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Drishyam 2's Shriya Saran: ‘It’s great that actors don’t get written off for being married or becoming parents


Drishyam 2's Shriya Saran

The actor on her experience of being a part of Drishyam’s sequel, which released today, on growing as an actor, and roles being written for all ages

The sequel to 2015’s Drishyam, the Abhishek Pathak-directed Drishyam 2 is all set for a theatrical release on November 18. Starring Ajay Devgn, Shriya Saran, Tabu and Akshaye Khanna in pivotal roles, the sequel, just like the first one, is a remake of the Malayalam films of the same name. Saran, who is enjoying playing real-life mother to two-year-old Radha, reprises the role of Nandini Salgaonkar in the crime thriller. She tells us more about her role and how motherhood has added to her experience as an actor. Edited excerpts:

It's been seven years since the first instalment of Drishyam. How did it feel getting back to playing Nandini again? 

It wasn’t easy. So much has happened in our lives. Seven years have passed in reality and in the film as well. My character has been living with something which she cannot talk about. It’s a very complex character. What I normally do when I play complex characters such as these is that I write a little story around what probably happened between this film and the previous film. I wrote a few scenes; revisited the first film and somewhere between all this, I became Nandini again.

Drishyam 2's Shriya Saran

When I was doing the first film, I felt my character was way more mature than what I was. It was a huge responsibility but I went with my instincts. The story and the dialogues were so well-written that all one had to do was react. There was a line in the first film that really helped me, where she says that when all of this was happening, I don’t know where I got the strength to do it. It was really that for me. Nandini is all heart. She is innocent and simple. There’s a situation where her husband tells her that he thinks from his brain, not his heart, which is not the case with her. So that makes her character very complex and I enjoy doing that.

You also became a mother to your daughter Radha along the way.

When you go through such experiences in real life, they change you as a person. You come out stronger. I think it’s great that roles are being written for actors of all ages and they don’t get written off for being married or becoming parents. I feel I am a better actor than I was ever before. I am more driven because when I leave Radha behind and go to work, I want to give my best and make sure it’s worth the time away from her.

Ajay Devgn and you share a good on-screen chemistry. You were also part of RRR (2022) where you played his wife. How’s it to work with him? 

He’s a fantastic actor to work with. He’s very quiet on sets and doesn’t talk much. I have heard stories of him being a prankster but not with me; not on this film.

You have done movies in six languages, including Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, English, Malayalam and Kannada. Do you think working across many industries has added to your growth as an actor?

When I became part of the film industry almost 20 years ago, there was no thinking process or plan I was following. It was only about giving your best to what comes your way. At the time, I was only thinking about doing good films with good directors and I was getting really good directors to work with. It really didn’t matter what language it was. I learnt the language and I worked very hard at it. For somebody who would fail language in school, to be able to do that was an achievement. Now when I look back, I feel so happy I did movies in so many languages because it gave me a chance to connect with so many people from different parts of the country. I have an understanding of different industries now and I feel it is a huge advantage. I was guided by good work and good directors and I will continue doing that.

Drishyam 2's Shriya Saran

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