What's cooking, Shreya?

On cloud nine

What's cooking, Shreya?

Elegant Shreya Saran DH PHoto by Kishor Kumar Bolar

Shreya Saran is basking in the glory of her international releases. She has certainly made a leap from South Indian films, straight to Hollywood, making but a blink and miss appearance in Bollywood.

Born in Dehradun, Shreya grew up in a middle-class family. “I was brought up in Ranipur and later moved to Delhi, and studied in Lady Shriram College, where I first began modelling,” says the actress delicately, on her first tryst with glamour. “I am a trained Kathak dancer and have appeared in several commercials. I was also a part of music video Tirakthi Kyun Hawa by Reenu Nathan which was shot in Varanasi,” she recalls her early days.

It was only in 2001, that she broke into the movie scene. “I was only 19 when I started, and my first film was in Telugu called Ishtam. But it was my second film Santosham with Nagarjuna, which was a huge hit, that propelled me to fame the following year.’’

Simultaneously, Shreya started acting in Tamil films, including Ennaku 20 Unnaku 18, Mazhai etc. But it was her Tamil film Shivaji – The Boss, where she starred opposite Rajnikanth, that pushed her into the international limelight. When asked about its impact on her career, Shreya cheekily replies, “It’s the reason you are talking to me right now.”
And ever since there has been no looking back for the damsel. Although there was sporadic spate of forgettable Bollywood releases, like Tujhe Meri Kasam, Thoda Hum Badlo Thoda Tum, Awaarapan co-starring Emraan Hashmi, and Mission Istanbul in between, Shreya made headlines after breaking into the international scene. The first of which was a romantic comedy called The other end of the line, starring Jesse Metcalfe of Desperate Housewives fame, produced by Ashok Amritraj.

In 2009, the actress seems to have her plate full, with a heady mix of South Indian, Bollywood and Hollywood films.  “My first film to be released will be a Bollywood one called  Ek – The Power of One, an action film starring Bobby Deol in the lead. It’s a Hindi remake of the Telugu film Athadu. The next will be two Tamil films Kanthaswamy co-starring Vikarm, which will also be released in Telugu, English, Spanish and Italian, and Jaggubhai co-starring Sarath Kumar.”

And what’s cooking internationally for Shreya? She gives us a little taste of it. “It’s an Indo-Canadian film called What’s Cooking Stella? by Deepa Mehta,” She says excitedly. “The film is a light comedy about a Canadian diplomat played by Lisa Ray and her husband living in New Delhi, and their cook, Stella.” For now, it’s films that occupy all her time, apart from which, Shreya is busy endorsing products. “I’d love to work in a Kannada film one day,” she says, signing off.  

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