My film with Vijay Sethupathi will start rolling in two weeks: Shruti Haasan

Shruti Haasan, she of the strong voice and fashionable attire, was chosen by Marks & Spencer for the launch of its 75th branch in the country. “It’s a brand I’ve known since childhood,” says Shruti who travelled to the city for this event. “But I always keep coming to Chennai… because, appa (smiles).”

I begin by asking about her sabbatical from Tamil cinema, and she interjects, “Not just Tamil cinema but Telugu and Hindi as well. I decided to take a step back to reassess and focus on music because that’s something I didn’t give much attention or time to. I’ve just finished my first international EP in London, that will be ready for release later this year.”

Shruti was due to be next seen alongside her father in Sabaash Naidu, a spin-off of the 2008 KS Ravikumar film, Dasavathaaram. “You ask Sabaash Naidu questions to my father,” says a laughing Shruti.

“Right now, it’s hard to tell because my dad is really committed to his political plans and strategies. It’s a lot of work and I honestly don’t even ask him about Sabaash Naidu anymore. We finished about 40 per cent of the film but he’s so held up that all I can do now is simply give him my full support.”

She says she doesn’t understand too much politics, herself. “Sometimes, he talks about it, but I don’t understand much. I’m learning a lot because of him, and now I understand how some things work.” She’s glad he’s stepped in. “I’ve always known my father to be someone who is genuinely committed and passionate to anything he does — be it dance, acting, writing or even building his body for a role. This is no different.”

There were reports that she would be starring alongside Vijay Sethupathi in director SP Jananathan’s next. “It’s true and it will be rolling in two weeks time,” says Shruti who doesn’t want to call it a comeback.

“Where did I go to make a comeback? I’ve always been here. I think the term comeback shouldn’t be used anymore. If someone gets married and does a film, it’s a comeback. Somebody goes to Bollywood, and it’s a comeback again. Nobody goes anywhere — especially me, because I feel cinema is my family.”

Her last three films in Tamil were alongside Vijay (Puli), Ajith (Vedalam) and Suriya (Si3).

When asked if it was a conscious decision to be part of big-ticket releases, Shruti says, “Be it Tamil, Telugu or Hindi, I have had the chance to work with the biggest stars and wonderful actors. It’s a male-dominated industry and I’m glad I’ve starred alongside men who have such power in the box-office. I am really blessed for those opportunities and I would like to keep doing it but I am now expanding beyond that. I want to make different sort of choices.”

While on expansions, the actor has teamed up with her mother and veteran actor Sarika to float the production house, Isidro Media. “I’m not really pushing it and only if something passionate comes up, will we consider producing. For instance, the film with Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan (the director of Lens), The Mosquito Philosophy, is now in festivals.”

Ask her about working with her parents, and she says, “It isn’t similar at all, because both of them are very different. I’m a lot like my dad, so we actually end up completing each others’ sentences, but with mom, I learn a lot of other things. She’s more patient when it comes to handling people and I have learned to be diplomatic from her. But my dad and I are quite to the point — suthi valachi pesamataru. I’ve got those genes.”

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