“The brat in Jaggubhai was hard to do,” confesses Shriya Saran, Monisha Jagannathan aka brat in Jaggubhai.
Shriya, who plays the daughter of Sarath Kumar in the movie, says that Jaggubhai is a very special movie to her. Sarath Kumar, lauded for his recent role in Pazhasi Raja, where he more than held his ground against the towering Mammooty, is again moving into unchartered territory with his role as Monisha’s father.
“It was hard to do because Monisha is a little loud, bordering on obnoxious, has not been taught to respect elders, is into drugs and every other conceivable bad habit… in short, she is the complete caricature of a spoilt brat,” narrates Shriya, speaking to The Hindu in the executive lounge of the Taj Mount Road, a little ahead of the movie’s premiere at the Satyam complex.
“See, there was no one around whom I could study and relate to the character. I know no friends who use drugs and so it was an exploratory journey. I used black nail polish and symbols associated with the dark to make it clear where Monisha came from,” she says.
This season, it is not only Monisha that Shriya gives life to. Shriya is also Geetha (in Kutty — which has released and is doing well, according to industry reports) and Anu (Chikku Bhukku — shooting still in progress). So, how are Geetha and Anu different from Monisha?
“Well, Anu is a Madurai Born Confused Desi, who spends a few years in London and comes back with an accent and attitude. Geetha is the girl next door, very sincere and very naïve. The whole world is new to her and it is basically about her finding her love… You know, I was a lost girl in college too and I can relate to that feeling very well,” she laughs.
Is it easy doing a Tamil movie without knowing the language well? “Knowledge of a language definitely helps…I was never good in languages, spelling and past participles, etc. Had a block [in my mind] since then…But I believe, for me, it is more important to have a relationship and understanding with the director. If that is not there, it will show on screen for sure,” she says.
Shriya feels strongly about video piracy and asserts that she will be part of any initiative that the industry or the government undertakes to curb piracy. “It is not about protecting the industry. It’s about protecting our country. The money made out of piracy will end up financing terrorism.”
Shriya is leaving for Kochi on Thursday morning to shoot on her first Malayalam venture Pokkiri Raja in which Mammooty plays the lead.
“I have heard that the audiences in Kerala are unsparing…I hope they accept me,” she adds.