Chit Chat

I’ve never used my dad to land a film: Shruti

She has six films lined up for release this year and has been busy shooting across the country. As she gets ready to leave for Portugal for a schedule of her Telugu film, Shruti Haasan shares with TOI some of her fondest memories associated with the city, and tells us how she was destined to become an actress and why she never uses her family name to land an offer…

With your dad, Kamal Haasan, being one of the biggest icons here, stepping onto the streets with him must have been difficult as a kid and even now…
Fortunately, people have been very polite, and dad is also a very relaxed person. He’s pretty chilled out when his fans meet and greet him. When we go out to eat or visit other places, his fans have met him in a dignified manner. It’s always pleasant to see people appreciate his work.

Did you always want to become an actor like your parents?
Getting into acting was not planned. With most of my family into this industry, cinema has had a huge influence in my life during my growing up years. I knew I would also become a part of this industry, but I thought I would become a writer or a director. As I grew up, I became interested in music. I got into a music school, and learnt the intricacies of music. And then, one day, Imran Khan (actor), a good friend of mine, called me up and said that the team of his Luck was hunting for an actress who could perform action stunts and gave out a different vibe to play the lead.

He asked me to try out for the part; the makers felt I would fit the role and then, I debuted as a heroine there! It was all unplanned, and it was in my destiny. I was offered a couple of Telugu films, and I took up the good offers that came my way. I love being in front of the camera. Despite being in the industry for quite a while, it still makes me jittery. But life has come full circle, and when I’m at a shoot, in front of the camera, I realize I’ve always wanted to be here. I’m happy!

Do you think your surname is an added advantage?
I’m happy that I’ve never had to make a call to someone to get work. If I like somebody’s work, I walk up to them and tell them that. But I’ve never used my family name or get dad to recommend me to land an offer. I don’t believe in pulling strings or surname. It won’t give you a good name in the industry. It hasn’t been an easy journey for me in tinsel town, but it’s my own journey and I’m happy with it.

Have you ever felt that you should have debuted with a Tamil film instead, given that you had debuted as a singer and a music composer in K-Town?
I don’t segregate films based on languages. My mom is from Mumbai and I connect pretty much well with that city as well. Language has never been a barrier for me when it comes to signing up films. I’ve grown up in Chennai and Mumbai, and visited Hyderabad frequently as well.We speak Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and English at home. It’s one big happy country, and I’m happy to have a lot of opportunities to choose from!

You’ve been controversy’s favourite child…
I react to controversy if I’m attacked. If someone’s crossing the line, then I speak up for myself. Otherwise, I don’t pay much attention to what’s said and written about me. I’m too busy with my work, and I believe in focussing on the job in hand.

What next in K-Town?
I’ve been really busy shooting for five films now. I’ve Prabhu Dheva’s Ramaiya Vasta Vaiya with Girish and D-Day with Arjun Rampal in Hindi, and films with Allu Arjun, Jr NTR, Ravi Teja and Ram Charan in Telugu. I’m definitely signing on one interesting film in Tamil soon.


#Chennai has a great sense of culture and diversity; it’s been an interesting place for me to grow up. I’ve met a lot of interesting people here, and everyone has inspired me in a different way.

#I’ve seen the city grow. If one thing that has changed for the better, it has to be the partying scene. The city has welcomed a wider range of people; every time I visit the city, I see something new. But, on the flipside, it’s got a little dirtier and messier.

#The sambar and the heat are two things that are synonymous with the city. It’s one of the hottest places around, but I’ve grown up in this weather and I’m comfortable with it.

#The first shot I gave for 7aum Arivu was at a mall in Kilpauk. It was a very different experience altogether – doing a Tamil film for the first time as a lead actress. In fact, working on the both the Tamil films have been fun. In my debut film, I got to ride on an elephant in the city, which I can never do otherwise. And in 3, I got an opportunity to cycle around the city all over again, like I did in school days.



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