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Shruti Haasan is Treading New Paths with her Hollywood debut with Treadstone

As Shruti Haasan makes her international acting debut with the series Treadstone, she talks to Padma Iyer about the show, her prep for the role and straddling multiple industries

Shruti, how did Treadstone happen and was it something that was always on the cards?

I have agents in the US who hooked me up for the part. I auditioned and got the part. It was a guest role and I thought it would be fun to be part of the Bourne universe.

I didn’t plan for it, to be honest with you. There was never any intention to crossover. I was happy with the work that I got here. I have been doing some interesting stuff and I am really happy about that. This just happened to come my way. And I am someone who likes to take on every opportunity that comes my way.

The character you play involves a lot of action and physical effort. How did you go about preparing for it?

Basically the role for Treadstone is a guest appearance for four episodes. The whole show is very action-driven. They already had other aspects in place, like training for months with the stunt team there. So for me, it was very exciting to do all of that for instance spending five weeks in training for just one fight. Everything was so meticulous. It was really cool.

For someone who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films and now in Hollywood, how do you look at these different industries?

What I have learnt is that movie people are movie people all over. They are all the same. They have the same energy, same issues, same coordination or lack of it, the same level of commitment, coming together when it is really needed… they are all the same everywhere. It is all about teamwork.

You have always been someone who is not scared to try something new. What is it that motivates you? What drives you to take these risks?

As one grows as a person, you become fearless with age. I think everyone should become fearless with age. You have more things to say and you need to get them out. I need to be able to express my perception and share it.

In the past few years, we have seen a definite shift in the kinds of films being made and the parts that are written for actresses. Is there anything that you have seen recently that you have liked?

Honestly, I don’t want to sound like an ignorant bum, but I haven’t been watching anything really. The recent thing I watched was Peaky Blinders, I am obsessed with it. So when season 5 came out I was immediately on it. I had been waiting for it forever. Given my schedule, I have not been able to catch up on stuff as much as I have wanted to, so I am not the best person to ask this. But from whatever little I have seen, my contemporaries have been doing amazing work, be it, men or women. There has also been a major shift in the stories that we have been telling.

How do you look at the digital space? Is it a platform that you would want to venture into in the future?

I will one hundred per cent do something in the digital space. The digital platform offers you a certain kind of freedom. But it should be the right content.

So what is next on the cards for you? And what is happening on the music front?

I am currently shooting a Tamil film. I will be doing a Telugu film as well. There is my music as well. And internationally if I find something and I am able to accommodate the time, like I was with Treadstone as it takes a long time, I may do something in the future.

I am going back in November-December to the UK to do live shows. I enjoy playing live there. I am also writing music, meeting a lot of people from the business. It is a completely new plate for me, an unknown entity, so it is really exciting.

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