugu, made a bigger name in Hindi and created a niche for herself, which wouldn’t have happened some five years back. So, I will say things are changing in all the industries at a different pace. People are aware that good scripts need to be written and that is happening. So, I would not say if the industry is male dominated or not. I will say you will have to find your place.
Are you content with scripts coming your way?
Of course, I am happy. I did not even know if people will want to watch me at the theatres or not. I am very happy with the way my career has shaped up. People often ask me that after Yaariyan why did I take a break but they don’t know that my Telugu film released earlier than the Hindi film. The Telugu film became a hit, I got more opportunities there and I thought why should I leave work there in order to get work somewhere else. Later, I got busy and before I knew, I was working with some bigger stars.
The industry is becoming content driven. What will you say about this change?
I think it is not about South or Bollywood films anymore. Cinema has become universal. People are watching if a film is giving them great content. So, I think it’s a great time for the industry as there is so much exchange of talent and content.
Can you tell us about your character in Marjaavaan?
I can tell you it is a different character who has ‘bhari bharkam’ dialogues and is a full-on masala character with 90s flavour to it. She has a lot of ‘nazakat’. She’s into poetry. It is like an extended cameo appearance. The offer came to me when I was working on De De Pyaar De and I thought why not do something that is different and not been attempted in recent times. Sometimes you do roles to challenge yourself, to see if you can pull it off or not. So, I am happy how my character has shaped up in the film.
Anything on Indian 2?
I cannot reveal about the role yet but I had a great time working with Shankar sir and Kamal sir. I hope Indian 2 creates the same magic that Indian did.
Were you nervous about working with Kamal Haasan?
No, no. If you get intimidated, when you have always wanted to be part of big films and share the screen space with big stars then, you should go home. I get excited because there is so much to learn. Kamal sir is India’s finest actor. I think he is the only actor who has done a variety of roles. So, imagine what all we will get to learn from him.
Apart from the Hindi films, I have a Telugu film with Nithiin.
IIFA 2019 will air on Colors TV on October 20 from 8 pm onwards.