Movies

‘I don’t take styling as seriously as other people’

Shruti Haasan on getting into character, her Cannes debut and working with her father

After eight years in the film industry, Shruti Haasan admits to have become a lot more patient than she was when she started out. “Now, I try to not get stressed about people being disorganised,” says the actor who has played a Punjabi girl from Lucknow in Behen Hogi Teri opposite Rajkummar Rao. The 31-year-old is confident that “the audience will connect with Gattu and Binny” (their characters in the film) as it is “a simple film about life and relationships.” Directed by Ajay K Pannalal, the film has Haasan essaying the role of Binny Arora, the character of which has been inspired by the director’s sister. “The kind of focus he has on the character was inspiring. While I had to work on the language and twang, the credit goes to my director. He was clear about how she should be portrayed since he has known the character so well,” says Haasan.

 

Role play

The film is set and shot extensively in the historic city of Lucknow and shooting in real locations helped the actress to “understand where her character was coming from.” She says, “Lucknow has its own charm with its historic monuments scattered generously all over the city and yet it is modern.” The actor reveals that unlike other films, the director decided to shoot in real location and build sets. “We have shot in houses where families were actually staying,” she adds.

To get into character, Haasan gained eight kilos to look fuller, for which she was recently fat-shamed on social media. The actress however is nonchalant about being trolled online and believes what she does with her body is her business. The daughter of veteran actors Kamal Haasan and Sarika has come a long way and she credits this sense of security to her parents. “The home I grew up in was very artistic and they always let me be. Having said that, nothing prepared me for my first film. I had to learn a lot to become who I am as an actor and as a person today,” she asserts.

Last month, Haasan walked the red carpet of the 70th edition Cannes Film Festival to launch the first look of the much-hyped Sangamithra, a project she no longer is a part of. When asked about why she left the project, Haasan refers to the press note issued at the time, that stated, “Despite [Haasan’s] enthusiasm and commitment to Sangamithra, she has had to give the film a miss since she had not received a proper bound script nor a proper date calendar.”

While her Cannes debut in a black Avaro Figlio dress was received with a mixed response, the actor says that she’s “never been much into fashion and style.” “It is just an extension of my personality and I kind of go with the flow. I don’t take it as seriously as other people,” adds the Welcome Back actor.

Haasan will also be seen sharing the screen with her father Kamal Haasan in the trilingual Sabaash Naidu (Sabaash Kundu in Hindi) later this year. While it is challenging and inspiring to work with someone of his stature, for the actress it is easy to separate the father from the actor-director. “From the emotional point of view, it is different. But professionally, it is just two people going to the sets and doing their job,” she says.

Aside from acting

An accomplished musician (she went to the Musicians Institute in California) Haasan, in between all her film commitments, took time off last year to create something else she loves — collaborating on a video with the digital channel, Blush. The actor wrote and performed a two-and-a-half-minute monologue titled Be The Bitch that explored the stigma-laden term associated with women world over when they take a tough stand or go against the norm. “Music has been a very important part of my life but in the last few years, cinema has completely taken over. Right now, it is about striking the balance. I do try my best to unwind with music, though I hardly get time for it” says Haasan who sang her first song at the age of six in her father’s film Thevar Magan. On being asked how she assesses her career graph and her journey in the film industry, pat comes her reply, “I don’t evaluate. I just keep working.”

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 7:20:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/i-dont-take-styling-as-seriously-as-other-people/article18962112.ece

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