Actor Aditi Rao Hydari has featured in some interesting projects this year. After Tamil film Psycho and Malayalam outing Sufiyum Sujatayum, Aditi was recently seen in Telugu film V, a crime-thriller starring Nani and Sudheer Babu in the lead roles.
The film saw Aditi in the role of Saheba, the love interest of Nani’s character Vishnu. In a recent interview with indianexpress.com, the actor said she is “overwhelmed” with audience’s reaction to her character.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Q. You are receiving so much love for Saheba. How does it feel?
It feels great. It is very overwhelming. I was sure that people will love the film but the kind of love Saheba and her story has got is beyond what I expected. The role really touched me. I felt it was the emotional core of the film as everything happens because of Vishnu and Saheba’s love story.
Also, Saheba’s decision (in the film) states that it takes just a second for a person to become a hero. Her decision to give up everything dear to her for justice makes her a hero in every way, which struck a chord with me.
I thought such parts can be so impactful (while reading the script). So, the audience’s love kind of validates my decision.
Q. Even with a short screen time, you have made an impact. Does screen time matter to you?
Of course! I love cinema. I love to act. I love to be on the sets. I love to do full-fledged roles. Some of my previous films such as Psycho, Sufiyum Sujatayum, Sammohanam and Kaatru Veliyidai were author-backed roles, which I really enjoyed playing because you get so much time to explore your character and the story. However, I also feel that sometimes parts like Saheba can completely win people over. For me, what matters is that I should make a place in a person’s heart. The audience should take my character and their story back home, which can happen even in 15 minutes or in two hours. However, you can do it only with a part that can have that kind of impact.
Q. We mostly see you playing characters who are naive and good at heart. Do you ever feel slotted or put into a bracket?
I try not to get slotted. I try to break stereotypes as much as possible. Honestly, I have no complaints about playing such characters. Leela, Dahini, Sameera, Saheba or Mehrunissa, they all are so inspiring to me. Of course, they are vulnerable but they are such strong girls. Look at Saheba. It requires so much courage to know that you might die but you still take that step because you know the love of your life will do everything to get justice. So, I like such characters and I would like to believe they are different.
Q. How do you feel about it?
Honestly, I get confused. Some say I play similar parts while some say I have played varied roles. I think I am happy until that confusion exists because it makes me feel that people have different opinions about me as an actor. As an artiste, I want to be able to explore. Basically, as an artiste, I am like a kid in a playground. So, let me play. The benefit of working with big directors and co-stars is that they let you explore and yet have your back. I like working like that where there is a challenge, yet has an environment of nurturing.
Having said that, I would love to do a Gone Girl or a film where I would play a warrior princess but people will have to offer me that.
Q. This is the first time you’ve collaborated with Nani. What sets him apart from other actors?
Nani is incredible. I have watched some of his work before. There is so much warmth in him. He is so talented and endearing on-screen. I find him very inspiring as an artiste and as a person. He has a lovely attitude without an iota of arrogance. I remember he gave me so much space and I felt so valued on the sets. So, it was a beautiful experience. Yes, it was a challenge (to play Saheba) because in a very short time we had to create chemistry and make people believe we are in love, which can happen only if the actor is with you. I felt that with Nani. I was very comfortable and the chemistry was effortless. I can be very shy when I first meet people but I was so comfortable as if I knew him forever, for which I have to credit him. This was one of my best experiences.
Q. I read you are a sucker for love stories. Which are your favourite romantic dramas? Any film you’d like to be a part of?
I think I would love to be part of all Mani (Ratnam) sir’s love stories (giggles). Also, I love Khamoshi, which is not an out-and-out romantic film, and oh my god, I would die to do a film like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. I love epic love stories. Veer Zaara is also one of those. I think Saheba and Vishnu’s love story is very beautiful too. It should be a full film, ideally. And ideally, her throat shouldn’t be slit (laughs).
Q. As an actor, what do you think of direct-to-OTT release?
Theaters will always be a magical experience. V certainly was a theatrical film. It is a seeti movie with solid content. Even though I missed a theatrical release for V, the way audience has responded to OTT all over the world feels good. The world of cinema is much more connected. I have always wanted to be a pan-Indian actor and that is the way I have been working for the last three-four years, so right now it feels amazing that it is happening. Now it is about cinema and not just the language. I have always felt cinema is a feeling, which does not need a language. So, this whole blurring of lines kind of validates that.
Having said that, the magic of theater cannot be taken away. It is a celebration. So, both (OTT and theaters) are valid platforms and both are here to stay.
Q. Will you be keen to experiment more on the OTT platform?
Honestly, cinema and theater are my priority. It is my first love. At the moment, I have a lot of work to look forward to. Theoretically, the medium doesn’t matter. However, very honestly, the priority is a theatrical release at the moment.
Q. How do you think the industry will change post the pandemic?
I just shot a schedule of a film with John Abraham in Mumbai. It went off smooth. Of course, people were in PPE kits and masks. It was really good. We were so efficient as we wrapped up a lot of work in just a week. I am sure things will go back to normal. We have to be very careful.
Q. Lastly, what has this period taught you about life and yourself?
Many things but the priorities are to be kind, to be open, to listen, to give more, to value what you have, to count your blessings and to be always connected to your roots because that is where you come from. What I miss, apart from work, are people whom I love and the connection.
V, a Mohana Krishna Indraganti directorial, is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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