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Interview By: ANKITA R. KANABAR

She looks like this petite pretty girl, but Shraddha Kapoor can pull off some kickass action in a mega action thriller like ‘Saaho’. Now that, she is happy about. On the other hand, she’s been rising higher, impressing the audience with each film. We catch up with the lady to speak about her latest release amidst other things. Excerpts:

People were so impressed just with the trailer of ‘Saaho’ considering its visual appeal. Do you feel that the films made by the south have that sort of a canvas or grandeur which Hindi films are still lacking?

The scale of ‘Saaho’ has been huge and the reason it’s been so huge – The action, the VFX, the choreography, the kind of scenes – the demand of the scrip  and the demand of the film was such that it had to be made on a huge scale. When I saw the VFX and all in the trailer, I was like, ‘I’m a part of it! Oh my God!’ So, I feel proud to be a part of this film and a lot has gone into it. I think now, it’s a very interesting time for multilingual films to happen. Starting with ‘Bahubali’ of course and now this one. I think ‘RRR’ is also going to be a multi-lingual. So, it’s nice to see that the different industries of India coming together. I would love to do more of such films.

Were you offered any films from south before this or were you keen on it?

I was offered a couple of south films but maybe I didn’t like the part or I didn’t connect with the part. When ‘Saaho’ was offered to me, I was so excited to be a part of this big action thriller. The story is so cool. When I heard the story, I was like, ‘wow there are so many layers to this.’ A trailer doesn’t do justice to a film as the film itself will do. The way I look at cinema is that, if there’s a film I’ve enjoyed watching, no matter what language is it, it’s a good film.

How was it learning your lines in Telegu?

It was very tough. I just thought, I will have to mug up my lines. The coach used to teach me and then the AD team helped me a lot. The director would also send me voice notes. I would panic but then I would get a voice note that this is how you say it, over different speeds. He wanted the dialogue delivery speed to be super fast, so that it looks natural. It can look real only if it’s conversational. If I pause and say it, then the performance would get affected. I had a monologue – one, one and a half page monologue in Telegu. I was freaking out but with the team’s help and learning it up, it happened.

To mug up lines is one thing, but how’s it to emote in a language you don’t know?

It was difficult. I had to understand what each word meant and emote accordingly as per each word. You have to get the emotions right so you need to know the meanings of all the words. I would write the words in English and then rehearse it with our director Sujeeth with the emotions.

Is it a conscious effort to balance it out and also do commercial films after doing something a female-centric film like ‘Haseena Parker’?

While ‘Haseena Parker’ didn’t work at the box-office, there is so much in that film and character. Of course, there are a lot of things which were not up to the mark, but I tried to be a part of that. When something is successful then, it’s obviously spoken about in another scale but I feel like, take for instance, ‘Saaho’. It being an action thriller, I still have a very signifi – cant part in it. It’s possible for that to happen. I have a strong characterisation in it, it is super layered. So today even in a big commercial films, gone are the days when the actress doesn’t have a substantial thing to do. Probably, in another time, I wouldn’t be holding a gun or been a cop or having a strong solid stand in a commercial film like ‘Saaho’. All that has changed and that’s also something I feel very good about. Having said that, I would love to do a female-lead film again. I am also listening to a couple of films right now. There’s one which is super interesting which requires a lot of time and preparation. Hopefully, it all works out. We’re trying to put it together, so let’s see.

Do you still have a lot of anxiety?

It’s better now. I’m trying to deal with it through meditation. I’ve been watching the kind of food I eat and also exercising. I still have anxiety but it’s gotten better with these changes. Infact, I got an anxiety attack recently in the middle of shooting for ‘Street Dancer’. We were doing a climax and got an anxiety attack but it was okay because I was surrounded by all the dancers and they were calming me down. To be surrounded by the right people is important. I was only with the dancers and they just pacified me so it was nice. Even Remo sir and Varun don’t know this.

What are your upcoming projects?

‘Street Dancer’ and ‘Baaghi 3’. One more will be announced too. I want to make well-thought out decisions also.

What’s your take on getting on board again for ‘Baaghi 3’?

I don’t know, you should that to Sajid sir and Ahmed sir. I loved my role in the film. They thought I am suited for ‘Baaghi 3’ so they offered it to me.

Do you continue to put in the same amount of hard work, effort and preparation in the films you do as opposed to when you started out?

Perhaps, it’s even more now. Now I put in a lot more efforts into the work I do, because I’ve started understanding how I want to go about things. You always evolve and want to get better. This year has been physically draining for me because ‘Street Dancer’ happened very suddenly. I’m still recovering from few injuries. Thankfully, my ankles are fine now but the dancing really took a toll on me!

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