Mohanlal gave me the most amazing welcome on Aarattu sets: Shraddha Srinath

Born in Jammu, the northernmost state in India, Shraddha Srinath had come all the way down to Kerala to make her acting debut in the Malayalam movie Kohinoor. She, however, hadn’t made a giant leap from the north to the south. She reached Kerala after crossing many states just as she has gone through various experiences in life. After her debut in 2015, Shraddha had been absent from Malayalam cinema. Meanwhile, she starred in many super hit movies in other South Indian languages including the much acclaimed Tamil movie Vikram Veda. After five years, Sradha is making a comeback to Malayalam through Mohanlal starrer Aarattu. Shraddha Srinath gets candid to Manorama Online about her latest movie and why she had taken a break from Malayalam films.

After debuting in Malayalam, you waited for five years to return. Why did you take such a long break from Malayalam?

Lots of offers had come my way from Malayalam during that time. But, nothing was good enough to excite me. Though not intentional, there was a gap in my stint in Malayalam. I really like acting in Malayalam films. I didn’t play the female lead in my debut movie Kohinoor. But, the story was very exciting. A project like that never happened after it.

Did you feel the same excitement in Aarattu?

Definitely, yes. That is why I committed it. Moreover, I was drawn by the fabulous team that has legends like Mohanlal sir and Unnikrishnan sir. I am playing the role of an IAS officer in the movie. My character deals with an investigation and the challenges posed by it. This movie is a mass entertainer.

This is the first movie that you are acting in after the lockdown. Do the movie sets feel alien to you?

In fact, I have returned to a filming location after 8 months. I am really happy about returning to work. It was a unique feeling when I saw the camera and heard ‘action’ again. It felt as if I had forgotten everything.

It was the first time that you were meeting Mohanlal. How was the experience?

I had gone to the sets a day before the filming of my portions began, for the hair, makeup and costume trials. I began looking for him as soon as I reached the sets. He was getting ready for a shot. I greeted him by saying a ‘hi’. He greeted me back and said ‘Welcome to our family’. How can someone welcome you so beautifully?

Wasn’t it a challenge acting alongside him?

Of course yes. In fact, I was a bit scared when I was on the sets. I go to the sets after memorizing my dialogues and doing a good homework. But, Lal sir and Unnikrishnan sir are very gentle. Unni sir describes the scenes so amazingly. So, my work has been going smoothly.

Your father was an army officer. Didn’t he try to dissuade you from pursuing a career in movies?

It is only a stereotype that army men have no taste in art and that they lose their temper so quickly. My father is not someone who stops me from doing anything. He is my closest friend. He stands with me and supports me to achieve my dreams. I respect him a lot. My father is extremely happy and proud seeing me make a career in acting.

What are your favorite Malayalam movies? What movies did you watch recently?

Sudani From Nigeria is one of the movies that instantly comes to my mind. The climax scene where the players exchange their jerseys and the shot where the hero welcomes his step father are my favorites. I have recently watched the movie Kappela. I have also watched C U Soon. I have really enjoyed all these movies.

Who are your close friends from Malayalam film industry?

I am friends with Indrajith, Vinay Forrt and Nivin Pauly. I have only acted in one Malayalam movie, so my friends list too is limited.

Will you act in more Malayalam movies?

I love acting in Malayalam films. Malayalam cinema has a significant position in the Indian cinema. There was a gap earlier because I didn’t receive any exciting offers. Those who are reading this please understand that I want to act in more Malayalam movies. Please, tell keep telling me stories!

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