Diwali usually calls for some family bonding with her mother Sarika and sister, Akshara. This time however, given the heady pace at which she has been working, and the Diwali release, Pooja, Shruti Haasan might have to settle for a spot of meditation wherever she is. “I am the most restless person,” begins the singer-actress who has completed 20 films till date. “Perhaps I should take some tips from Dimple (Kapadia), for she knows how to enjoy her work and her life.” The actor, 28, met Kapadia on the sets of Anees Bazmi’s ‘Welcome Back’ and has struck up a strong friendship with her. “I am a people’s person,” she continues with an easy familiarity.
“We artistes don’t survive, we flourish,” admits the young actress who is grateful for her father’s ‘rebel artiste’ tag as it gave her the freedom to experiment. Her scenes in last year’s Telugu hit, ‘Balupu’, many with the comedian Brahmanandam, indicate that the actress has a flair for comedy. “Some of the funny genes must have passed down from my dad, though I have not yet worked with him. The time will come. For now, it can’t be a family package, like ‘buy one chewing gum, get one free!’”
An insomniac, she writes poems, songs and stories at night. “My father used to insist that I write something every day. I also read when I can, and currently it is Carlos Castaneda,” she reveals. Like many actors her age, Shruti is aware of the power of social media and tweets regularly. “It helps me connect with my fans, get to know the pulse of the audience, and to promote my films. Fortunately, I only meet people with love most of the time,” she observes. Talking about love, the actor confesses that there is no space for a man in her life right now. In the past, she had admitted to an attraction to “psycho achievers.” She has been linked to her 3 co-star Dhanush in the past and had called him “an important friend… and a comprehensive artiste.” There have been reports of other relationships as well but Shruti means it when she says, “I’ve never bothered much about what people say.”
On the home front
“Both my parents are distinct,” says Shruti, who appreciates her father’s comprehensive work and her mother’s spontaneity. “I am not a trained actor. I don’t know the ‘A’ of acting and so try to go to as honest a place as possible when I am emoting,” adds the actor, confessing that she did not consider herself good looking enough for films. “Then music came and slapped me in the face, after which the acting career came and pleaded, ‘Love me, instead!’” Shruti’s dramatic statements notwithstanding, she seems to find the time for both. “I am a singer who acts, not the other way round. But this is my time to experiment with acting. I do a lot of playback too. As for an album, I see it happening, but I cannot wake up one day and say, ‘let’s make a video.’ In the 90s, artistes had a story to share in their songs and videos. I prefer that,” she declares.
No stops, please
“I want to meet as many writers and directors who have the courage to put me through my paces,” she shares. “My journey has been unique. I should be a little chapter in film textbooks, about how you don’t get a silver spoon everywhere you go despite having famous parents. I had a rough start in the industry, but with blessings and opportunities, I am here today,” continues the woman who admits to taking each day as it comes. Raised by her parents - actors Kamal Haasan and Sarika - to decide on what is ethical, she is answerable only to herself.
Back to fit
Shruti is in fantastic shape today, and this she attributes to a balance of work and exercise. “You give up on the over-exercising and you get sexier. When I was younger, I used to spend a lot of time in the gym, and wasn’t a very happy person,” she shares. She has come a long way from her LA days, when she self-admittedly resembled “a hamburger.” She is much happier now doing old-fashioned cardio and swimming.