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Shruti Haasan: doing it my way

At 21 Shruti Haasan, daughter of Kamal Haasan and Sarika, is already accepting and nixing movies. Dipti Nagpaul chats up with the star kid.
Hindustan Times | By Dipti Nagpaul-D'Souza, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 19, 2008 05:08 PM IST

She's in that interim period..she's considering, accepting and nixing movies. The buzz was that Shruti Haasan might make her debut opposite Madhavan in a Chennai movie.

Meanwhile, the daughter of the estranged Kamal Haasan and Sarika performed at aD' rock gig in Mumbai and walked the ramp at the recentlywrapped-up Fashion Week in Delhi. She's been confabulating with the media plenty. Curious to pub a 20-ish star daughter's mind, I ask:

How come you've opted to walk the ramp already?
Rehane has been designing for me for a long time now. One day, in Chennai, we were chilling at her studio and discussing who should close her show at the Fashion Week in Delhi. She asked me to do it, so there I was.

You've already started following fashion trends and gurus.
Ha, not really But I do like Sabyasachi Mukherjee's's eclectic and unconventional. I also like the colours and textures he uses. I'd love to walk the ramp for him.And there's Rehane, of course. Among international designers, Jean Paul Gaultier and Chanel are wonderful.

You're doing a bit of everything – music, movies and now fashion.. won't acting be a tough call?
I have trained in acting in Los Angeles. But if you ask me, my priority would be music. I'm a very selfish musician. I try to bring music into everything I do. You saw how I sang at Fashion Week.

You turned down movie offers at the age of 16. What made you change your mind?
Acting is serious business. The idea of a 40-year-old playing a role of a 20-year-old seems silly to me. Equally silly is the idea of a 16-year-old trying to act 21. At the age of 16, I didn't feel mature enough to take on acting.

Having grown up in an actor's house, I've always wanted to be an actress. But I wanted to weigh my options. When I discovered music, I fell madly in love with it. Now I know that I can strike a balance between them both.

Do you regret rejecting any of the movies at 16?


So you mean at 40, you will not do roles showing you as 25 or 30?

Depends on the amount of Botox I get! (Laughs) If I think I'll be able to pull them off, I'll do them.

Your parents' take on your acting plans?

I think they always knew I would join films. Dad is happy with whatever I want to do. He lets me make my decisions and encourages me.

And mom?

Pause) She and I always respect each other's decisions.

Have your parents and you been offered mother-daughter and father-daughter roles?

Plenty! But they didn't work out.

Are you aiming for Bollywood or south Indian movies?

I see them as Indian cinema-they're no different to me.

Which actor would you like to act with?

My dad, for sure.

What kind of a relationship do you share with your parents?

I respect dad and am very concerned about his opinion. Whenever our opinions differ we talk things through. He doesn't impose his decisions on me. I would be lost without him.

And mom?

I am really proud of my mom. She is a fab actress and has done a great job of her life and her career.

Why did you move from your mum's house in Mumbai to Chennai to stay with your father?

I was studying in the U S and considered staying back there. But then I reconsidered my options. I love Chennai where I grew up, all my friends are there. In Chennai, I got the love, affection and freedom to be what I want to be.

Your mother suffered a nasty accidental fall back in did you deal with that phase?

No such instances are pleasant. But she has came out of it stronger. If you get hurt, people around can only bandage you; it's up to you to make an effort to get back on your own feet.

You get along with your father's friend Gauthami..which one of you broke the ice?

I don't follow conventions. In fact, she is so warm and unpretentious that you have to ‘ice' yourself a bit. She is my only confidante.

Everything smooth between her daughter Subbulakshmi and you?
Subbulakshmi is a sweetheart! At 10, she is very intelligent and mature for her age. She is a lovely child.

Is your kid sister, Akshara, planning to act too?
She is the dancing sister though I wouldn't rule acting out since she has the looks.

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