In this interview with TNM, Parul opens up on playing Kangana's role from 'Queen' and why she believes it's important to represent gender equality in films.

I was advised not to do Queen remake in the south Actor co-producer Parul Yadav
Flix Interview Wednesday, June 06, 2018 - 11:58

From a demure actor in Govindaya Namaha to the quintessential diva in Sandalwood, Parul Yadav is shattering stereotypes impenitently. Sweeping the major awards in the south, such as Filmfare, SIIMA and IIFA Utsavam, Parul has evolved into an all-round performer on the big screen despite the language barrier.

A dream chaser with no regrets over anything in life, Parul has now evolved to the next level – produce movies – a rarity among female actors in the south. Her next Butterfly - remake of the blockbuster Queen, where she plays the title role Rani, is sure to be a milestone in her flourishing career graph. In a quick tête-à-tête with TNM, Parul opens up about her journey so far.

What is your take on playing the title role for the first time, after being in the film industry for more than a decade?

Now that the entire world, not just our nation is debating gender equality, I feel that this is the right opportunity to portray on screen what you personally believe in.

As an influencer, movies should also celebrate gender equality on the big screen, that’s how we imbibe the culture through the mass media to educate people. Playing this role has not been difficult but definitely challenging because you are the focal point of every frame. Portraying such characters is not easy, because there has to be a right mix of every kind of emotions in one shot and to near perfection is a taxing task.

Is there a lot of pressure being a focal point of the movie?

Yes, there’s always a pressure when you are a part of the movie, but for a character like this, there are certain expectations from the audience and it only amplifies the pressure. As the movie is a remake, there is always a pressure of being compared to the original and that thought is what stresses you.

Co-producing the movie in all the four remakes just adds to the pressure. Doesn’t it?

As I said earlier, the pressure always exists, but how well you know your work is what makes the difference. I’ve constantly been on the run since the time I decided to co-produce the movie.

Scouting for locations, getting myself equipped with the latest technology that goes into production, getting immersed in the creative part, knowing the nuances of production alongside acting has only built my confidence and now I am convinced of producing movies in future. I feel more liberated.

But why did you have to jump into production at this stage of your career?

When I saw Queen for the first time, I was wondering why we don’t such movies in the south? I also wondered why I wasn’t getting such scripts. Then, suddenly, the idea of remaking the movie struck me. I did discuss it with a few people known to me down south.

Ironically, the first and the foremost feedback that I received was strong advice asking me not to do it. Because if I was to do it, that would mean no other popular stars would want to work with me in the future. But, when you want to do such a good film, some suggestions should be overseen. Without paying a heed to such suggestions, I took up the project and here I am co-producing the film where I am seen acting too.

So, you’re well aware of being compared to Kangana Ranaut. How are you going to deal with that?

Of course, I am very well aware of being compared to Kangana. Not only Kangana, but also to other actors like Tamannah, Kajal Aggarwal, and Manjima Mohan, who are playing the title roles in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam remakes respectively. Kangana’s almost perfect performance in Queen is something that is remarkable.

Having said all this, as an actor, I am here to do my job and I have given it my best. A lot of preparation has gone into this role and I am hopeful that this character of mine will also be etched in people’s mind when they come out of theatre.

You have always followed international styling in your appearances and are considered to be a fashion diva. How difficult was it to play such a de-glamourised role?

When this project materialised, I was excited to play this role. But soon after I always wondered how I will justify this character; if I will ever be able to portray that timid character which is quite opposite to what I am in life.

 I did play a de-glam role in Killing Veerappan but portraying a character of a girl from a small town like Gokarna, a girl, who has never been to any city, never flown out of the country were relatively a challenge to me. There were days when I literally pulled my hair in nervousness thinking about this.

Well, it definitely was not easy for me and it did weigh me down at one point of time. But then there were workshops conducted to help me and finally everything fell in place when I was on the sets and with the right kind of preparation, I was able to pull off this role.

With 2 years of preparation for this movie, do you think you have missed out on other projects that could have been good for your career?

Yes, as an actor and co-producer, this movie took 2 years of my career and I am happy about having dedicated my time to this. I have never taken a break off my schedule for these 2 years. I was either involved in the production phase of the movie or I was shooting.

There were offers that came my way, but my mind and heart were completely occupied with Butterfly, hence I had to turn down other offers. They might have proved to be good milestones for my career, but I am here fulfilling my passion, and this is something I am proud of. 

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