Actor Rakul Preet Singh, who is basking in the success of her Bollywood film De De Pyaar De, is now gearing up for the release of Suriya starrer NGK. In an interaction with the media, the actor spoke about her NGK character Vanathi and working with director Selvaraghavan.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Q. Tell us about your character in NGK.
NGK is a political thriller in which I portray the character of Vanathi. Vanathi is into politics and she is a strong, ambitious personality.
When Selva sir narrated the script, he briefed me about the character. He said that nobody gets to know about what is going in Vanathi’s mind. She is somebody who understands the business well. She is strong headed and very independent, empowered woman. So far in my career, I have never played such a character.
Working with Selva sir was a new experience. His style of direction is very different.
For instance, we were not supposed to blink our eyes while delivering dialogues in front of the camera, no matter what. It took three days for me, Suriya and Sai Pallavi to get used to that concept of not blinking. I did ask him about it. His idea of not blinking is to maintain the intensity of the scene and the characters. He believes blinking can break that connect.
Another rule of working with him is to wait for three seconds to deliver the dialogues after getting an action cue.
If there are two actors in a scene, there has to be three seconds gap between their dialogue exchange. As an actor, you get used to some techniques but on Selva sir’s set, you are supposed to go like a blank slate. And that’s why they say that if you work under Selva sir’s direction, your performance gets enhanced.
I am very happy that I got a chance to work with him. I am sure I learned a different way of approaching a character.
Q. Generally, in political dramas, female characters are reduced to emotional anchors or supporting characters. How is NGK different?
You can see it on the poster, to begin with. If I was just playing his love interest, it would have been different. But in this film, this man’s journey is his journey into politics and how these two (female) characters are his anchors. I think these are well written and well-crafted characters.
Q. Selvaraghavan’s films are known for having complex and layered female characters.
I think they are very deep characters with their own journeys. They are not just characters who are coming on the screen, doing one scene and just limited to that particular shot. Every character has a journey and when they are doing one scene, there is some thought process running in their head. They are very multi-layered and I think that’s what sets Selva sir apart.
Q. NGK promos already pointed out that educated people don’t often come to politics which often creates chaos and problems. Do you agree?
I really think educated people need to be in politics. We know what we have to do to study MBA and to become an engineer but no one knows what to do if they wish to join politics. I feel that awareness needs to be brought so that our youth can explore.
I think today’s youth is very concerned about what is happening. As a common citizen, I should be aware of what I have to do if I wish to bring the change. I feel that common people and educated people should consider politics as a profession as I think half of the problems of the country will be then solved.
Q. Did you have to do any research on regional politics of Tamil Nadu?
No, I didn’t. It is not a film which has been adapted from a real situation. It is a fictional story. Also, I think Selva sir does so much homework himself that even if you have prepared something, he will give you something completely unexpected. So, it is better not to learn. Be a blank slate.
Q. How was it working with Suriya?
Very nice. I think he is extremely sweet and still has the childlike innocence even though he is a big star.
Q. Is there any real-life politician that you would like to portray on the screen?
If it is a good story, I would like to emulate anybody but I have not thought about that.
If I get a biopic, I will definitely do it. I want to do a biopic and I want to tell a story that probably needs to be told. There is so much to be told and films are the best medium to tell these stories.
Q. What was the reason behind taking a break from Telugu films for a year?
I was working on films in other languages. I was shooting for De De Pyaar De which required about six to seven months and I was also working on Tamil films. This year, I have six releases.
Some scripts did come my way but there was no time to do them. De De Pyaar De required me to give time. We shot for 200 days for that film. The moment I finished my work there, I started my new project here (in Tamil.)
Also, it is not a race. I think about working on good films not the number of films.
Q. Are you ready to do a web series?
If something great comes, I would love to do it. Digital has become such a big platform and the kind of content it has is so solid.