Sruthi Hariharan has always remained true to her real and reel selves, both distinct. The actress of Lucia and Godhi Banna Sadharna Mykatttu will now be seen playing a different character once more in Beautiful Manasugalu.
Sruthi says playing that role was an experience and didn’t really require acting. Ask the difference between the two and she says, “As an actor, you have a reference or a character sketch, which is usually developed. And in roles like that in Beautiful Manasugalu, which is based on a real life incident, you only have the character sketch. Then the director puts the personality traits into the character and the actor presents it with the force of his or her performance.”
Sruthi finds cheating oneself and living somebody else’s life very interesting. “It is why I became an actress,” she says. “Getting to be another person, which you are not, is always exciting. Playing Nandini, in Beautiful Manasugalu, gave me that opportunity. There are certain roles that come attached with stereotypes, like a doctor or a journalist. Nandini here is a complicated woman who is practical, working in a beauty salon, taking care of a sick father, mother and a younger bother, and running the house. Such stories require us to ask for the director’s guidance to understand how the story proceeds.”
The movie is based on a real-life incident, which had to be recreated, and the story is around a woman. Sruthi had to imagine the trauma Nandini would have gone through. “The circumstances under which this incident happenned does not matter,” she says, “But the fact that it happened is something which makes me and every woman furious. It is not just about what happened to the girl or the injustice that was meted out to her. It is also about how the incident was projected in the media, society and by the people about her. The incident that took place in 2013 can take place in 2020 too. And every time, it is the girl who goes through that emotional trauma all by herself and she goes deeper into a cocoon.”
The movie is for both genders to see, says Shruthi. “The director, keeping the real incident in place, has packaged it with a beautiful love story and relationships with different people. Men can watch Beautiful Manasugalu as a tribute to all their women in their lives.”
Sruthi says working with Ninasam Satish, after Lucia, was a nice experience. “In Lucia, I was a little amateurish,” she says. “After three years, I have changed a lot as a person too and so as Sathish. It was very interesting with him this time, especially on the sets. B oth of us and the director Jayatheertha discussed a lot about Kannada cinema.”