Surveen Chawla, who will next be seen in Jai Hind 2, talks about what attracts her to south Indian cinema, her co-star Arjun and her upcoming films

What is it that attracts pretty actresses from the North to south Indian films, particularly Tamil cinema? Talented directors, for one. Realistic stories that give them meaty roles (read glamour), for another. Good publicity, good money, scope to act in films in all the four southern languages. And, the chance to act opposite some macho heroes, too! It is this last mentioned that was the deciding factor when Punjabi kudi Surveen Chawla signed on the dotted line for producer-director-actor Arjun’s Jai Hind 2.

“I was paired with Arjun in director Vasanth’s Moondru Paer Moondru Kaadhal (MPMK). I was very impressed with his dedication, simplicity, humility and the way he treated everyone in the crew. As I was not familiar with the language, he went out of the way to help me with the scenes and situations. Therefore, when he narrated the storyline of Jai Hind 2, I had no hesitation in signing up,” says Surveen. Moreover, the chemistry between Surveen and Arjun in MPMK has been the talking point among viewers.

Currently, Surveen is busy completing two Hindi films — Ugly and Hate Story 2. “In Vikram Bhatt’s Hate Story 2, I am the protagonist, alongside Sushant Singh. It is a commercial feature with all the necessary ingredients, despite being heroine-oriented,” reveals Surveen, who has clearly left her television days behind for a concerted foray into films. Being a Punjabi, Surveen has done quite a few Punjabi films, too. “I didn’t want to take up any role that came my way in Hindi, so I did the next best thing, act in Punjabi films where I got the required recognition.”

Ugly is Anurag Kashyap’s psychological thriller, starring Girish Kulkarni, Ronit Roy, Tejaswini Kolhapure and Surveen Chawla, among others.

Earlier in her career, Surveen acted in Paramesha Panwala (2008) in Kannada and Raju Maharaju (2009) in Telugu before she was roped in for an important role in Saradha Ramanathan’s Puthiya Thiruppangal, alongside Nandhaa and Andrea Jeremiah. “The role of a gentle, soft-hearted NGO worker I played in PT attracted the attention of the makers of MPMK which in turn resulted in my signing up for Jai Hind 2. I feel extremely comfortable acting with Arjun. In real life, he is the common man’s friend and in JH2 this is the character he essays.”

Surveen’s role in Jai Hind 2 will be a surprise to many who have only seen her glamorous side. “She plays a conservative Brahmin girl. Her character is powerful and will add weight to the story. Having seen her acting skills in MPMK, I am confident her role in Jai Hind 2 too will be something to remember,” says Arjun.