CHENNAI: Since making her Tamil cinema debut in 2011 with the Dhanush-starrer, Mappillai, Hansika Motwani has steadily built upon her filmography, which, for the most part, has been studded with hit films. The actor, who featured in last week’s Gulaebaghavali, hopes that 2018 will turn out to be a better year for her. “The biggest fear of an artiste is getting stereotyped, but I consider myself fortunate that I’ve been given a variety of roles. Bogan was different from Manithan. And Romeo Juliet was different from Aranmanai. Family audiences like me. What more can I ask for?” she says.
Gulaebaghavali has her pairing up with Prabhudheva, who was the director of her second film, Engeyum Kadhal. “During those days, we didn’t share too much rapport,” she says. “But Gulaebaghavali was so much fun. He made me feel so comfortable on sets that I even began bullying him at one point!”
She says she enjoyed playing a con-artist in the film, but the toughest aspect of the film was, of course, dancing with Prabhudheva. “I had to be so vigilant. His hard work and dedication inspired us all to become better at what we do. When he acts, he’s pretty chilled out. It’s only when he directs that you get to see the taskmaster in him,” she says.
Gulaebaghavali has released to mixed reception, but the actor isn’t fazed. She says she’s not really attached to the idea of being successful all the time. “Every Friday, the game changes. I want to work with good directors, and that’s all I have been trying to do,” she says. After a pause, she continues, “Staying at the top isn’t easy at all. It’s lonely, and you have to deal with backbiters.”
Hansika says she has now reached a stage where she has the liberty to pick and choose films. “I am picking projects that I feel will satisfy my desire as a performer. When I had a couple of failures, I took the time to reflect and look at the causes. Failures allow you to realise your mistakes,” she philosophises. “I’ve learned not to take failures to heart. Worrying about something that isn’t under my control is a waste of time. Audiences decide the fate of a film, not critics,” she says.
Hansika says she constantly reminds herself that she’s just an actor. “When a filmmaker approaches me with a role, I choose it based on the narration of the story. Sometimes, things don’t get executed as per the narration. At the end of the day, I choose to trust in a director’s ability,” she explains.
I ask about her seeming preference for commercial films. “I don’t like to classify what I am doing. For me, the effort I put into each film is the same,” she says, and side-steps the question.
She hopes to be a part of action films in the future. “People think women are physically weak, and can’t do risky stunts. But I want to show them otherwise!”
• No Bollywood dreams for me. I am content being in the South.
• For Villain, I had to learn Malayalam. It was hard, but I’m motivated to do more Malayalam films, as their scripts are driven by strong content.
• Weight loss? I have never faced body-shaming, and this isn’t because of that. I simply realised I had to be fit.