'I love to be on my own'

'I love to be on my own'

She juggles multiple interests with ease and is forever open to new experiments. Bengaluru girl Saru Maini has stepped out of her traditional domain of playback singing and album songs to try her hand in acting.

Known for her video ‘Dil De Diya Tha’ in the album ‘Sutta Mix’, Saru got her first break in playback singing with a duet with Sonu Nigam in the movie ‘Anthony Kaun Hai?’. A chance meeting landed her a role in the Hollywood production ‘5 Weddings’ that is slotted to be released this year. Apart from Nargis Fakhri and Rajkumar Rao, the film also stars Oscar nominee Candy Clark and Golden Globe nominee Bo Derek.

The bubbly actor spoke to Rajitha Menon about her role in the movie and her transition from the recording studio to shooting sets.

How did your musical career change into acting?

I have done a lot of albums and video songs. That sort of made me comfortable in front of the camera. Even when I was a singer, people would ask me if I acted and I would tell them I didn’t mind trying my hand at it. Though my first album ‘Ishq Hua’ did very well and remains my favourite, one has to explore the market and do different things, even though sometimes you do things that aren’t really you. So when I got a chance to play a role that seemed tailor made for me, I jumped at the chance.

Tell us a bit about your role in ‘5 Weddings’?

In the movie, I play a person who performs at weddings. So not only do I get to sing songs, I get to perform on them too. I play a Punjabi girl who can’t speak proper English. So attuned was I to the character, that I would talk like that on the sets
all the time, startling the people around me.

How was your experience of working in a Hollywood movie?

It was very nice and somewhat challenging. Unlike the practice here, there is no ‘cut’ after each line. You keep shooting in a flow which gives the takes a kind of continuity and naturality.

Is it hard to get a break in the Hindi music industry?

It is a very tough job; one has to really excel and make a niche for themselves. It is necessary to believe in oneself and not expect immediate results; because that just doesn’t happen.

And that is true for the entertainment industry as a whole. I stuck to doing albums and believed my work will get noticed even when everyone was moving to playback singing. And ultimately, my entry into films also happened because of these albums.

Any more movies in the pipeline?

I did get a few offers even while working on this project but I thought I will wait and see how all this turns out.

What would be a dream role for you?

I would love to act in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie or a project of Anurag Kashyap. Any character-based film will excite me; something that is acting oriented and is not just about romancing the hero or running around trees.

Three things about you no one knows?

Despite my garrulous nature, somewhere inside, I love to be on my own. I can be a people-person in front of the camera but not really behind it.  Then I don’t smoke or drink; it is a common misconception people have about me. And thirdly, I am a pretty good interior designer. In fact, I am doing a big celebrity’s house right now. He saw my own house, which was modelled on the concept of Santorini in Greece, and asked me to design his house too.

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