In a far cry from the shy girl from Delhi who burst onto the scene in 2013, Rakul Preet Singh has emerged as one of the leading ladies of the Telugu film industry.
“I have not achieved stardom overnight. I don’t think I’ve changed at all as a person. After my shoot is complete, I slip back into casual clothes and I’m just like any other normal person,” says Rakul.
The actress has a jam-packed schedule this year, starting with Gopichand Malineni’s Winner, which released on February 24. Other than that, she has a film opposite Tollywood superstar Mahesh Babu, which is directed by A R Murugadoss; an untitled film with director Boyapati Srinu; another film with actor Naga Chaitanya and director Kalyan Krishna, and a Tamil film with Karthi.
“It has been hectic. I had five films at one stage. I’ve enjoyed the challenge and I’m loving this phase in my career, where I’m taking each role as it comes. I’m getting the opportunity to work with different directors and actors. I get to learn a lot each day and grow as an actor,” she says.
She shares screen-space with Sai Dharam Tej in Winner. “It’s always a lot of fun when two like-minded individuals work together. Tej and I had a blast on the sets. We had a great time while shooting and travelling to countries like Ukraine.
The journey of Winner is one that will always stay with me,” she says.
One of the most fitness-conscious people in the industry, Rakul owns F-45 fitness centre in Hyderabad. She plays an athlete in Winner, and says it was a role that came naturally to her.
“I had to do a lot of running (laughs). As someone who is completely into fitness, I was in perfect shape to play this role,” says the actress, who delivered three blockbusters in 2016—Nannaku Prematho, Sarrainodu and Dhruva.
As a fitness-conscious person, Rakul has a word of advice for young ladies aspiring to get in shape. “If you take half-baked measures, it could be dangerous. The key is to be disciplined and stick to a proper regimen.
I also hate the word diet. People think that if you stop eating, then you will look good. But it’s the other way around. You will look weak if you don’t eat,” says Rakul, who has announced the expansion of F-45 to Visakhapatnam.
With a successful business venture and four releases this year, Rakul is in a happy place. “I play very different roles in each of my films, and that’s what excites me the most,” she adds with a smile.