Mumbai, Jan. 29 -- Her debut Bollywood film (Luck, 2009) bombed. But Shruti Haasan didn't give up. Six years on, she may not have had a blockbuster to write home about yet, but has four releases lined up this year.
At 29 (she celebrated her birthday on Tuesday, January 28), she speaks with the maturity of an older person, talking about acting versus singing in films, and why she does not give younger sister Akshara (set to debut with Shamitabh) advice.
Unlike most other newcomers, you didn't take up too many projects immediately after your debut. Why is that?
When I first started out, I found it hard to balance Hindi, Tamil and Telugu cinema, so I was also taking on less work. Of course, that has changed now. Since last year, I've been very busy, and I'm enjoying playing different roles in various genres. This year, I'm working on six films across the three industries, so I've more than made up for the films I didn't pack in earlier.
Four of those films will release this year. You must be excited.
Yes, they are extremely varied in content. I've always tried to explore different genres, and not follow the formulaic path. I'm looking forward to people enjoying these films.
Do you feel you made some wrong choices in Bollywood initially?
I'm not the type to look back on things with regret. I've enjoyed and learnt something from every experience. At the same time, I've been fortunate to do well in the south, but I don't consider that my safety net. I come from a multi-cultural home, so being pan-Indian in my work has always been important to me.
Akshara is venturing into movies as well. Any advice for her?
Our family doesn't really believe in advice per se. My parents let me find my own way, and that's what worked for me, so I'm applying the same theory with her. She is gifted and has an amazing debut film, so I wish her the best.
Do you think you have got your due in Bollywood?
Not yet. I look forward to working more, and harder. After that, what has to happen will happen.
It's only now that we've started hearing of more actors being friends. Who are your friends in the industry?
I'm very happy to interact with my co-stars, and I'm happy that I've met some lovely people. However, my closest friends over the years have not been actors. Having said that, it's lovely to see everyone get along.