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Rakul Preet on playing Janaki, competition & more
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 • Telugu Comments

Rakul Preet Singh has a release each in August ('Jaya Janaki Nayaka' on 11th) and September ('SPYder' on 27th).  In this interview, the star actress talks about her character of Janaki in the Boyapati Sreenu directorial, why she couldn't get over her character after the shoot, how she sees competition in the industry, and more.

Take us through what is in store in 'JJN'.  Is it a family entertainer or more of a mass actioner?  What is your character like in the movie?

The film has Boyapati sir's signature all over it.  There are action episodes, but the basic story is emotional.  The love story is pure, the way the love stories of the bygone era used to be.  All action is derived from the emotions.  The basic story line is very strong.

Coming to my character, it has got two shades.  The first one is a bubbly college-going girl.  She is family-loving.  An incident happens in her life, which triggers a change in her personality.  This is the most emotional character that I have played.

You can watch this movie with your grandma and grand child.  It's a family movie, it's a love story revolving around Janaki.

How is this character different from Brahmaramba?

It was a new experience altogether playing Janaki, who is a total contrast to Brahmaramba.  If my character in 'Rarandoi Veduka Chuddam' had an innocent streak and was hyper-active, I am subtle, non-talkative and controlled in 'JJN'.

How did playing the character affect you?

I had to act depression for days on end.  After a full days' shooting, I was feeling low!  You can't be suddenly bright and bubbly after playing such a depressed character for the whole day.  It's not easy to disconnect yourself from her.  My mood would be so low.

Does it have something to do with the way Boyapati works?

He creates a certain environment on the location while shooting different scenes.  You start feeling that something is actually going to happen.

He is one of the smartest directors out there.  He is smart in the sense that he knows the strengths and weaknesses of his actors.  His actors never come across as under-performers.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I don't know.  If someone tells me, I can adapt.  Boyapati sir is so observant.  He knows what will work, what won't.

What was your state of mind during the 25 days or so of the shoot?

It was blank.  Fortunately, I am blessed with everything in life.  So, while playing the character, I just stayed blank as I couldn't think negatively.

Boyapati sir would often joke, saying, 'Shot aipoindi.. Inka navocchu konchem'.

I used to feel as if all my energy was gone.  I enjoyed the new shade of my acting.  Glycerin would be applied and my eyes would literally swell up.  So much so, I had to apply eyes pack in the evening.

It's not like you never cried in any of your movies.  What makes this a unique case for you?  Which particular scene touched you so much?

I never cried so much this properly!  I am a hardcore romantic as an audience.  I don't like tragic love stories and sad endings for that matter.  As for which scene in 'JJN' touched me most, I can say it only when I watch it as an audience.

In what sense is the love story pure?

The love story in 'JJN' is not superficial the way many of the modern-day love affairs are.  Many couples these days either don't know what love is or they don't love at all.  They give up love just like that.  I believe in love because I have seen my parents together.

How do you see the competition in the industry?

I don't believe in the numbers game.  There are actresses who are senior to me.  I do come across articles which say that Rakul's time is over because of someone's competition, and she is scared because of some new actress.  Really?  I really don't care about such things.  If good scripts are coming to girls (like Nivetha Thomas's 'Ninnu Kori'), it's good.  Why should anybody be insecure?  I hope I keep getting good films and characters.  My heart belongs to Hyderabad.  I am confident of my hard work.

Aren't you focusing more on Tamil these days?

My focus is on movies.  I warm up to good offers wherever they come from.  I take no breaks and I like to keep myself busy.  I can do something, I will want to do.

Tollywood is going places.  The audience too is looking for new stuff.  When I am in Mumbai, people there talk about 'Baahubali'.  Our industry is getting immense respect.

You are doing a Hindi movie.  Did you plan Bollywood beforehand?

I choose from what I get.  I go by gut feeling.  I don't plan.  Hard work and dedication alone can take you to heights.  Working with director Neeraj Pandey on 'Aiyaary' has been great.