Shruti Haasan thankful to be relevant and wanted

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Shruti Haasan says she has evolved every step of the way in her acting journey — from feeling ill-prepared when she started out to eventually finding a space across the Hindi, Tamil and Telugu film industries.

Shruti made her first appearance as a child actor in her actor-filmmaker father Kamal Haasan’s 2000 drama “Hey Ram”. She then made her full-fledged debut with the 2009 Bollywood actioner “Luck”. Since then, the 36-year-old actor has featured in several acclaimed hits, including Tamil romantic psychological thriller “3”, Telugu blockbusters “Premam”, Allu Arjun-starrer “Race Gurram” and Pawan Kalyan headlined “Vakeel Saab”.

“When I look at my journey, I feel blessed. In any job, to be able to keep it for a long time is amazing. To be relevant, to work and to be wanted — especially in the business that I am in, where people, career and loyalties can be transient — can be difficult. It is extremely competitive. So, to be able to stand here after all these years is something I am very thankful for,” shared Shruti.

The actor-singer said when she began her film career, she didn’t have the instinct to connect to stories as an artiste and hence some of her initial choices, like “Luck”, reflected that.
“I have realised, it is all about stories. In the beginning, when I chose a film like ‘Luck’, I was ill-prepared, I didn’t have the ability to connect to stories — I had it as a musician, but not in the way of (understanding) something like character development. What I have learned over time is how excited I am to tell a story,” said Shruti, whose Hindi film appearances, in comparison to her Tamil and Telugu movies, have been fewer.

“The Telugu and Tamil film industries have made better use of my craft than Hindi films. What happened was a very logistical thing. I was always told that if you focus on Hindi, you have to have a determined strategy and focus on Hindi. I did do big ticket films like a ‘Welcome Back’ or a ‘D-Day’, for which I received a lot of love as well,” she said.
Elaborating further, Shruti added, “I am very aware and respectful of my roots, I love the South Indian film industries. There was no way I was going to be like, ‘I will say no to this Telugu film so that I can do a Hindi film’. That was never on my agenda.”

Shruti said she realised it was important to “go where you are accepted and loved and grow that relationship”. She said she eventually found a home in the Telugu film industry, where she has featured in some of the biggest hits. “There I found an unexpected and loving home,” she said.
After appearances on Tamil and Telugu anthologies, “Putham Pudhu Kaalai” and “Pitta Kathalu”, respectively, Shruti is set to headline the upcoming Prime Video psychological thriller series “Bestseller”. Produced by filmmaker Siddharth Malhotra, the eight-episode Amazon Original series is billed as a nail-biting suspense thriller.

“When the show came to me, I was extremely excited. I have been a huge OTT fan, I am a notorious binge-watcher. I always knew I wanted to do a female-led story on OTT. So, when Siddharth Malhotra called me for this and I heard the story, I absolutely loved it. I liked the opportunity it offered to me as a performer. It is a beautiful script and is extremely fast-paced,” she added.
Apart from this, Shruti will also be seen opposite Prabhas in “KGF” director Prashanth Neel’s underworld action thriller “Salaar”.

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