Shriya Saran on marriage, her upcoming release Gayatri and why we need more women behind the lens

Haricharan Pudipeddi

Feb,07 2018 13:00:26 IST

Shriya Saran is one among the few long-standing and successful southern actresses to have managed to leave a mark in a male-dominated industry. Having been around for over a decade and a half, she’s still ruling the roost with interesting projects. She says her forthcoming Telugu release Gayatri, slated to hit the screens on Friday, is one such interesting project.

“When I first heard the story from director Madan, I felt it’s a character that contributes a lot to the story. Even though it’s a small role, I liked the fact that it has a purpose. I play a simple girl from a small village. She’s innocent and honest but at the same time has a voice of her own. I could relate a lot to the character because I come from a small-town,” Shriya said in a group interaction.

She signed Gayatri because she didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to work with legendary actor Mohan Babu. “I’ve known Madan for a long time. He was the assistant cameraman on Santosham. When he told me the film would feature Mohan Babu, I was really excited to part of the project with him,” she said, unwilling to open up more about her character.

Shriya Saran. Image from News 18.

Having made her debut with 2001 Telugu film Ishtam, directed by Vikram Kumar, Shriya has come a long way with her share of highs and lows. Some of her best films include Santosham, Nuvve Nuvve, Tagore, Arjun and Chatrapathi among others.

On being asked how she has managed to handle the limelight and pressure that comes with her long career, she said, “I’ve never tried to handle it. I just live with it". She also clarified there’s no secret behind her successful long stint in cinema: “When I look back at my career, I serious consider myself lucky and blessed. As long as directors write stronger roles for women, I believe every actress will have a long career. I have been part of films where I was running behind the hero. Even in a film with five songs and 25 scenes, I have felt I’ve not had much to do. It’s not because I was running behind the hero but because the role had no substance. In a film like Gayatri, even though I play a small role, I stand up against a man. I’m not saying standing up against someone is a sign of a strong character. It’s a strong role because the woman has a voice.”

Does she feel more heroine-centric films can bring about a change in the way women are portrayed on screen? “We need more women behind the lens. Most of the recent woman-oriented films, which were unanimously praised, were made by men. You can’t consider such films are women-centric. When I worked on Deepa Mehta in Midnight’s Children, there were more women than men behind the lens,” she said.

A professional Kathak dancer, Shriya has plans to get back to dancing and she’s quite serious about it. “I stopped dancing for nearly ten years as I got busy with my career. I should get back to dancing soon. Dancing has taught me so much. It teaches you to be patient. Sometimes you have to rehearse a step so many times because when it’s time perform, you don’t get another chance. The rehearsing process is time-consuming, so one needs to be patient. Dance teaches you respect and humility. I think kids of this generation should take up any form of dance as it helps them to express. I’m thankful to my parents who, despite coming from a very academic background, allowed me to learn dancing. I’m serious about returning to dance. I’ll also hopefully do a film based on Kathak," she added.

Shriya has a few exciting projects in her kitty. First up is Prakash Raj directed Tadka, which also stars Nana Patekar in a crucial role. “Tadka should release very soon. I’m also eagerly looking forward to Karthick Naren’s Naragasooran. It’s a beautiful, hard-hitting film. I also have another Telugu film called Veera Bhoga Vasanthu Rayulu, in which I play a cop.”

As the conversation veered towards her marriage and when she was asked if she’d prefer love marriage or an arranged one, Shriya said it’s none of anyone’s business.

Updated Date: Feb 07, 2018 13:00 PM