Rakul Preet talks about recovering from Covid-19 and why playing unconventional roles matter
'In our industry, we tend to bracket people based on their looks, and the common perception that people have of you is that your real-life persona matches with that of your reel-life image. I want to break that notion. I want to play all sorts of roles.'
Rakul Preet rarely stops working, be it as an actress in multiple languages cutting across borders or pushing herself in terms of her fitness to lead a healthy lifestyle. For that matter, she hardly pauses for a breath, just like a marathoner who wouldn’t stop running. But she has a different take on it.
“It really isn’t that stressful, at least in my case. Athletes run a lot and a lot of people find joy and peace in it. One thing which has remained constant for me is my desire to excel in everything I do. And of late, I’ve become calmer as a person. Earlier, when there’s a clash of dates between different shoots, I would get a little stressed out about it. But now, I leave it to my team to figure it out because there’s no point breaking your head over adjusting time for just one day. The whole world stopped for months altogether last year, but we managed to cope up with it, didn’t we?” she says, referring to the lockdown in 2020 and pandemic.
Despite the strict COVID-19 protocols and other guidelines that each of her film units were adhering to, Rakul tested positive for COVID-19 in late December, but she says that she felt the real impact only a couple of weeks later. “That’s when fatigue hit me and my body gave up. I can’t stop exercising, but during that phase, I just couldn’t do anything. Slowly, as I regained my strength, I had to be careful and not push myself too much. I used to lift 50 pounds of weights quite easily, but I had to drop it to 15 pounds. I had to make do with resistance bands to keep myself going. I’m in a much better state now, and at the moment, I’m juggling between three different films,” she says.
2021 is already turning out to be a hectic year for her with two films each in Telugu and Tamil, and four more in Hindi, which are either complete or at various stages of principal shooting. In Hindi alone, she has films like May Day, Thank God, Attack, and Sardar and Grandson to her credit. The first among them to have hit the screens was Chandrasekhar Yeleti’s Check in which she played a lawyer, a first in her career. The actress is all praise for the Telugu filmmaker, who had made films like Manamantha, Sahasam, Anaganaga O Roju, and Aithe in the past. “I’ve always been a fan of his writing and I love the way he writes the characters. So, when I was offered this role in Check, I was more than happy to be part of the project. The thing about working with wonderful directors like him is that you understand a bit more about yourself and what you are capable of doing in front of the camera. I don’t think you can pinpoint what’s so unique or if there’s a particular lesson that you learn, but when you observe how the director is treating the characters and how he wants to emote, you soak it all in,” Rakul confesses.
She has already finished shooting for Krish’s untitled film in Telugu in which she’ll be seen as a village belle, and post Check, she says she’ll be sporting a de-glamorous look once again. Does she find herself gravitate towards roles which portray her in a different light? “In our industry, we tend to bracket people based on their looks, and the common perception that people have of you is that your real-life persona matches with that of your reel-life image. So, the roles you keep getting are also a particular type. I want to break that notion. I want to play all sorts of roles, give it my best shot. We actors are more than our looks. But it’s a matter of whether you get that opportunity or not,” she avers. So, what does it take to break these stereotypes? “It all boils down to a director’s vision and if they can see me play a certain role, which I have never done before. That’s why I really liked what I did in films directed by Krish and Chandrasekhar Yeleti. I know I have done something completely different from what I have done in the past,” Rakul signs off.
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The court also imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crores in connection with the case.