Raai Laxmi comes across as a glamorous, happy-go-lucky girl, but she admits that her life hasn’t been a bed of roses all these years. The south siren has been staying away from Kollywood for quite some time, pinning hopes on her upcoming Hindi film, Julie 2. In this chat with us, the pretty actress opens up about why she is not signing many films these days, the effort she has put into her role for her upcoming film, her personal life and more…
Of late, why aren’t we seeing you in films?
I don’t want to do films just for the sake of doing it. I was busy for the past one-and-a-half years with my Hindi project, Julie 2, and I have gone through a lot during this time. I haven’t been well both mentally and physically, but then, I hope the film will be received well by the audience. I sacrificed a lot and faced many problems, but they were only to do justice to my role. Also, I have ignored a lot of offers from Kollywood and Tollywood as I was getting the usual scripts, and roles. I want to do something new.
We heard you said no to a few Malayalam projects during this time…
I received two offers from Malayalam, but lost them only because I was too thin. The Malayalam industry hasn’t seen me in that look, and that’s why I couldn’t sign those films. In fact, one was Mammootty sir’s film. Some even asked me to gain weight immediately, but I don’t want to do that anymore.
You are shooting for a Tamil film, now, though…
Yes, I will be completing a Tamil film titled Yaar. It’s not a horror film. I would call it a psychological thriller, with lot of twists and turns. My role is that of a traditional girl, who comes from a big family, and gets into trouble. These days, there are a lot of heroine-oriented films, and all heroines want to do such films. But we must also understand that we must be prepared for it, and work hard.
Tell us about your role in Julie 2…
It’s more of ‘hero’ role, and not what heroines do. I carry the entire film on my shoulders, and I had to do a lot of home work for the role. I had to lose and gain weight every two months for the shoot, which was a shock for my body. I lost around 11kg for my role, and then had to gain 17kg immediately for another phase of my character in the film. And again, I had to lose 8kg for the film’s photo shoot. Being a foodie, it was a complete shock for my body. I went through a phase of depression, and I went into a shell. I suffered a lot mentally and physically because of all this, and that is why the shoot of the film was delayed, too. I even had a leg injury during the shoot, and it was so difficult for me. I was getting irritated with everyone and everything. I came out of it only because of my parents and friends.
You are sporting a bikini in the film…
It’s a very glamorous role, and I tried my best to look so. I lost a lot of weight to sport a bikini, and it was challenging for me. I literally starved for months. Getting a bikini body is not a joke, as you need to get that structure first to sport one. I hope I look good, and it has come out really well. I never thought I will put it off.
Do you think casting couch exists in this industry?
Of course, yes… in all the industries. But, to be honest, I haven’t faced any such issues, as my entry was smooth. Newcomers and actors who are struggling to get a break in this industry are often exploited by producers and filmmakers. Some of them are coming to this industry only to gamble, have fun and sleep around, and it is only because of them that there is negativity in the industry. If the filmmakers put an emphasis on their personal needs, and sleep around with artistes, will their art create an impact? What’s funny is, some people even approach well-known actors for this purpose, and they immediately talk about it openly on their social media. They even throw artistes out of the project, if they don’t agree to sleep with them.
Any regrets in life?
Sometimes, I reject or am not a part of good films that may go on to become a hit. I do regret that. In fact, I was supposed to play the lead in Garjanai, which now has Trisha. I had a plan to act in it, and even gave a lot of inputs to the director, but unfortunately I couldn’t be a part of it because of my other commitments. I was also supposed to be a part of Mithran Jawahar’s film, but since Julie got delayed, I asked them to proceed if they get another actor. I didn’t want to delay their film because of my commitments. There are many things I regret, but I learn from all of them. I like to live with that, too. I have seen both success and failures, so there is nothing to taste now.
Is marriage on the cards?
I don’t think I will get hitched any time soon. I am someone who respects love, and I don’t have the time to dedicate to a relationship. I do believe in love, and have been in love earlier. It’s a beautiful feeling. I have enjoyed that phase in my life. As of now, I am concentrating on my work, and have no plans to settle down. I have been in the film industry from a young age, and I have come across a lot of men in my life. Some relationships are memorable ones, and a few are bad. I have always been an open book; in fact, every actor is. If I am in a relationship, I will be the first person to announce it. Even when I am not in love, I get linked with someone or the other on social media. But I don’t worry about that.