She has two upcoming films – ‘Nannaku Prematho’ with junior NTR and 'Sarinodu' with Allu Arjun

I dont work to become heroine of the year Rakul Preet interviewImage: Facebook/Rakul Preet
Features Tollywood Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 13:58

With just her second film, actor Rakul Preet Singh made a name for herself in Tollywood and two years on, she is one of the most sought after stars of Telugu filmdom.

While Tollywood gave her the film which gave a boost to her career, the Punjabi-born actor Rakul started out with a Kannada film in 2009 by chance. She continued to dabble in films, modelling, and beauty pageants while completing her studies. It took a while before she realised that acting is what she wants to do.

Today, the 25-year-old has two upcoming films – ‘Nannaku Prematho’ with junior NTR and 'Sarinodu' with Allu Arjun – on her plate and a never say die attitude.

In an interview with The News Minute, Rakul spoke about her debut, learning Telugu, upcoming films and her love for her work, ambitions and dreams.

It has been almost five years since your debut in the industry. Did you ever think that things will work out like this?

I don't consider it as five years as I took a few years off from acting to finish my graduation. My first film was more like a small guest appearance and later I was not even sure that I would continue. 

But in Januanry 2013, I finally started shooting for my first movie 'Rough' which also happened by chance. Of course, somewhere down the line when you start something, you see yourself doing well and I would be lying if I say no.

How did you bag your first movie?

My first movie was a Kannada film and it was guest appearance and after that I started getting many offers. But I was so stupid that I rejected many offers as I wanted to finish my studies first. Later I took whatever came my way.

You started your career with modelling and won five Beauty pageant titles including 'Miss Femina India People's Choice. Do you think beauty queens still have an edge over others?

It always depends on the individual and the way they learn from these beauty pageants. I think this kind of training grooms you a lot and helps you in handling industry pressure. For me, it helped a lot in the way I present myself and in enhancing myself in the industry. But it is not necessary that each and every participant will succeed (in the film industry).

You were born Punjabi. How did Tollywood happen?

When I got my first offer for a Kannada film, I was only 18 years old and I didn't even know how big the magnitude of the film industry of the south was. After my Kannada movie, I started getting offers for Telugu films. After Miss India, I figured out that the South has a big industry and I love to work here. But yes, I never planned to work in Tollywood and it just happened.

You are among few actors who picked up Telugu. Was it difficult to learn?

I have an interest in learning new languages and on the first day of the shoot, I learned the word 'Bagunara?' (All good?). I feel that if the industry is giving you work, you should give back a little respect. So, I decided to learn Telugu and within six months, I started speaking broken Telugu.

So How is Tollywood treating you? Don't you think Tollywood is hero-centric?

Tollywood is treating me really well and I am really thankful for the love and support I am getting from the industry and the audience. I don't think Tollywood is hero-centric as the world itself is male-dominated and it also depends on how you deal with it – what kind of roles you choose, what kind of an image you want to build.

You did lot of movies in Telugu but which was the lucky one for you?

That's a difficult question. One movie cannot break you or make you. A failure cannot break you and a film cannot make you. It is constant effort and hard work over the years that makes you. 

Every film which I did is very close to my heart whether it worked or not. My first release 'Venkatadri Express' is my favorite as it was the movie which gave me recognition.

You were paired up with stars like Ram Charan, Allu Arjun, Ravi Teja and Junior NTR. How was your experience working with them ?

All of them are amazing. Each one of them is very sweet and grounded and very, very humble and supportive. Ravi Teja is from Delhi, so we both keep talking about Delhi and in Hindi. He speaks his heart and is always cracking jokes.

Allu Arjun is very hardworking and a very deep person too and will get into the details of things. Many are not aware that he wants to bring a change with whatever film he is doing. NTR is an awesome dancer and he has a lot of patience.

You even got a chance to work with Mahesh Babu, but it didn't happen?

That was due to a clash of dates.

Tell us about your role in Nannaku Prematho

It was a great experience working in Nammaku Prematho with Junior NTR. He is a great co-star and a wonderful dancer.I sometimes feel nervous dancing with him as he grabs the steps so quickly but yes he waits for me to understand the steps too. My role is that of a rich daughter who is very stylish and has a corporate look.

Tell us about your experience working with Sukumar. Who is your favorite director? 

Sukumar and Rajamouli are my favorites. When I got this offer, I was so happy.

Who is your favorite Bollywood actor and what would be your dream role?

Ranbir and Deepika are my favorites. A dream role would be something like Simran in DDLJ, Geet in Jab We Met and Mastani in Bajirao Mastani – the kind of roles which people will never forget.

What are your upcoming releases?

In Bollywood I have only one project for now, which is is 'Simla Mirchi', directed by Ramesh Sippy.

What is your success Mantra?

I feel success has no mantra or formula. You just have to give your 100% of whatever you do and everything else follows. As long as you're happy in whatever you are doing, success will follow you.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years? 

In the next five years, I will be 30 years old and by that time, I want to do my dream role. I don't work to become heroine of the year. I work because I love to work. I want to act with everyone again and again.

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