I haven’t leaned on my surname ever: Shruti Haasan

In one of her first face-to-face interviews post pandemic, the musician-actor talks about shooting amidst COVID 19 and says she would work for Raaj Kamal Films International only if she can make a meaningful contribution to it
I haven’t leaned on my surname ever: Shruti Haasan

Chennai

Shruti Haasan is one of the first stars to meet us for an interview. However, she follows the protocols strictly and wears an embroidered mask, sanitises her chair and isn’t game for handshakes. “I might cough too but I am not COVID positive,” she smiles. The actress meets us on the sets of Laabam in which she plays the lead along with Vijay Sethupathi on the outskirts of Chennai. She sits under the tree and we have onlookers from the village as we go ahead with the interview. 
“Laabam is an interesting story. It is about social causes. Jana sir initially had qualms about how I would fit into this story because I play a modern girl. I play a role that involves social media and the cash flow involved in it. As you would see in today’s world, reputation is based on the number of followers on social media. That is what this movie would talk about,” Shruti opens up.
Divulging more about the character from the movie, she adds, “I am a performer in the film. I play an independent girl—an idea I liked a lot and also I share the name with my cat in the film.” It’s been three years since Shruti was last seen in a Tamil film (Si 3 in 2017) but calls Laabam a crucial film for her in Tamil. She says, “I know what you mean by crucial. But not every step in life has to be crucial and cautious. If I do that I won’t be living my artistic dream. So, for me it was simple because I took a break from Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films for a year, which means I didn’t even listen to any script during that period. Then I chose subjects in which I felt I had more to do than I had in the past. When I met Jana sir I realised he had respect for society and women. That prompted me to do Laabam.”
Shruti hasn’t signed a project for her dad’s banner Raaj Kamal Films in the recent past. “I think my dad has to answer the question. But if I work for RKFI, I would agree to do a project only if I could. Someone asked me why haven’t I done a female centric film despite being Kamal Haasan’s daughter. I am someone, who hasn’t leaned on my surname. I take up roles only if I can do justice to it,” she replies. With a minimal unit in place, Shruti gets ready for the shot. “Firstly it’s so hot today. Then, it’s really scary to shoot amidst this pandemic. Producers and theatre owners have invested a lot of money in this business and things need to keep moving,” she concludes.

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