Rakul Preet Singh, who is teaming up with ace Selvaraghavan for the film NGK with Suriya in the lead, was recently dragged into controversy by Telugu actress Sri Reddy who created a huge buzz in talking boldly about the existence of the casting couch in Tollywood, when Raul said she never faced a casting couch in the industry. She was criticised for saying there is no casting couch and accused of denying it because she did not want to spoil her chances.
When DC caught up with her on a sultry afternoon in Chennai, Rakul shared her experiences working with Selva who is known as a tough task master, her out-of-the box role in NGK, why she didn’t want to prolong the casting couch issue and on sharing screen space simultaneously with siblings Suriya and Karthi.
On being dragged into controversy on the casting couch, Rakul responded in a cool and composed manner. “Yes, I was dragged into controversy when I said I never faced any such problem in the industry. Having said that, I make my stand very clear. I stand by what I said. I can only speak for my experiences and I have had good people around me. I have given enough clarity on the same and did not want to talk anymore on it. And it is your work and talent that take you places and nothing else.” Adding quickly, she said, “I think there are people who faced it. It is really wrong and I feel sad about it.”
On working with Selvaraghavan she says, “It feels awesome being part of Selva sir’s film. I have seen a bunch of his movies. When talks were on, lot of my friends from the industry said that I was lucky to be working with Selva and he will bring out another dimension from you as an actor and you will learn a lot from, I was really excited. Now that I am into his project, it feels great.”
It is a common knowledge that Selva’s heroines will not be mere dolls and will have a great bearing on the script. How about you, we ask. “Yes absolutely no glam doll. And he does not like heavy makeup, just a plain simple light makeup that’s what I loved. The kind of look he gave was so relatable. People would be able to relate to my character on screen. I can’t reveal my role at this point of time. It is a meaty and powerful role. I haven’t done anything like this before and for that matter, I guess no actresses have attempted one like this. Hence it is a role to watch out for!”
Talking about how Selva himself came and told her that he was a tough taskmaster, Rakul was all smiles. “Yes, I have heard about him and I was prepared to face it sort of. In fact the funny part is that when I had the narration with him after signing the film, he told me in a lighter way that it is difficult to work with him, but ‘don’t worry I have changed’. I said that I always loved to work with someone who is a tough taskmaster, which ultimately makes them a perfectionist. And that’s what he is trying for. He doesn’t settle for anything mediocre and knows well to extract the vision in mind. I am also glad that it makes me a better performer and every day I see a different thing in understanding his school of direction. The tougher the task the more fun in it.”
Between Suriya and Karthi, who does she feel comfortable in working with?
“We are all there for work. And everyone is comfortable to work with. And no one is problematic and both of them are extremely sweet. Both the brothers are grounded. Despite being a big star, Suriya sir has never had any baggage about that. Both of them are very well brought up.”
Is your height plus or minus, given the fact some of the south heroes are not very tall? “Why is it a minus? I am doing enough work. The biggest stars we have around are Anushka Shetty and Deepika Padukone who are extremely tall. So, I don’t see my height as a disadvantage.”
The actress says that she wants to be remembered for having performed in a film rather than thinking about a dream role. “I definitely want to do films which people remember for a long time like a movie that becomes a cult. Like Jab we Met, Arundhathi, Baahubali etc.”