After several movies in Malayalam and Kannada, actor Sruthi Hariharan is thrilled to make a debut in Kollywood. “I’m a Bangalore-based Tambrahm,” she says with a smile. “I’m looking forward to doing movies in Kollywood.” The grace with which she carries herself indicates that she’s a dancer. Sruthi confirms, “Yes, I’m a professional bharathanatyam dancer who somehow found my way into films.”
Sruthi’s Tamil debut is Nerungi Va Muthamidathe directed by Lakshmy Ramakrishnan. “Pia Bajpai and Shabbir play the lead roles. I have a crucial role and a song,” she says. The city girl plays a rural lass Magha in her Tamil debut. It’s hard to imagine the youngster going completely deglam for the film. She says with a grin, “I loved my role. I wear a very ordinary costume. I spent most of the time in the cargo hold of a lorry for the song. The results are totally worth it.”
Director Lakshmy left no stone unturned to add realism to her film which is about petrol crisis and how it affects people’s lives. Recalling the shooting experience, Sruthi says, “We shot on the outskirts of Chennai, mostly on the roads, for 10 days in the summer heat. The hardest part for me was to sit in the cargo section of the lorry. I had to be very emotional and tears had to keep falling throughout the scene. But I could do the act easily because the lorry we shot in, was carrying rotten onions and the stench was unbearable. Moreover, I hate onions! So tears came automatically!”
Did she feel any different working with a female director? “I noticed that the way a male director perceives emotions is very different from how a woman director does. Lakshmy was able to explore emotions in a more subtle manner and still makes me feel and perform it,” recalls Sruthi.
Her calling card is the off beat Kannada hit film Lucia, which is now also being remade in Tamil as Ennakul Oruvan starring Siddharth. Sruthi got noticed for her performance in the Kannada original. After debuting as a rural girl in Kollywood, what are her plans for the Tamil industry next? “It’s not that I will say no to commercial cinema. But I prefer off-beat roles. I want films in which I can act. I don’t want to be a glam doll,” she signs off.