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Shriya Saran: I'm a great admirer of Anna Hazare

Last updated on: January 19, 2012 14:41 IST

Shriya Saran: I'm a great admirer of Anna Hazare

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Patcy N in Mumbai

The sexy Shriya Saran is back with a new Hindi film, Gali Gali Chor Hai, co-starring Akshaye Khanna and Mugdha Godse. Veena Malik has a hot item number in it.

Directed by Rumy Jaffrey, the film deals with corruption.

Shriya talks to Patcy N about the film, her views on Anna Hazare, and her Deepa Mehta film, Midnight's Children.

What is Gali Gali Chor Hai about?

It is the story of a middle class family from Bhopal and how a small incident changes their lives and they get entangled in a series of incidents and how, without realising it, they become victims of corruption.

It is a simple film with a sense of humour. The very serious topic of corruption is dealt with in a humorous way. So, while laughing and having fun, the audience will get a thought-provoking message.

What is your role in the film?

I play Nisha, Akshaye Khanna's wife in the film. She is a teacher -- she teaches kids from the slums. She does not expect big things from life, just some happiness.

She just wants to spend time with her husband, go out and eat chat masala with him. In the end, she stands up for her husband and understands what he is going through.


Image: Shriya Saran


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'I went with my gut feeling for the film'

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What made you sign this film?

When I first heard the story, I had a blast. I enjoyed just listening to it because of the incidents in the script and how the story is told.

It made me think that if the story leaves me with something to dwell on, then audiences will also have something to think and dwell upon. That was the reason I decided to do the film.

How was it working with director Rumy Jaffery?

Rumy Jaffery helped me a lot to understand my character and the story. I went with my gut feeling and his input. I did a little research. I looked around and saw how women are, and wives are, as I am not married yet.

Rumy sir has a great sense of humour. When telling a joke or singing a song or some incidents of his life, he takes you through the story and your role in a very simple way. When you go for the take, you don't even realise that you are already into the scene.


Image: Shriya Saran


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'If we want to change the system, we can'

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How was it working with Akshaye Khanna?

Akshaye is a very, intense, hardworking, serious actor. He comes well prepared on the sets, he knows exactly what he is doing and he understands the story really well.

When you have an actor who works so hard and he is so well prepared, it becomes much easier for you as an actress to react in a scene better.

Since the story is about corruption, what do you think about corruption in India? Do you think there is hope for India?

Of course there is. If we want to, if we come together, and we want to change the system, we can.

Did Akshaye want Anna Hazare to watch the film?

I am not aware of that. We don't want to cash in on Anna's movement. Our film is related to today's corruption and scenario, it is a political satire.

Having said that, I am not denying that I am a great admirer of Anna. I appreciate what he has done in his own small village and I appreciate the initiative that he is taking to change thing around here.


Image: Shriya Saran


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'Akshaye is a very intense actor'

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You are a very popular actress down south but somehow your Bollywood films are not doing well. Why is that?

I don't know. Sometimes you do films that work really well and sometimes you do a film and you fall flat on your face. Sometimes things work, sometimes things don't work, you never know. I don't think there is any explanation to something like that.

When you sign a film, what do you look for?

It depends, sometime I love the script, and sometimes I think the director is fantastic, most of the time I go with my gut feeling.

I don't understand scripts really well, but I do whatever my heart tells me.

You are a north Indian girl doing south Indian films. How are you with south Indian languages?

I have learnt and understood some of the languages over the years. It is nice to know different languages and cultures because it opens up your window to life.

Language changes the flavour of the people, it changes the way you tell a story. It is interesting to learn about different cultures and films.

I can speak Telugu fluently, Tamil I can understand well, and Malayalam I can't understand and speak.


Image: Shriya Saran

Tags: Bollywood

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'It was a dream come true to work with Deepa Mehta'

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When you don't understand a language, is it difficult to emote in a scene?

Expressions are the same in all languages. One has to learn the lines and work a little harder on the script. It is not impossible but it is not the easiest thing to do either.

How did you get Midnight's Children?

I read the book when I was in college. I read it again when the film was offered to me.

Deepa (director Deepa Mehta) saw Sivaji (Shriya's film with Rajnikanth) and I did a movie called Cooking with Stella which her brother (Dilip Mehta) directed and Deepa had written it.

I am a huge fan of Deepa's films and I appreciate a woman who has followed her heart and done what she wanted to do. She is a very honest and a loving director.

For me, it was a dream come true to work with her. So, when she asked me for Midnight's Children, I was more than excited. The shooting for the whole movie is done and we have shot in English.


Image: Shriya Saran

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