Suchitra Krishnamoorthi has mastered it all — being an actor, painter, singer as well as a writer. She has worked in Tamil, Malayalam and in the Hindi film industry and also done television shows. Suchitra, who started her career with the TV show Chunauti (1987), made her breakthrough in films with the critically-acclaimed Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994) opposite Shah Rukh Khan. The actor, who is doing a show, Guilty Minds with the streaming platform Amazon Prime Video, talks about her current endeavours, journey in the industry, and more. Excerpts from the interview:
What are you busy with?
I just shot for an episode for a show for Amazon Prime Video called Guilty Minds. I have also shot for a film called Margaon: The Closed File where I play Samantha, which for me was very challenging to pull off. I have formed my company called Drama Queen Creative. Besides these, I am also doing theatre. I always try to keep myself upbeat and creatively involved. Pursuing creativity is my only way of maintaining sanity.
Why was it challenging to play Samantha?
Samantha is neither a good nor a bad character. Rather, she is humorous. It’s based on the Agatha Christie genre and I was very intrigued when I was offered the role. It reflects the various shades of every woman. There was a passionate romantic scene and I was awkward before performing it. I shared my apprehensions with the director. ‘I haven’t done this ever and I didn’t even do it in my teens,’ I told him. And, his response was, ‘Why not try it now? As an artiste, you have to push yourself and there’s nothing wrong with it.’ I rushed home and told my daughter that I performed a lovemaking scene and she was like, ‘Mumma, chill. I am happy you did it.’ I think that being an artiste is all about overcoming one’s fears and pushing boundaries. Somewhere in my head, I have always been quite prudish. I remember when I did my first nude shoot, I felt liberated.
You are also doing theatre, tell us about that.
I will be doing a lot of stuff. It will all come out soon. I feel a little superstitious talking about it now.
What keeps you connected to the stage?
I performed a lot on stage even as a kid. My music and performances began from the stage. Hence, the connection never fades. I still kiss the stage and do my ‘namaskar’ when I step on it. Being on stage and performing is like going back to my roots. That’s a part of my discipline. I get turned on more by any creative process than vanity.
What's on your wishlist?
I would like to write and do as many musicals as I possibly can. Music is the core of my being and personality. It comes to me naturally.
And, we hear you are back to doing riyaaz (the regular practice of music)?
Riyaaz is a way of life. I had discontinued it for a long time, which is why I was not active. However, I am back with my Guruji and have resumed practising. Riyaaz, for a musician, is like exercising or working out.
Does social media trolling bother you?
Social media trolling is quite prevalent now. Well, trolling is something that I am okay with. I don’t care much, as I don’t take my opinions into high consideration, and I wonder why others do!
You recovered from your financial damages smoothly. What advice would you give to others facing similar conundrums?
I was extremely happy to file a case against the fraudulent mismanagement of funds. Honestly, it was hard. At one point, I felt like giving up. Whether it was SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), or the cops, I wanted to free myself from their labyrinth. However, the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) supported me. I used to go and knock at the SEBI office every single day. We should never put up with any wrong act. Money was obviously more than substantial, but what I thought was how could a bank act like this and get away with it? I am also relieved that many people received their compensations too. Nobody will dare clear a transaction without a current dated signature! I think women who are not tuned into finances should become more vigilant about it.