‘Gabbar Singh’ (GBS) has turned out to be a touchstone, not just for power star Pawan Kalyan but also for the relatively new Shruti Haasan. With six movies behind her, Shruti finally tasted box office success with the ‘Dabangg’-remake. The 26-year-old actress, however, insists that though GBS was a trade hit, her journey thus far has been one long trip of success.
“Though a new comer, I’ve had the opportunity to flit between languages, do very different roles and experiment more. I’ve been lucky in those terms and wouldn’t trade the experience,” says the ‘Bhagyalakshmi’ actress. Creating a buzz with her village belle personality — Bhagyalakshmi in GBS, the actress has garnered attention for carrying off the rustic look.
Her director, Harish Shankar has more than just kind words to say. “GBS wouldn’t be what it is without the perfect characterization of Bhagyalakshmi by Shruti. She is an extremely hard working and committed actress who’d turn up on time and be energetic throughout. She’s been thorough right through, including learning the lyrics for the songs!” says the director, who predicts that one day the actress will rule the roost in Tollywood. “I have no doubt that she will become number one in the industry,” comments Shankar.
Shruti, however has learnt her lessons well, with a lineage like Kamal Haasan and Sarika, she doesn’t betray a sense of pride in the over-shower of compliments from her director and producer.
“I don’t know how deserving I am of the compliments for ‘Gabbar Singh’, but I’m thankful of the team I have worked with.”
Starting her career in Bollywood with ‘Luck’, starring opposite Imran Khan, Shruti has had to endure through a stream of movies that promised the sky, yet only reached the horizon, despite an intimidating list of co-actors — Siddharth, Surya, Emraan Hashmi and Dhanush. The musician-turned-actress is nevertheless unperturbed with the way things have gone.
Speaking about her last movie ‘3’, which is perhaps more popular for the ‘Kolaveri di’ song than anything, she says, “As far as I can see, the movie was a hit. The song (‘Kolaveri di’) did steal the limelight, but the movie did do well.”
So in her travail thus far, what did she take away from each experience that made acting in GBS that much easier? “Imran was a childhood friend, Siddharth I’d worked with for two films, so the comfort level was good in those films. Surya sir was very encouraging and Dhanush really helped me open up in front of the camera. But overall, they all helped me evolve as an artist.”
As Kamal Haasan’s and Sarika’s daughter, Shruti kicked up quite the interest when she entered the industry in 2009. But three years and seven films later, Shruti says she is just another new face. “Yes initially I’m sure I was looked at as ‘their’ daughter. But the industry and the audience are not very tolerant and patient with second chances. Whatever I do is my decision and me. In all fairness, it doesn’t make sense to be compared to my father, or in that case any anybody else at all.”
Music was the artiste’s first calling. She has even collaborated on a few films either as a singer or composer, besides maintaining her band Extramentals. Talking about her future plans, she says, “Music is still important to me. I do sing a few playback tracks for some movies and record music on my own. That isn’t something I’m going to give up. So yes, I will perhaps release an album too. But all in good time,” she says before signing off.