Rakul Preet speaks to Satish Sundaresan, about all things filmy and non-filmy
With Aiyaary hitting the marque today, everyone associated with the film is anxiously waiting for the audience review. While last week we spoke to the gorgeous and talented Rakul Preet about the film, here she speaks about her experiences of working the South film industry, her first film and more. Over to the actress…
Having worked in both the film industries, in what ways do you feel Bollywood is different from the South?
Both the film industries have their very individualistic way of working. Even though I cannot compare the two, all that I can tell is that there are only two kinds of people existing in the film industry viz., good film makers and bad filmmakers. You either work with good film makers or bad filmmakers, irrespective of the industry. Having said that let me also tell you that a major technical difference in the south is that they do not shoot beyond 6 pm, unless there is a date crunch or a night sequence.
You hail from an army background, where punctuality is must. But, in showbiz, a person is considered a ‘star’ only if he/she comes late on sets or parties. Did it come as a ‘culture shock’ to you?
It’s not about Bollywood or Hollywood. The general scenario is that human beings do not follow time! I think everybody should be given compulsory army training for one year in order to be punctual (smiles). I have an OCD of time. I value time, be it mine or anyone else’s!
Amongst everyone else, please tell us what role has ‘Hari gaaru’ played in your life?
(A bit surprised and stunned at the same time). Where did you get this from! I am loving this interview as its very non-regular and non-clichéd! Coming back to ‘Hari gaaru’, he is my manager in the South. He always says ‘Main hoon naa…’. I always tell him that I cannot do without you. He has been majorly instrumental in my success in the South film industry.
Despite being a hardcore Punjab di kudi, you speak south Indian languages fluently. Did you undergo any kind of training?
I did not undergo any kind of training for the languages. I just learnt it on the sets. When you do 16 films in four years and it’s the only language that you talk and hear on the sets, you are bound to pick up the language very easily. And, this is what happened with me.
Your dream of meeting Shah Rukh Khan came true when he visited the sets of your film Shimla Mirchi. Can you recall that moment?
Even before I met him on the sets of my film Shimla Mirchi, I had met him on the sets of my other film Bruce Lee in Hyderabad, where he was shooting for Dilwale. I have grown up watching all his films. He has got such an infectious and magnetic personality. I was totally in awe of him. Hopefully, I get to work with him soon.
You recently did jaw-dropping photoshoot for a fashion magazine. Was it a conscious effort to have a change of image?
No, it was not at all a conscious effort. The fact is that I do not have a particular image attached to me in Bollywood. But, this is not the case in south. What people in Bollywood was me in Yaariyaan, was around four years back, when I myself was a kid!
You were a Miss India contestant in 2011 and now you will be mentoring future aspirants. Do you feel India still has the potential to create iconic winners like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Lara Dutta, Diana Hayden, Priyanka Chopra, Sushmita Sen and likes?
Be it Miss Universe or Miss World, there are hundreds of countries participating in such beauty pageants. So, it is not possible for India to win every time. With the bikini round being taken off from Miss India, the number of entries went up last year. There are more people willing to participate now. India is a country which is culturally very strong. We have girls who have a heart and mind at the right places. If groomed well, I think, we can still create history worldwide.
We had read somewhere that you hate cold temperatures. If that’s the case, how do you manage to shoot the dreamy sequences in the Switzerland and Alps while you are draped in chiffon saris?
I remember having shot in Yaariyaan’s song in freezing temperatures. Besides that, I have shot many of my south Indian films in nail biting cold. Being an actress, I am only delivering what is expected out of me by the film makers. If the scene requires me to shoot in the cold wearing chiffon saris, then, why not!
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Rapid fire with Rakul:
You drink your coffee with ghee and call it ‘Bullet Coffee’?
Yesssss… This stuff has taken the internet by storm! (Smiles).
‘Rakul’ is a combination of your mother’s and father’s name?
Yes! My mother’s name is Rajender and father’s name is Kulwinder. Hence, ‘Ra’ is from my mother and ‘Kul’ is from my father. I am a combination of my parents.
You can play lawn tennis, golf, horse riding with utmost ease?
Yes. My mother always told me to be a ‘Jack of all trades and master of one’!
Besides being a blue belt holder in Karate, you are also a trained Bharatanatyam dancer?
Yes, I do have a blue belt in Karate. As for me being a trained Bharatanatyam dancer, I had learnt the dance form under the respected Yamini Krishnamurthy.