Aditi Rao Hydari on Amazon Prime film Sufiyum Sujatayum: Malayalam industry has huge reach on OTT platforms

In this exclusive interview with Firstpost, Aditi Rao Hydari talks about working in Sufiyum Sujatayum, working with Vijay Sethupathi, Dulquer Salmaan and turning singer for composer-actor GV Prakash.

Surendhar MK July 02, 2020 17:24:06 IST
Aditi Rao Hydari on Amazon Prime film Sufiyum Sujatayum: Malayalam industry has huge reach on OTT platforms

From making her on-screen debut in Malayalam film Prajapathi with Mammotty in 2006 to land a direct OTT release for her Malayalam romance musical Sufiyum Sujatayum on Amazon Prime Video (July 3)Aditi Rao Hydari has indeed come a long way. She is one of the few contemporary actresses who has worked with ace filmmakers such as Mani Ratnam, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Mysskin.

In this exclusive interview with Firstpost, Aditi Rao Hydari talks about working in Sufiyum Sujatayum, working with Vijay Sethupathi, Dulquer Salmaan and turning singer for composer-actor GV Prakash.

"In the beginning, there was a little bit of anxiety about what’s going to happen because there are films ready and waiting for the release and we had no idea about when the theatres would be open. We realised we are heavily dependent on and looking forward to all the content coming out of OTT and the huge value the OTT platforms add to our lives in many ways especially at this time. Initially, I was wary of the decision. But the phenomenal reach the content gets on the day of release and also how it continues even after several days after the release made me think it was actually a blessing," Aditi tells Firstpost.

She further added" "The Malayalam industry has a huge reach on OTT. I’m excited and very grateful. For me, the theatre experience will never change. It’s magical, and it’s what drew me into the world of cinema. In India, the theatre experience is very special. And yeah I’m waiting to watch films in theatres."

Talking about Sufiyum Sujatayum, Aditi said, "It’s a very delicate and sensitive film. I admire love stories, and I love doing them, and I hope the OTT audience feels the same way after a string of thrillers released."

Aditi Rao Hydari on Amazon Prime film Sufiyum Sujatayum Malayalam industry has huge reach on OTT platforms

Aditi Rao Hydari in Sufiyum Sujatayum. Image from the trailer.

Directed by Naranipuzha Shanavas, Sufiyum Sujatayum is tipped to be a romantic musical drama, and also stars Jayasurya and Dev Mohan in important roles. "In Indian movies, very often the music helps the narrative and makes you feel a certain way. Most of the directors I worked with never use music as a distraction but use music as a tool to help take the narrative forward. This movie is so much about the emotions and feeling, and music has helped to connect to it emotionally. The reason I agreed to do this film is the narration itself gave me goosebumps. I like it when a story makes me feel that way. I’m always up for challenges, but Malayalam is truly hard to grasp. I can understand Tamil, and I dub for my Telugu films, but it’s very difficult to even lip sync for the songs in Malayalam. So the moment the director told me that my character is mute, I agreed to do the role."

Asked about the challenges behind playing a speech-impaired character in the film, Aditi said, "I really enjoyed it because somewhere you create your own world with silence. You can convey a lot more without words, and doing that on-screen was a lovely experience. I could do longer takes, and since the character is all about the internal feeling, I can do a full scene with much ease. The director and DOP gave me total freedom to do things in my way, be it the way I emote or the way I use a frame, I had complete freedom. I also learnt the sign language; we had a sign language teacher on the sets every single day of the shoot, and the director was very particular about it."

With Sufiyum Sujatayum, Aditi Rao Hydari has returned to Mollywood after nearly 14 years. "I always think that cinema is the same across all industries and to be accepted by the audiences across the country is a blessing. The culture is different, but it always depends on the director, how he works and sets the atmosphere with the crew. Even in Kollywood, Mani sir will take his first shot as early as 6 am, and Mysskin will take it around 10 or 11 am. I am always grateful to be able to work with different directors who have a distinct understanding of cinema. Coming across challenging directors, acclaimed or debutant is fun to me," explains Aditi.

Trashing rumours about being part of Mani Ratnam's magnum-opus Ponniyin Selvan, Aditi reveals, "I have tried convincing people that I am not in Ponniyin Selvan and nobody believes me. I have no problem with it and I am very happy to see the fan-made posters and videos. It feels good because if given a chance I would do every film of Mani sir's, turn the clock and do the movies made even before I was born."

Aditi Rao Hydari on Amazon Prime film Sufiyum Sujatayum Malayalam industry has huge reach on OTT platforms

Aditi Rao Hydari.

Aditi's singing videos during the release of Kaatru Veliyidai off-screen went viral on social media platforms for her pitch-perfect rendition of Vaan, composed by AR Rahman. Now, she has turned a singer for GV Prakash's Jail with Dhanush serving as co-singer for the track. "GV called me for this song in March last year and at that time I was shooting in Hyderabad. It was a physically demanding shoot because we used to shoot for eighteen hours a day. When he called, I told him that I am not trained for this and didn't want to spoil the song and that too for another actor. But he said he would love to just try since he liked my voice and he asked me to take my time. I truly wished he forgets that he asked but he would call me every two months and ask me about it. And we finally recorded it in December."

One of Aditi's exciting upcoming line-up includes Hey Sinamika with Dulquer Salmaan. The film marks the directorial debut of choreographer Brindha. "We already started shooting for it and Dulquer and his wife are good friends of mine. Whenever we are in Chennai, we all definitely meet. I always say that we are like Tom and Jerry. Brindha master is a gem of a human being and her energy is so infectious. We only shot for like twelve days of our schedule and I'm looking forward to getting back to it."

On a concluding note, Aditi spoke about co-starring with Vijay Sethupathi for the first time in Tughlaq Darbar and her admiration for the actor. "I'm really looking forward to joining the crew soon. I think I am going to watch Vijay Sethupathi more than acting my parts. When we were shooting for Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, I used to go to the sets and sit with Mani sir in front of the monitor even on the days when I don't have any shots scheduled, just to see him act."

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