Shraddha Srinath: Maara is the romance our swipe-right generation needs
Shraddha talks about her latest release Maara that is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video, and how it is relevant and useful in these times
Shraddha Srinath is on cloud nine, as Maara that is streaming on Amazon Prime Video, has fetched her much praise for her portrayal of Paaru, a restoration architect who goes on a journey in search of a fairy tale. "Paaru, like me, believes every brick has a story to tell. Like her, I too am fascinated by old structures." For the longest time, Shraddha wished she had a time machine. "When I see a fort, I wonder how it must have been when bustling with activity. Paaru is like that too; it's why she is a restoration architect." She smiles at the realisation that she speaks of Paaru as though she were a real person. "She is, in my head," she says.
In this candid chat, Shraddha opens up about her Maara journey:
Q. When speaking about Nerkonda Paarvai, the Tamil remake of Pink, you had mentioned that you didn't watch Pink to ensure that Taapsee's performance did not influence yours. Did you have the same concern with Maara, an adaptation of the Malayalam film, Charlie?
Nerkonda Paarvai was more a shot-to-shot remake. But Maara is an adaptation that only shares its main idea with Charlie. I watched it, but I think there is so much more here. When I heard about Paaru and what she does, I could see I had nothing to worry about. Paaru and Tessa are different women. The only similarity between them is that they are both dreamers, and are both like birds.
With both Charlie and Maara, there's a lot of wanderlust. And the film is dropping in the middle of a pandemic, where we are scared to step out. Did you think that the timing is ironical?
Not till you mentioned it! (smiles). You are right, in a way. But Maara and Paaru aren't just travellers. They are in a journey to seek something that is missing in their lives. The lockdown, for the fortunate among us, has been about introspection. Even though we were stuck at home, a lot of us did soul searching—at least I know I did. Maara is like that.
Maara sees you team up again with Madhavan, after your Tamil debut Vikram Vedha. How would you say your equation has evolved now?
From my side, it has. During Vikram Vedha, I was a bumbling, starry-eyed actor. Now, I have obviously grown up a little bit. (smiles) The equation has become better. The chemistry that Maddy and I share in Maara is quite different from what we shared in Vikram Vedha. The romance here is so profound and beautiful. Maara is the romance our swipe-right, social generation needs.
I like how you use social media. It feels more like a friend's profile than a celebrity’s. Is your way of staying grounded and real?
For sure. I want people to know that actors are like regular people too. I want to normalise this. There have been instances where people have said, 'I can't believe she is a heroine'. I want people to know this is how I am. I have no makeup on right now, and I am comfortable with myself. I might be an actor on screen, but otherwise, I am just like anyone else.
What would you say is your biggest lesson so far?
I wasn't big on PR or socialising. A lot of people said that I needed to be attending more parties, seek more media visibility... But I am too lazy. I told them that they meant well, but I would not do what they were advising me to because it is all too much for me. I have done all right for myself. The lesson I have learned is that your work speaks volumes. You don't have to do anything you aren't comfortable with.
What goes on your mind when you pick scripts across languages?
Ideally, I would like to split my work equally. But then, you go through the occasional dry spell in a language. But that is okay; I don’t feel compelled to sign a film for the sake of it. It has worked perfectly so far.
I have signed films for piquing my curiosity, for characters I could see myself playing, for my fans too. You can trash me as an actor, but if a fan says that I could have chosen better, that hurts. I try to keep things interesting.
This is your second digital release. Even though OTT and theatres will continue to co-exist, do you believe the increased OTT influence will create more interesting work for actors?
I do. For me, as an actor who isn’t just about catering to the masses, it gets better as the FDFS dynamics get thrown out of the window to some extent. I am sure theatres will co-exist. But the convenience and accessibility of OTT are enticing. I think they will definitely bring more interesting work to actors, and allow us more room to explore.
Here's the video: