This is her first Telugu movie, but actor Shraddha Srinath has to her credit movies such as Vikram Vedha with the likes of Vijay Sethupathi and R. Madhavan. She has worked in Tamil and Kannada industries and also worked in Bollywood in Tigmangshu Dhulia’s Milan Talkies. Ahead of Jersey’s release on ZEE5, the talented actor spoke to us at length over working with ‘Natural Star’ Nani, working in Telugu movies, the need to stay grounded and more. Here are edited excerpts from an exclusive interview:
Q. How was the experience of working with Nani in Jersey?
A. I had heard exceptional things about Nani as an actor. However, the first time I met him was during the look test-cum-poster shoot of Jersey. He entered the room and was saying ‘hello’ to everyone. He came up to me…made a joke about the movie and that immediately broke the ice. When you are a new person, it feels good. For me, Nani is the guy who tried to make me comfortable, a guy with no airs…someone who is a pleasure to watch…An actor, who, when you act with him, makes you gather yourself and say ‘Hey Shraddha, you’ve got to match up’. Jersey couldn’t have been complete without him.
Q. What are your key takeaways from the movie?
A. That there is nothing bigger than the story. No part is too small as long as it tells a good story.
Q. How did you prepare for your role?
A. The only preparation was a physical one. My team and I discussed how the character would look, the hair and make-up. We researched even the kind of lipstick shades that were in vogue back in the 90s. we also had to create a contrasting look (for the time when the family was struggling). I had to lose weight for that. The hair and make-up also had to be different – somewhat unruly.
Q. You are in talks to do a film with Chiranjeevi…
A. No. That’s not true.
Q. You have worked in four different industries. How is one different from the other?
A. They are not. The only difference is in the language. Otherwise, the call times, technical terms, how the director shoots…they all vary from project to project only. I love the food served at Telugu film sets. They make a dish with curd which you eat with rice…then the dal that’s called pappu, the achaar and the chutneys…I don’t feel like working after having proper lunch.
Q. You are also starring in the Tamil remake of Pink (Nerkonda Paarvai). How did that happen?
A. I play Taapsee’s (Pannu) role. I had got a call in December from the team saying they were considering me. The next week, I happened to be travelling to Chennai, so we did a meeting. We did a small test of a basic scene. Post that, there was no communication and I went travelling. After a month, they called me for a look test and audition. I did one take and the director (H Vinoth of Theeran Adhigaram Ondru fame) said it has to be better. I did another take and got selected.
Q. How do you unwind?
A. Since I travel a lot for work, I stay away from home. And the more I stay away from home, the more I get attached to it. So, when I am not shooting, I come home, unpack and spend time with my family. I have a niece who is my number one person. I even drop her to the school van. I give my undivided attention to my family. It makes me feel very middle class and down-to-earth and keeps me grounded. I also like taking vacations, watching plays or movies or I meet my friends from college and theatre days. Eat home food.
Q. What is your favourite food?
A. Chaat is my go-to pick-me up. I like indulging in unhealthy food. I love Asian food –Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai. I am hoping to visit these countries to sample their authentic cuisines.
Q. Tell us your beauty secret.
A. Thankfully, I have never had skin problems. My skin never misbehaved. I can even go out without make-up. But despite that, I do follow a nightly ritual comprising four to five steps. So that includes a double cleanse, toning and two levels of moisturisation.
Q. What’s next in the pipeline?
A. Nothing in Telugu. I want my next film to be bigger than my last. After Jersey, nothing is really exciting me. People also have certain expectations from me. But I am taking it easy. But I am doing a movie in Kannada – Rustum.