Shruti Haasan talks to Nikhil Raghavan about the three exciting projects that keep her busy these days

Luck might not have been on her side in her debut outing in Bollywood (pun intended). But, Shruti Haasan has grown wiser with that experience, for she has turned her sights on familiar turf — Kollywood. And, Shruti couldn't have asked for a bigger team to make her first solo entry — the team which gave us Ghajini — director A. R. Murugadoss, hero Suriya and music director Harris Jayaraj. Adding glitz to this line-up is Ravi K Chandran who will crank the camera.

After dabbling in things close to her heart — singing, composing, doing cameos in films and a full-length Hindi film, Luck, Shruti is busy shooting for Murugadoss' 7-aam Arivu (Seventh Sense). The film is being shot simultaneously in Tamil and Telugu.

Amidst a gruelling schedule, Shruti managed to tell us about what is going on in her professional life. Excerpts from the interview:

How would you best describe yourself?

As an artiste and a performer. More interestingly, I am a shameless show-off.

What did you find exciting about 7-aam Arivu?

Actually, there are three exciting projects I am involved in. But, the Tamil film is the most exciting because of the team involved in its making. There is so much energy on the sets with Murugadoss and Suriya around and despite the hectic schedule, I am thoroughly enjoying every moment of it. I take on a project only if I believe in the character I am playing; I have to relate to it.

What's on theHindi and Telugu film front?

I am simultaneously shooting for a Telugu film with Siddarth as the hero and a Hindi film Dil To Bacha Hai Ji. Siddarth is an amazing person to work with and I am really happy that in the three films I have the best co-stars. The Telugu film is a fantasy story. The Hindi film, directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, has Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi. More interestingly, the characters I play are so different from each other and very unlike me.

Where does your real interest lie? Acting or singing?

I must say, singing and acting. As I said earlier, I am a shameless show-off and an attention junkie. I love adulation.

I guess it comes from the fact that I belong to a family of film stars.

Which of your parents has had the most influence on your professional career?

My mom was instrumental in my learning music, especially Hindustani classical. I have learnt it for four-and-a-half years. Of course, I don't get enough time to practise because of the three-film schedule. But, the foundation that classical music has given me enables me to compose and perform live with my band.But it was the influence my dad had on me that inspired me to take up acting. I have learnt a lot from him.

What do you feel about the failure of Luck?

Lots of things went wrong. In hindsight, I feel the whole planning process could have gone wrong. As a first-time actor, you take up a project with a lot of confidence; as the film progresses you are not sure how it has shaped up and trust the makers to put things in order. I feel there was a lack of direction initially. But, all this has been a learning curve and I am definitely wiser now.

Where do you find yourself at ease — Bollywood or Kollywood?

I would say in front of the camera and behind a microphone. I don't think there is much difference in the making process of a film in any language. As long as I understand the language, the script and the character I play, I am comfortable emoting in front of the camera. And, when I am on stage performing with my band or recording a playback song, I find myself at my best.

Is there a change in the outlook of a typical Tamil film heroine in recent films?

I think the Tamil film industry is at a stage when the makers are experimenting with different genres knowing fully well that there is an audience out there for almost everything as long as the film has substance. I find that slick, modern subjects, rural stories and out-and-out comedies have all clicked at the box office. Whatever, today's audiences are much smarter and know what they want. Filmmakers have to cater to their tastes or face the music at the box office.

What's on the film music composing front?

Right now, most of my efforts are on the backburner due to the three films I am involved in. But, the band is working on some original material.