Stepping ‘stone’ to Hollywood – An exclusive interview with actress Shruti Haasan, who will be making her Hollywood debut with the ABC show, Treadstone.
You’ve seen her groove in Indian films and croon on stage across the globe, but her next role is that of a kickass assassin in her first ever English project. Actress and singer Shruti Haasan, who’s now making her entry into Hollywood with ABC Network’s Treadstone, will be seen playing the role of Nira Patel, a trained assassin who lives a double life as a waitress in Delhi. A spin-off of the Bourne series, the show is being penned by Heroes creator Tim Kring. A thrilled Shruti, says, “I have a recurring guest role on the show. This character is something I found interesting right from the go. I was in London in the middle of my music shows and was so stressed with everything when I got the call about this role. But I’m the kind of person who takes on as much as I can, so I auditioned and a couple of weeks later, I got a call saying I got the part.”
The show revolves around a CIA Black ops program called Treadstone. “It’s a really nice team with a lot of action and I’m really excited for it. The whole setup is amazing and we will start shooting soon. Although I can’t divulge too much about the shoot, I can tell you that the preparation for the show is mostly physical. It’s an action series – if you remember the original films, it had some awesome action, so I’ll be doing a lot of action training,” she says.
Recollecting the moment when the big news was broken to her, Shruti reveals that she was spending time with her Dad Kamal Haasan in Chennai, when it happened. “He as usual was very nonchalant and said – good job. He normally tells other people that he’s proud of me, he doesn’t tell me — typical Indian dad,” laughs the actress who reveals that her father has been a major influence on the kind of choices she’s made so far.
“In fact, he was the one who asked me to take a break from doing so many films. I was doing seven of them at one point and Dad said I must re-asses my career. He’s someone who has brilliantly managed his career for 15 years, so I took his advice and got back to music. He’s been encouraging and has never thought that international borders are far away – he’s had a global way of thinking” says Shruti.
When it comes to her Indian films, the artiste has Laabam, a Tamil film with actor Vijay Sethupathi. Having finished one schedule, she’s thankful to be playing a modern but conscientious role. “Vijay is one of my favourite co-stars. He’s an extremely generous actor — not at all selfish. We didn’t know each other at all, but although I realised he’s friendlier than me, he was also quite reserved. In a couple of days, we got to know each other’s rhythm. I noticed that he’s very helpful and wants everybody to do well — which is a rare thing,” shares Shruti.
One thing that keeps the actress going is her fervent fan following on social media. “I can’t call them my fans — they’re like my extended family. I’ve had the fortunate experience of meeting some of them. I plan to have a fan meet soon. . They’ve never questioned my choices and even when everyone else was asking why I wasn’t working etc, they supported me even when I was just sharing nonsense selfies on Instagram! They’re so sensitive to who I am and are well-mannered too. I see stars of some fans get loud, but my fans know that their love’s bigger than other’s hate.”
On the personal front, the actress, who recently broke up with her actor boyfriend Michael Corsale has been very open about her relationship status. “I’m glad it was a part of my life. I’ve been working consistently for 10 years and it’s not that I haven’t been in relationships before, but I haven’t had the courage to talk about my personal life in the open. My last relationship was a lovely experience and I have no regrets about it. But now, I’m really happy to be single and focusing on my work —I’ve invested all my love and energy towards my work. I’m not a person who regrets things. I can never understand why people say they can’t be friends with their ex. Then what were they doing getting to know each other? Unless someone is terrible, which thankfully hasn’t happened with me, I don’t see a point in not being cordial,” smiles the actor, who’s always been the kind to be genial with those who’ve shared a personal or professional journey with her.