A dance number with Prabhu Deva is not the same as with others, says Hansika

Hansika keeps up with Prabhu Deva in 'Gulaebaghavali'. She talks about curfews, pocket money and the selfies that make up her superstar life

The dance song ‘Heartukulla’ from Gulaebaghavali is a scream. How tough is it to match steps with Prabhu Deva?

Oh, it was very tough! I had to practise a lot but it just comes so naturally to him. I had to stop him once and ask him if he was made of rubber (laughs). He does it with so much ease. What worked for me was that the track is a foot-tapper. I need to really like my songs to perform well to it.

And if you don’t like the song?

Then it obviously shows on my face. There have been songs like that. But I insist that the crew give me the song at least three days before we shoot. I start playing it all day long and I make all my people listen to it. I’ve been blasting ‘Guleba’ and I must have listened to it 300 times.

What is more difficult for you — a big emotional scene or a major dance number?

Emotional scenes or long dialogues are not too difficult now. If I wanted to get stressed, I could get stressed about everything but I try not to complicate things in my head. Of course, a dance number with Prabhu Deva is not the same as with others.

A dance number with Prabhu Deva is not the same as with others, says Hansika

What about working in the languages here?

I’ve always been able to understand Tamil. I can now speak to my crew members in Tamil...even if it is a bit broken. I notice an ‘appadiya’ sneaking in, even when I’m talking in other languages. I have a friend in Mumbai who now calls me Hansika machan. She says she’s going to meet her machan when she’s coming to meet me.

How different is your life back home in Mumbai compared to your star-studded life in the south?

I used to be able to have a dual life but things have changed. It’s always been difficult to just step out in Chennai. Even last night in Mumbai, a few people noticed me and things quickly changed... I needed to ask my friend’s brother to take me to my car. Someone recently clicked my picture when I was at a cafeteria and I was totally caught unawares. But that’s stardom. I can’t complain.

What do your friends who’re not in the film business think about the star side of you?

They understand that it’s not an easy life. They might have nine to five jobs but they always have the option to separate work and life after that. I can’t do that. It’s two hours of make up every day and one needs to be in the hot sun for hours at a stretch. I don’t really have sick leaves either because so much — both people and money — are at stake. And then you need to still give your best because crores of people are going to see you. Even If I’ve worked all day with little sleep and end up at the airport, there are still people who want to click a photo with you...even when you look like a zombie.

Does all this take a toll on you?

It does but I’ve learnt to accept it. They’re only showing me their love. Of course, a certain level of comfort is a part of it...I may now be able to buy a Rolls Royce but it has come at the cost of me working even when my friends were in college and having fun.

I’ve heard that you’re a stickler when it comes to time management.

Yes I am. I’m very punctual and I calculate everything... even time to click pictures with fans when I go for a public event. I need to make sure I’m on time for everything.

What are the questions you get asked most during interviews?

‘What is your next project?’ and then it’s always about my personal life... ‘When are you getting married’, ‘Who are you dating?’ And I ask them to just check my Instagram... there’s no one.

You’ve been acting since you were a child. Has life changed a lot since then?

It has, but it also hasn’t. I still have a curfew (laughs) and I still get pocket money.

Are you serious?

(Laughs) Yeah very much. My mother is very protective that way. Even if I step out on a Saturday night, I must be back home by 1.30 max and not longer. Even though I can drive and have three cars, I’m not allowed to drive at night. I need to take my driver along. I understand where my mom’s coming from so I take the effort. She doesn't sleep until I get back home.

And you work with her too. How is it to work with your mom?

Oh, we’re like the Kardashians. She’s my ‘momager’. It’s a lot of fun but we also have our fights. Most of the time. I’m just begging her for permission to do something. There are certain things that she explains to me about my work and things I need to tell her as well. She first said that she’ll let me go out and stay out late when I turn 18. Then she said she let me be when I’m 25. It still hasn’t happened. But she’s less stressed when I’m abroad though.

What is your one indulgence?

Handbags. I’ve stopped counting how many I have. I’ve even got my mother into it. I now flick hers if I see that she’s not using them. I don’t really enjoy food. I don’t drink or smoke either; it’s just the people and the place.

You’re also taking care of several kids and their education. How often do you get to meet them?

Not often enough. We have some land for them outside Mumbai and I want to build something there. But I’m on the phone with them at least once a week. They send me letters, cards and their report cards. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 12:28:02 PM |

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