‘Today, it shouldn’t matter if you marry late, marry and divorce, marry for the second time, marry younger or older or not marry at all.’
Shraddha Srinath, who has done films in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi, is currently making waves thanks to her Tamil hit, Irugapatru.
She plays a marriage counsellor and speaks to Subhash K Jha about her own outlook on marriage and divorce, saying, “I have come to realise that sometimes, nothing can save a marriage and the only thing we owe ourselves is our happiness.”
Another sparkling performance from you in Irugapatru. What made you say yes to this?
I chose to play Mitra because I found her very complex. Like many of us, she comes from childhood trauma.
I feel like it’s easy to dismiss emotionally complex people. One usually doesn’t have the patience to deal with them.
But I wanted to play a complex character like Mitra and play it with so much earnestness that the audience would empathise with her and see her point of view too. For me, it was like an experiment.
I was curious to see if people would connect with her or completely dissociate from her.
How did this project about troubled marriages evolve?
I received a call from Prabhu sir, the producer, asking me to hear out a narration from the director (Yuvaraj Dhayalan).
Now, Potential Studios are known to back some very interesting scripts and they were on my list of people to work with, so I was instantly drawn to this collaboration.
Yuvaraj narrated the story and I loved my character.
When you have good producers in the mix, putting their money on a story like this, your faith in the project gets reinforced. You know it’s in the right hands.
Pairing up with Vikram Prabhu was also a huge draw.
You play a marriage counsellor in Irugapatru. Do you think marriage as an institution is losing its relevance?
The cynic in me feels this way.
On one hand, I feel one should do everything to save a marriage and/or a relationship (and I do films that propagate this idea).
On the other hand, I have friends who are going through divorce and I support their decision because I have come to realise that sometimes, nothing can save a marriage and the only thing we owe ourselves is our happiness.
But there is so much taboo surrounding divorce.
In the end, marriage and divorce are man-made concepts. We should stop viewing them with such a critical moral lens. We have seen unhappy marriages last for decades.
Growing up, there used to be so much hype and pressure to get married.
It still exists but today, it doesn’t and shouldn’t matter if you marry late, marry and divorce, marry for the second time, marry younger or older or not marry at all.
There is a place for everyone.
Everyone deserves to be happy and make decisions regardless of ‘log kya kahenge/’
Was it easy for you to break into the film industry?
It was pure luck. I got the film U-Turn because my friend pointed out the audition call to me. I did well in the audition and the director saw the character in me.
Pawan Kumar, the director of U-Turn. is a new-age film-maker, very indie in his style, so the expectations he had from me was to just perform well.
U-Turn became a big hit and there was curiosity around this new actress, who was breaking norms and one thing lead to another.
My work and discipline became my trademark and that got me more work. I would say mine is the best case scenario for an actor with no contacts in the industry.
Your forthcoming projects?
I have a big release in Telugu releasing on Pongal 2024, Saindhav.
There are two more in Telugu films which are being shot.
There is also a Web series I have signed in Tamil, the details will be announced by the producers soon.
I have a Hindi project produced by Lionsgate with Neetu Kapoorji and Sunny Kaushal as my co-stars.
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