Akshara Haasan isn’t your regular star kid. She’s approachable, down-to-earth, and most importantly, doesn’t throw tantrums. She is courteous; just like any of us. Her answers are polite, peppered with the not-so-awkward “ennanga” and “aamanga”.
It’s not every day that you meet a pan-Indian female actor, who has first been an assistant director, before taking to acting. What’s more interesting is, Akshara likes to make fruit jams and preservatives as much as she likes acting and filmmaking. “I’m a jam-maker by accident,” she breaks into a grin. “The trick lies in processing them. Occasionally, I flaunt my jam-making skills on Instagram,” she smirks.
The Shamitabh girl, whose latest release was Kadaram Kondan, is kicked about starring in Fingertip, a Zee5 Tamil original thriller web series next. “I am listening to a lot of scripts. Irrespective of the big or small screen, I am open to experimenting with roles. It was great doing a film in Tamil after a gap of two years and I am not saying this because it is my father’s home banner, RKFI. Truth be told, I was apprehensive initially. Kadaram Kondan was an important movie for me,” she smiles. However, Akshara feels her debut film in Tamil, Vivegam, didn’t quite fetch her the kind of ‘opening’ she really wished. Acknowledging that she could have been a part of a more successful film, Akshara adds, “It was a fantastic team, and there are no second thoughts about it.”
Akshara believes that each character has a different voice and story to tell. “With each film, I learn something about myself and I trust the process,” she notes.
Is Akshara choosy about films? “Not really, but people think that I’m a softie. Unless I’m given powerful roles to prove my mettle, it’s going to be difficult. But I’m fortunate to have known behind-the-camera stuff, too. Being an actor hopefully will help me write better and strong women characters,” she observes.
Speaking about the web series, Akshara assures, Fingertip will offer an edge-of-the-seat experience to the audience. “Technology controls us, and even a single post on social media triggers negative emotions, which can change our lives forever. I liked the premise and the way it unfolds,” she says.
Akshara is planning to write and direct films, of course; and her biggest dream is to play “Kamal Haasan’s daughter on screen.” After a pause, she adds she would want to direct Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Ranbir Kapoor, as well.
Further, we ask for more names of films that influenced Akshara and she lists the obvious hits of Kamal Haasan. “He’s pretty much done everything and it’s hard to zero in on specific ones. But I’d love to direct a film with Appa and Rajini uncle,” she says, excitedly.
Does Akshara see herself as daddy’s girl? “I’m also my mother’s girl. Dad hasn’t been involved in my career until now. At home, he’s the father. Outside, he is Mr Haasan or ‘sir’. I’m more comfortable addressing him that way. I ask mum for suggestions though,” she tells.
Akshara says that if she didn’t think a film was important to her, she simply wouldn’t accept it. “Any new offer should push you forward. Being the daughter of Sarika and Kamal Haasan isn’t enough,” she stresses.
What has she learned from her dad? “Professionalism and discipline. He insists that I treat every film as my first,” pat comes the answer. What does she think of Kamal Haasan’s political ambitions? “Dad has great ideas and I admire him as a politician,” she says.
Before signing off, we ask if her Tamil has gotten better. Akshara concludes, “I mostly live in Mumbai, but am working on the language. In Kadaram Kondan, I dubbed for my character, and the process was gratifying.”