Rakul Preet Singh, who is set for a chock-a-block season, says, “I am really excited and looking forward to 2022.” The young actor has as many as six films expected to release this year. The first half of the year will have around four films which are expected to release, starting with Attack with John Abraham, Runaway 34 featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay Devgn, Doctor G with Ayushmann Khurrana, followed by Thank God. In the second half of the year, Chhatriwali, a film in which she plays a condom tester, is scheduled for release, followed by a film with Akshay Kumar (tentatively titled Mission Cinderella) in the pipeline. Apart from that, she is also working on a few projects including Indian 2 alongside Kamal Haasan.
In conversation with News18.com, Rakul explains why it is an important year for her, how she doesn’t fear over-exposure due to so many releases, how she has found an place in the industry and also says that speculations about marriage doesn’t bother her.
You have almost 10 films in the pipeline. How have you been balancing your time?
(Laughs) I have been shooting for them for the past couple of years in the midst of the pandemic. I can’t wait for them to release as I want people to watch my films. The recall value so far is only one or two Hindi film including De De Pyaar De which I have done. There is so much variation in my roles and all the characters are different from each other so I really want the audiences to watch and give their opinions. When it comes to balancing my time, I am a multi-tasker and a workaholic and I just love my job.
Do you fear over-exposure considering the number of projects that you have in the pipeline?
People keep saying it but I didn’t plan it in this way. Be it going on floors or releasing the film, some of the projects got delayed due to the pandemic. I guess people understand this. Also, I am not someone who lives in fear. I always look at the brighter side. I am really thankful that I have some really good films and they will release this year hopefully in theatres. I am aware that there is a lot of responsibility but like I said that I am really looking forward to this year. I am in the phase of being just grateful, as I am getting a chance to do so many things. I still have a lot more do. I am hopeful once these films come out, I will have even more films and better characters to work on. I am really excited about 2022 as it is an important year of my career.
With you being one of the most sought after actors now, do you change a notice in the demeanour of the Hindi film industry towards you compared to the time when you had just started out?
Isn’t that bound to happen? Of course there is a difference and I can see that has happened over the years. As you do well and become popular the attitude of people around you changes. Work gets more work and that is what I have always believed. Over the years the opportunities that are coming my way have become better. I am happy to be a part of so many films. I am hoping things become better and become normal. There is a bit of uncertainty and unpredictable situation right now but i hope the delay isn’t really long this time around.
You have had immense success in the recent years. Do you have a sense of belonging in the industry considering you didn’t have anyone to guide you?
Yes I do. And I started having that belonging early on itself. I don’t know any other thing that I can do. I live, breathe and dream films. I became who I am thanks to the film industry. I started modelling at 18 and became an actor at 21, so whatever I am today in terms of my character, the experience, the exposure and the wisdom that I have gained is all because of the industry. The success and failures have shaped me in the person who I am. I belong to the film industry and no where else.
But would you agree that the film industry is a tough nut to crack without any form of guidance?
Whenever you try to take the road less traveled, it is tough. To be in the industry, there is no plan of action. If you want to become a doctor you know you have to study MBBS. To become an actor there is no step process. When I started out, I didn’t have anyone to guide me. It was all trial and error and I learnt from my auditions and looking at people around me. Ultimately your talent is going to take you places.
Is that why you recently launched an app with your brother to help newcomers both on and off camera? Tell us a bit about it.
The idea germinated during the first lockdown when everything was available at a click of a button and things were getting digitalised. There was a lot of conversation around accessibility towards the film industry and we thought why is it that having a career in the film industry is so complicated? It took about a year to put together an app. We have created it keeping in mind my experience during the audition days and what really needs to be told to people and the information they need. The idea is about bridging the gap between people’s dreams and the industry. Using my contacts and the industry contacts we are trying to provide a platform for everyone. We truly believe that our country has a lot of talent especially in the interiors and not everybody has access or the opportunity to live their dreams. We are happy with the feedback so far and we are looking to do a lot many collaborations in the future.
You have picked up a rather unique subject with Chhatriwali. How confident are you of headlining a project on your own?
It is indeed a very unique project. It is a subject that needs to be spoken about and thankfully we have a medium (films) through which we can speak about important issues in a subtle way and in the process educate the audience. I became pretty confident about the project as the people I was working with including Ronnie Screwvala, director Tejas Prabha Vijay Deoskar and other people in the team showed so much confidence in me. When the script came to me, they said that they could only see me in it and that gave me a lot of boost to take up such and interesting and challenging character. We have wrapped up the film and I am just keeping my fingers crossed that the audience loves it as it is very relevant topic.
One of your upcoming projects also include Indian 2. Did the decision of doing the film also come from the fact that you didn’t want to lose out on your core audience?
Indian 2 started way before Covid came into our lives. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to shoot it for the past two years. Like I am said, I don’t live in fear and I don’t choose projects thinking about losing the core audience. I am confident of not losing them because a part of my heart is there (down South) and part of it belongs here. My fans down South who miss watching me there will also watch my Hindi films. As an actor, my only criteria is to good films irrespective of the language. Today everyone is making pan-India films and entertainment is not restricted to certain regions. I believe it’s an emotional language of story-telling and if it has a good story it will work everywhere.
Do speculations about marriage bother you?
Be it marriage or any other rumours about nonsense that doesn’t exist, specially don’t bother me at all. I have learnt to keep my blinders on and keep working. I have been transparent in my life and as and when that step has to happen, I will be the first person to talk about it, like I did this time too. I only feel people shouldn’t speculate and wait for the truth to come out. Right now my focus is on my work and the 10 films that I have and the other work that is coming in. Everything else will happen when it is due.