Spyder actress Rakul Preet Singh on working with Mahesh Babu, AR Murugadoss
Life has come a full circle for Rakul Preet Singh. A few years ago, before she made her debut in films, AR Murugadoss spotted her in a TV commercial and apparently was keen to cast her in Thuppaki, which went on to become a blockbuster. However, when his team reached out to her eventually, Murugadoss was told that Rakul wasn't interested in acting in films and that she was still studying in college.
A few years later, after she took part in the Femina Miss India beauty pageant, Rakul, like several other newcomers, reached out to AR Murugadoss introducing herself and expressing her interest to work with him. She never got a reply.
Finally, in 2016, it all came back to her in a flash. The actress was signed to play the lead role, opposite Mahesh Babu, in AR Murugadoss' Spyder, a spy drama which will be released in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. It was on the sets of the film that Murugadoss and Rakul opened up about how they have been wanting to collaborate for a while now.
"One day, while shooting for Spyder, AR Murugadoss casually asked me if I had done a TV commercial which I had done several years ago and I replied 'yes'. That's when he told me that he wanted to work with me in the past. And on the very same day, I told him about the time when I messaged him about wanting to work with him. He didn't realise that I was the same girl he was looking for and I didn't realise that I had reached out to him when I wanted to become an actress," Rakul laughs, as she shares the story, adding, "I have always wanted to work with him. I guess it's all destiny. I don't know if there's a better way to describe how we ended up collaborating for this film."
That's not all. She had come pretty close to being part of a couple of Mahesh Babu's films in the past; however, she couldn't join the team owing to her other commitments. Rakul is chuffed that everything fell into place at the right time for Spyder. "It's too early for me to talk about the film in detail. But I can tell you that in the film, I play a medical student with a very different take on life. She's a little clumsy and AR Murugadoss has written an interesting characterisation for my role," she says.
The film's first glimpse was unveiled earlier today and the video went viral immediately. With the 'Glimpse of Spyder' getting more than 2 million views in the first five hours of its release, the excitement surrounding the spy drama is palpable.
2017 has been a hectic year for Rakul and with multiple projects lined up in Telugu and Tamil, there's barely a moment to rest. "I haven't had two days off in a row since January this year. I really need some 'me time' on Sundays now," Rakul laughs. Her recent film Rarandoi Veduka Choodham opened to a good word of mouth and the feedback for her role, named Bramarambha, has been quite encouraging.
For the first time in her career, she played a naive but headstrong girl, who hails from a village. "I must thank Kalyan Krishna and the entire team at Annapurna Studios who felt that I could pull off that role. It's easily one of the most memorable roles I've played in my career so far and I fell in love with her so much that I think I became Bramarambha whenever I was on the sets of Rarandoi Veduka Choodham. The fact that people remember my character's name - Bramarambha - says a lot about how much they like it. We do a lot of films, but people forget everything about them within a few weeks. So, in that sense, Rarandoi Veduka Choodham was quite special," Rakul confesses.
The actress is all praise for her co-star Naga Chaitanya and avers that there's a lot that every guy can learn from the actor. "Chay is a sweet boy. There's nothing starry about him, and he's very simple and grounded. More than anything, I love the way he respects Samantha. He talks about his love for her with a lot of pride. That's something which every guy should learn from him," she smiles.
Despite playing a wide range of characters, from Venkatadri Express to Rarandoi Veduka Choodham, Rakul is often typecast a 'glam-doll' image. Ask her whether she feels there's too much emphasis on how she looks than her acting skills, Rakul thinks for a moment and says, "I would be lying if I say that it doesn't bother me. Take Sarrainodu for instance - It wasn't a glamourous role at all, but people talk more about the 'Telusa Telusa' song. Then in Dhruva, people focus on the song 'Pareshanura'. In Nannaku Prematho, my look was very stylish, but it doesn't mean that I don't have a role at all in that film."
"Maybe it's also about how you dress and how you look. It also depends on what's written about you in the media. People will go watch a film and then, they forget about it after sometime. They like it or they don't. It's the media which projects you in a certain way. I don't know how to break that mould. As a matter of fact, I don't want to think too much about it and complicate my life (laughs). I'm happy as long as I get to do good films. You can only choose the best of what you are offered," says Rakul.