Cut out the gloss and Rakul Preet Singh is all grit. She’s enjoying a purple patch in her career and any other actress would’ve painted the town red with hits like ‘Nannaku Prematho’, ‘Sarrainodu’, but she seems to be nonchalant about it.
The Delhi-based actress, who has dug her heels in the showbiz turf, always thrives on excellence and that’s her mojo. She’s candid enough to state that success hasn’t changed her one bit. Her sexy candour extends to her personal life too as she gets cracking on Sashidhar Adivi’s pointed questions about success, love, relationships, infidelity and marriage.
“I don’t know why people say that I have completed more than half-a-decade journey in films. Although I started in 2009, I was clueless until ‘Venkatadri Express’ (2013) released. Only after that, I started pursuing films seriously, so I will be actually completing three years. They say hard work decides your destiny. A lot of actresses get launched in big ticket projects but for me, each film has been a step up and I have grown with every project. I’m happy that I have been evolving with each film (as a person) and that’s the reason I value my success a lot. Working with stars has been a learning experience of self discovery and unknowingly, I picked up so much from them. What makes them special is that everyone is unique in their performances, dances, and other nuances. More importantly, they’re very grounded, friendly and no airs – because of which they are where they are today. I believe learning is a subconscious and every day process and you grow as a person without realising it. If I look back, I feel I was a different person three years ago.
Life in showbiz hasn’t changed me as a person because even though I take work seriously, I don’t take the fact that I’m an actor seriously. The feeling of me being an actress hasn’t gotten to my head and I don’t want to think about that. I’m enjoying what I’m doing. As far as I’m concerned, I’m still the same girl and it’s for people around me to judge how I am now (smiles). I want to be the same silly college girl.
Rejections made me love work more
If I look back, I want to thank God that I had those rejections. I started my career with rejections. Being an Army kid; I never used to watch films on a regular basis. So at 20, after Miss India pageant, I was new to showbiz and did not know whether to take up films or not. But when I decided to do films, right ones weren’t coming my way. And those that came did not materialise because filmmakers did not cast me for reasons best known to them. So my name was on everybody’s lips but I wasn’t signing them. It was then I thought I had to be more serious about my work. So the fact that I had rejections made me love my work even more. I started working very hard and that’s one of the reasons why success did not go to my head and make me arrogant because nothing came easily. Had I got launched in that film, perhaps I wouldn’t have understood people, handle success better, etc. because success came to me gradually, I was able to understand and deal with it.
“I’m still single because there aren’t enough men around me (smiles). For me ‘looks’ are not the priority. I can never look at a guy and say he is hot without having a conversation with him. So my checklist starts with he has to be taller than me (even if I wear heels), so half of them are filtered (laughs).
Then comes his conversational skills and eventually there’ll be only a few. My mom keeps joking that I’ll never find a guy with my checklist. I never went on a date, so I will be in a better position to talk about it only after I go out with someone (laughs). At the same time, it’s very difficult to not date an industry guy. But right now I’m too busy with work to think about why men are not approaching.”
I believe in true love
“I believe in loyal relationships, in fact, the next level of a relationship is marriage. If both partners are compatible you can get married. I don’t believe marriage is a hindrance to your career and so many people have proved it wrong like Kajol. I don’t feel like being single in mid 30s, this is the time for me to work and down the line after five years, let’s see. If two people are in a relationship, let them be and it’s their choice. But if a relationship is stressful, then just don’t be in it. All my friends joke that I should have been born in the 70’s because of the way I think and it’s one of the reasons I don’t feel there are right people around me. I still believe true love exists and it’ll happen whenever it has to.”
Liking is different from loving
“If I look around, Infidelity has become common these days, I feel sad to see how people have become. How can you betray someone you love? So liking is different from loving. People are seeing the fun side of dating but not valuing the emotion and love. I don’t understand this. But I believe in true love and if I’m in love I’ll give 100%. If I have to date someone I need to know who he is, our compatibility, whether we can enjoy each other’s company or not, etc., only then I can get into a relationship, otherwise, it’s just time pass. But I have never felt lonely or desperate to be in a relationship. I have my family, friends and work to keep me busy. You believe in what you’ve grown up watching. I come from a conservative family – my parents always had time for me and their world revolved around us. I value those small yet emotional moments. I cherish the priceless moments with my family which money can’t buy.”
I believe in marriage
“I won’t go for an arranged marriage (but if I don’t find a guy then I may have to). I would love to fall in love. But I still stick to my checklist because I believe in the institution of marriage. I have seen my parents’ successful marriage, so I believe there’s a right time for everything. I want to enjoy that phase of life as well. So my man has to be the right guy.”
Also, no one has proposed to me so far – be it in school, college or now. Perhaps that’s because I’m like a tomboy (smiles) and not easily approachable but at the same time I am not intimidating either. I don’t have a personality for men to just chat me up casually. I’m very friendly only if I know people.”
Ideal man to date
Ranveer Singh – I’m his staunch fan
Secret of success
Hard work. I enjoy my work and don’t take work for granted. I value it
Workout (smiles), I preach fitness
‘Sarrainodu’ – I had to cry continuously for 10 days and my eyes were badly swollen
Show off (attitude), arrogance and condescending attitude
Be comfortable in whatever you wear
If not an actress
I would have become a brand manager
I want to do an intense romantic film (like Kajol in DDLJ)