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“I hope to work across different film industries” – Rakul Preet

She is one of the top stars in the Telugu film industry and is now gearing up for a second innings in an industry which she had made her debut in five years back. In this interview, Rakul Preet talks about her new Hindi film ‘De De Pyaar De’, striking a balance between doing films in the South and the Hindi film industry, ‘Marjaavan’ and more.

You shot for Ramesh Sippy’s ‘Shimla Mirchi’ in 2014. The film never released. Why?
I have no idea why the film did not release. I wish it did though. I think it is the journey that matters. I got to work with a great bunch of people including a legendary director like Ramesh Sippy. ‘Shimla Mirchi’ was the first Hindi film I signed after ‘Yaariyan’. Raj (Rajkummar Rao) had finished shooting for ‘Queen’ around the same time. All of us were pretty new then.

Can you share something about your character in ‘De De Pyaar De’?
I play a girl named Ayesha. She is a fun-loving, free-spirited and independent girl. She is a bartender loves to get drunk and getting other people drunk. She likes to make her own choices and lives life on her own terms.

The film shows the relationship between a young girl and a much older woman. Have you ever dated somebody who is much older to you?
No, but I have a lot of friends who have been in successful relationships with men much older to them. One of my friends got married to a man who is a year older than her father. I am a true believer in love and it should not be defined by things like age. If two people, who happen to have a huge age gap between them, are happy together, then who are we to question it? There are couples who are in the same age bracket and yet, they are not happy together.

You are a top star in Telugu cinema and have done films in other southern languages as well. Now, you are working in Hindi films pretty actively. How do you plan to strike a balance between South and the Hindi film industry?
Whatever is destined to happen will happen. I am a very instinctive person. I became a star because of the Telugu film industry and I hope to work across different film industries. I live one day at a time. Language is no longer a barrier. Alia (Bhatt) is working in a Rajamouli film and Shraddha (Kapoor) is in ‘Saaho’. I think it is the content that matters now.

‘Yaariyan’ was your first Hindi film. The film is still very popular on satellite and the songs play on music channels all the time. What are your memories of working on that film?
I remember I had just moved to Mumbai in November 2011 and I auditioned for the film a month later in December. We started shooting in mid-2012 and the film released in early 2014. It feels great to see the film and the songs continuing to receive so much love from the audience.

Your journey in the Hindi film industry started with ‘Yaariyan’ which was a T-Series production. They have bankrolled ‘De De Pyaar De’ and your next film ‘Marjaavan’. How has been the experience of working with the company?
It has been great working with them. T-Series has been an integral part of my journey in Hindi films and I hope to do a lot more films with them.

What can you share about ‘Marjaavan’?
I am not at the liberty to share much about the film but it is a revenge drama with a very interesting story. Both Tara and I are paired opposite Siddharth (Malhotra) and Ritesh is playing a menacing villain in the film.

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