Shraddha Srinath on her next Malayalam film Aarattu, opposite superstar Mohanlal
Four years ago, a fresh face graced Kannada cinema in a femalecentric film that broke records. A few years down the line, this stunner who made an award-winning debut in Sandalwood with Pawan Kumar’s U-Turn, is desired by filmmakers in all four south Indian industries and has even made a foray into Bollywood with Milan Talkies.
Actress Shraddha Srinath, whose last film was the OTT release Krishna and His Leela, is now a multilingual talent who’s got a plethora of projects keeping her on her toes. The actor is now back to Malayalam cinema with Aarattu, opposite superstar Mohanlal. Shraddha, who’s shooting in Kerala, says, “Aarattu has big names including Mohanlal sir, Unnikrishnan sir (the director) and Udaykrishna (the writer). One day before the shoot, I’d gone to the sets and wanted to say hi to everyone. But I also secretly wanted to see Mohanlal sir. He was prepping for his shot, when I turned a corner and saw him and said, ‘Hello sir’, he said, ‘How are you, welcome to the family.’ It was such a sweet gesture. I couldn’t stop gushing about it.” With Malayalam films, she’s always had a fear of the language because it’s not something that she converses in. “But over the years, I’ve formulated a way in my head to get comfortable with new languages. I felt slightly more confident this time,” she states.
The actress also has several upcoming releases including Rudraprayaga in Kannada, Narudi Brathuku Natana in Telugu, Chakra with Vishal and Maara, with Madhavan in Tamil. But the project that she’s most thrilled about is Kaliyugam, a dystopian Tamil movie set in 2050. “After a very long time, I will be doing a solo lead, like I did in U-Turn. It gives me sleepless nights and I feel like so much is riding on my shoulders. Usually, there’s a hero in the film whose fans will surely watch it, but takers for a female lead are much lesser. When people get to know there’s no hero, I enjoy watching their reactions. It’s interesting to see what one can do without the hero and heroine tag. It’s my way of breaking stereotypes,” smiles the actress, whose next release, Maara, will be out on January 8th on Amazon Prime Video.
The lawyer-turned-actress has also got an entrepreneurial streak in her. Along with her friends, she’s invested in Per Se, a salad bar in Chennai. “I have eaten delicious healthy food, so the assumption that healthy food doesn’t taste great is flawed. Per Se also has indulgent dishes on its menu, so nobody who visits us goes home disappointed. Over the past few years, I’ve started paying attention to the food I eat, what it does for me, how it can cheer me up and how the lack of it can really bring me down,” says the actress, whose journey from being overweight to fit is inspiring. From lawyer to actor to businesswoman — did she ever envision her life to turn out so strikingly contrasting? “My story feels like it is right out of a novel. I would’ve laughed at someone if they told me I’d be an actor someday, but I’ve managed to fulfill some of my desires. I don’t think of my law stint fondly at all, but I’ll forever be grateful to my five years of law where I discovered myself and realised law isn’t my thing, because that’s how I made the bold decision to switch to acting,” she quips.
During the pandemic, the eco-conscious actress not only made bio-enzymes (natural cleaning agents ) and got rid of toxic material in her daily routine, but also enlightened her followers about it. She and her mum have also begun composting and growing their own veggies. Having spent quality time with her family during the lockdown, she shares, “To reconnect with my sister was really special. To me, any city in the world is home if my is family around. My parents are always cheering me on and praying for me. I once casually said ‘when I retire from films’ and my dad immediately reacted ‘you will not retire, you will be an actor for the rest of your life!’ Parents truly are the best and we don’t value them enough.”