Rakul Preet Singh on her latest release Dev, working with Karthi, and her role in Suriya’s NGK

Rakul Preet Singh has done over sixteen films in Telugu. With Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru, she delivered her first hit in Tamil, and her next biggie Dev, hit the screens on 14 February. “I play a headstrong, multi-millionaire woman named Meghna in the film. She is a workaholic like me, which is the only part I’m connected to her in real life”, said Rakul in a group interaction with the media in Chennai.

“I found Dev an interesting subject because I always wanted to do a love story showcasing various emotions. The film is all about how an adventure lover, Dev and a workaholic, Meghna, fall in love with each other. Though I found many actions of Meghna to be unreasonable, she’s got a reason for everything in life. Moreover, it was Karthi who introduced me to Rajath. The director wanted only me to play Meghna. While working with Rajath, I felt that the story of Dev had a strong connect with his personal life”, added Rakul.

While Rakul has worked with Karthi in both Theeran Adheegaram Ondru and Dev, she’s also just finished shooting for NGK, starring Karthi’s elder brother Suriya. “I think both Suriya and Karthi are extremely talented, and it was great working with them. My character in NGK will be in complete contrast to Meghna. Selvaraghavan sir is known for pushing the envelope and he extracts the best from his actors”, said the actress.

Talking about the common perception that it is difficult for a South Indian actress to crack Bollywood, and how Baahubali bridged the gap between the South and North film industries, Rakul said: “Sridevi ji scored big in Bollywood long back; we all know the kind of respect and fame she enjoyed there. Tabu, who is from Hyderabad, made a mark in Bollywood and recently, Taapsee has also established a name for herself. Foraying into any industry is not an easy task, so I don’t think Bollywood is an exception. But after Baahubali, people have started closely following what is happening in the South. Previously, the ideas were exchanged, but now technicians, character artists and directors from the South film industry are being approached by Bollywood producers. For example, Nassar sir is playing an important role in one of my upcoming Hindi films”.

Rakul has also undergone a physical transformation for her role in De De Pyaar De with Ajay Devgn. “I can’t reveal why my character demands so much weight loss; you will see it when the film hits the screens. The look also helped me for my role in Dev as Meghna is an independent NRI businesswoman who wears western outfits”, said the actress, who also runs a gym and often promotes the importance of fitness on social media.

Rakul recently hit headlines for her befitting reply to a miscreant who passed a sexist comment by posting one of the pics of the actress on Twitter. “I felt it was one of those days where I should give it back to such sick minds. First of all, the picture was shot without my knowledge. Secondly, his comment was in bad taste. Only before that incident, I attended an event on women empowerment. When I can’t speak against these things on social media, what’s the point in attending such events? Now he has deleted his Twitter account, I’m sure he will not pass such comments in the future”, said the actress.

Other than Dev and NGK, Rakul also has a sci-fi film with Sivakarthikeyan. “It’s a unique genre and we have only completed two schedules so far. The film is shaping up really well but I can’t reveal any other details now,” she said.

Rakul says she is trying her best to balance all the three industries. “Many people say that I’m not doing enough Telugu films these days, but it is not a conscious decision. I just signed back to back Tamil films. My Hindi film De De Pyaar De required one hundred days for my part and I had to prepare myself for the role. Now, I have signed two more Telugu films, but again, I should balance the other two languages as well”, she said.

According to the actress, audiences have started accepting content-driven films. “Only the media and industry people stamp certain films as commercial. A few years ago, films like Mahanati would have been called an art film but now, it has done commercially well. Similarly, Care of Kancharapalem was also received well at the box office,” she signs off.