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Shruti Haasan: I am not a method actress

Last updated on: May 10, 2012 11:57 IST

Shruti Haasan: I am not a method actress

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

Shruti Haasan gave a touching performance in the Tamil film 3. She will now be acting in her third Telugu film, Gabbar Singh, the remake of the Hindi film Dabangg.

Shruti talks about her role of a village girl in the film and the general experience of making Gabbar Singh.

The film is scheduled to release tomorrow.

How did you get to sign Gabbar Singh?

I was getting a lot of offers in Telugu when I was shooting for Oh My Friend and Seventh Sense. This film offer came to me some time back. It just took a while to start the production.

I liked the original Dabangg. I've always felt Dabangg was like a South Indian film.

 It was nice to see Pawan Kalyan in that role. There was such a positive energy around the film from the beginning. Right from director Harish (Shankar), to the team, to DSP's (Devisriprasad's) music, everything fell in place.

Harish said to me, 'I need to find somebody who can stop people with one look and I think you can do that'.

I told myself I should go home and start working on my looks because I didn't know I look at people like that (laughs). He wanted someone who could hold their own in terms of character.


Image: A scene from Gabbar Singh


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'The director insisted I put on some weight for the film'

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Is your character modelled on the Hindi version or adapted to suit local audiences?

There are slight modifications, which I feel works better for this audience.

So far I've got only strong women parts to play that are interesting to do. This character in Gabbar Singh is no different. She's there with a purpose. She's a strong independent girl in a village.

Though the characters I have played are all very different, they are all strong, interesting women. I'm happy to have played such a character in Gabbar Singh.

How was it playing a village girl because you have done mainly urban roles so far?

A lot depends on the costume and looks that can definitely transform people. Actors sometimes forget to say that a lot goes into the look and that is why the make-up and the accessories are so important.

Physically, there are certain changes. The director insisted I put on some weight for the film. I think urbanness for him came with being extremely fit and slim.

I did put on weight much to my chagrin. Harish said, I don't want a skinny, totally toned and fit village girl.


Image: A scene from Gabbar Singh


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'I was excited to work with Pawan Kalyan'

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Was it also because Sonakshi Sinha in the original was a bit voluptuous?

It was not in comparison to Sonakshi at all. In 3 as well, I had to keep jumping onto the weighing scale.

In Gabbar Singh it was clear the director needed me to put on weight. That's something I had to manage physically. Other than that, I took cues from the director. It was a fun role to play.

Psychologically you didn't have to tune yourself to be this girl from the village?

I don't know how to do that. I'm not a method actress. I don't know how to psychologically start thinking like a village girl.

I know my director wants something from me and I put all my efforts into my body language. Beyond this I don't know what I can do other than live in a village. But time did not permit that.

You said the costume plays an important role. So what do we see you wearing?

I wear half saris. It was the first time I was wearing clothes like that and dancing. It was really exciting.


Image: A scene from Gabbar Singh


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I've always felt Dabangg was like a South Indian film'

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What was it like working with Pawan Kalyan for the first time?

It's important for me who plays the main character. There's no doubt that when I knew Pawan Kalyan was playing it, it kind of made sense.

You can picture him totally being there. There's this insane fan following for him which everybody knows about.

I was excited to work with him and I must also say the shooting experience with him has been really nice.

You got back from Switzerland recently and you also shot a song there in a train going through the Swiss Alps. Could you recount that experience?

Oh it was just so beautiful! It was my first trip to Switzerland. I have always felt that I am never a real heroine till I go to Switzerland because I love those films of Madhuri Dixit shot there.

I had to go to Switzerland and dance there to feel like a real heroine. Jokes aside, it was a really beautiful place.

I was totally blown away. I write music as well. After pack up, I was writing and I was just inspired as it was so beautiful.

How long did you spend in Switzerland doing this song?

We shot two songs in a week.


Image: A scene from Gabbar Singh


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'My character is not in comparison to Sonakshi at all'

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Did you shoot this film in Pollachi too?

We went to Pollachi. It's been a staple because I went there for 7am Arivu.

Pollachi and I have a long connection. That is where one of my dad's first movie sets was and I remember spending a lot of time there. Thevar Magan was shot there. That was the film I sang a song in.

Did you shoot in parts of Andhra?

We shot in and around Hyderabad Film City. The crew went to Gujarat and other places.

Expectations are very high. How do you feel about it?

Eventually the outcome of a film is not in my hands. What I do while making the film is in my hands and that is what translates onto the screen.

I had a nice time working on it. I got to do a lot of new things. It was an interesting and fun experience.


Image: A scene from Gabbar Singh


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'I'm going to work out my time management skills'

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How was Harish Shankar as director?

He has got a great young energy. He is a Pawan Kalyan fan himself. He's very excited around him on the sets even though he is a director. It's really fun to see it. He's very clear about the kind of cinema he makes.

Have you signed any new films?

I will announce it. I have been in the middle of many things. The last two years have been busy. I had four releases last year.

This year I was wrapping up 3, Gabbar Singh and other stuff. It has been quite a crazy year. Now I'm going to be doing Telugu, Tamil and Hindi and some music as well.

When do we get to see your next music album?

Soon. I decided to only concentrate on cinema all of last year. Now I'm finding my balance and I'm going to work out my time management skills.


Image: A scene from Gabbar Singh


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