I try to be fearless when I pick my films: Aditi Rao Hydari, who is looking forward to 'Sufiyum Sujathayum'

 thehindu.com  05/23/2020 12:10:47  2

Aditi Rao Hydari cant wait to hug people who I miss and love very hard. And then rush to shoot! The classical dancer-singer-actor has been locked down at her home at Hyderabad where she has been keeping herself busy with dance, kalari, Ashtanga yoga, watching movies&.

Catching up with MetroPlus over a video chat, Aditi says she is looking forward to the first OTT release in her career  her Malayalam movie, Sufiyum Sujathayum, which has its world premiere on Amazon Prime next month. Initially I was disappointed that the movie wouldnt have a theatre release. But then I felt it was my duty to support my producer. This has been a difficult time for the industry. The production house has been extremely welcoming and given me a lot of freedom as an artiste. So it is my turn to step up and stand by them. Now I am excited that I am part of the first Malayalam film to be released on a streaming platform, says the actor.

It is a path-breaking decision and she feels that with the OTT platforms becoming an integral part of our lives during this lockdown phase, her film will be watched by a lot of people across the world. There is a huge viewership for Malayalam cinema because of the amazing content it has been generating over the years, she adds.

Aditi does not want to spill the beans on her character, Sujatha, for, she doesnt want the viewers to approach the character with any preconceived notions. Vijay Babu [producer of Sufiyum Sujathayum] had approached her with the role when she had come down to Kochi to perform at a film awards night. Once she heard the story, she immediately agreed to do it.

In this musical love story directed by Naranipuzha Shanavas, Sujatha is married to Rajeev, played by Jayasurya, but she has a past where she was in a relationship with a Sufi priest. I had to do a lot of reading for the role and had a coach to help me out. I cant tell you anything about what exactly I had learnt! she chuckles.

This is her second movie in Malayalam  the first was Mammootty-starrer Prajapathi, which was also the first theatrical release of her career. But Sufiyum Sujathayum feels more like my dbut because in Prajapathi I had a brief role and I was young and new at that time to get enough experience. This is a full-fledged character with many layers to it, she explains.

While Malayalam language was difficult for Aditi, she had no trouble with the food. We shot the movie in Calicut [Kozhikode], which is a food haven. I had all kinds of home-made food, almost daily, thanks to some of the crew members. I love jackfruit and enjoyed jackfruit dishes as well. I also had food from some of the famous restaurants in the district. Its a miracle that I didnt put on weight after the shoot, she laughs.

Having come a long way since she forayed into cinema, Aditi considers herself lucky to have got those opportunities even though some of them have been small roles, that too as fragile and docile characters. I have been asked this question many times about why I get more of those vulnerable, submissive characters. For me, vulnerability is a strength. Without sounding modest, I want to say that I try to be fearless when I pick my films. Irrespective of the length of the role, I want viewers to take my character home. Thats what Sanjay [Leela Bhansali] sir said when he cast me in Padmavaat. He said although I have only a limited screen time, the role will be remembered and that did come true, she says. She played Queen Mehrunnisa, first wife of Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh), in the movie.

Aditi points out how many were surprised when she acted in the Tamil film, Psycho, directed by Mysskin, known for his brand of dark and violent cinema. He gave a different dimension to the character, who looks weak. The killer looks at her as his saviour, as someone who understands him, she says.

In multiple languages

About working in different industries (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam), Aditi says that she is overwhelmed by the acceptance and dont want to compare the industries. For me the atmosphere is created by the director. Filmmaking and how a set functions is completely about who captains the team and how, irrespective of language or region. Maybe, it also has to do with my own personality, I am like a sponge on the set and I give in to the experience with trust, she explains.

Looking back at her career, she observes that even though not having a godfather has its challenges, those with godfathers have their own set of challenges. I may have had a hard time getting the opportunities and the kind of roles that I want. But I always have conviction. What drives me is cinema and fame is a bonus. And ultimately what speaks for itself is talent and the acceptance of the people and cinema lovers, she says.

Once the lockdown is lifted, she will be back on the sets of choreographer Brinda masters Hey Sinamika, starring Dulquer Salmaan and Kajal Agarwal. About this film, I can surely say that you will see me in a different role, she laughs.

She is also looking forward to work with Vijay Sethupathi soon. He is on another level, such an incredible actor. A film each in Hindi and Telugu are also in the pipeline.

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