Aditi in wonderland

The pretty and petite Aditi Rao Hydari is overwhelmed by the enormity of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award bestowed upon her for her contribution to cinema down south

Her bio on Instagram reads: “In a world full of Kardashians, be an Audrey.” “It is cheeky but I believe it,” laughs Aditi as we settle down to chat over her recent achievement. As the single, silent, solid performer who always lets her work do the talking, her quiet, composed and graceful style of working has always held her in good stead.

What was her reaction on winning the coveted National Award? “Of course, it feels amazing,” she smiles radiantly. “It is a big honour that I personally feel I am not worthy of yet, being only two years old in the Telugu and Tamil industry. I have done only a handful of films, but I have enjoyed my work immensely. It has been a very challenging, fulfilling journey so far and I am greedy for even more achievements on the dint of my work,” says Aditi.

She confesses to having been lucky enough to have worked with amazing film directors during the course of her career in cinema. “I have been even luckier to have received so much love from my audiences across the globe. I genuinely believe this recognition belongs to everyone I have worked with and accept it with love. It is an encouragement for me to keep working the way I work, honestly and sincerely,” says Aditi in her signature style as she savours the pat on her back for immersing herself fully in terms of heart and hard work, into all the different characters she has been playing on the silver screen.

Aditi shot to prominence with her reprisal of a strong character in filmmaker Sudhir Mishra’s Yeh Saali Zindagi. Soon followed projects like Murder 3, Rockstar, London Paris New York, Padmavaat. What has been the biggest turning point in her career? “Working with filmmaker Mani Ratnam sir. It was as if my childhood dream came true. Immediately after wrapping up the shoot of Mani sir’s love story in Kaatru Veliyidai, I moved on to working in Padmavaat with filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali sir. I remember Ranveer (Singh) telling me on the sets that this was what dreams are made of. I am living my dream and am absolutely determined to continue living my dream,” confesses Aditi, the determination mirrored in her voice.

Child-like enthusiasm

Aditi recalls wanting to be an actor when she saw Manisha Koirala in the song ‘Kehna hi Kya’..., in Mani Ratnam’s movie Bombay. “Films allow me to be a child, to keep exploring, keep learning. The silver screen takes me through so many different situations, emotions, it lets me live different lives, enabling me to empathise, to be sensitive, to feel without any inhibition, and to flow without self-consciousness. Being in front of the camera is like the safest, happiest place for me. It is my wonderland,” says Aditi.

Born in Hyderabad, of royal lineage, and related to superstar Aamir Khan’s wife Kiran Rao, Aditi has conquered the world of cinema on the basis of her own prowess and merit. Her journey has been all about trusting her instinct, making choices fearlessly, and being completely present in the moment. “Once I have done that, I surrender to trust. I strongly believe that this applies to everything... life, love, cinema... just about everything,” says Aditi, giving us an insight into her pure creativity as an artiste.

Prod her about her biggest takeaway and she responds promptly, “What I have learnt is that with fame, money and power, you can buy everything except credibility and respect. This is something precious that you have to earn through your own actions, the way you treat others around you, and the choices you make in life eventually. I believe: Work hard, be patient, believe in your dreams, and celebrate your own uniqueness. People will love you for who you are and you will always shine,” she signs off with a radiant smile.

 

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