I Wasn't Hopeful of Bagging KGF Role After Audition, Says Srinidhi Shetty

Sakshi Post Interview With Kannada Actress Srinidhi Shetty of KGF fame

Srinidhi Shetty is a new name in the film circles. However, the Sandalwood (rather Pan India) actress has carved a niche for herself in the industry with her performance in KGF, which left fans impressed. Srinidhi has proven that she's here to stay as she's also the most sought-after celebrity to endorse brands. She recently signed up as the brand ambassador to promote KFC's Popcorn Nachos. In an exclusive interview with Sakshi Post, KGF actress Srinidhi Shetty tells Reshmi AR about how she landed the chance to play the female lead in Prashanth Neel's KGF and how the quality of work is far more important than quantity.

From engineering and management studies in college to beauty pageants, how did all this happen?

I’ve always wanted to get into beauty pageants and then subsequently into movies. However, I guess as they say there is time for everything. Coming from a middle-class family the first priority for my family was to ensure I finish my education and start working. Once that happened, I’d the time to think about trying for beauty pageants and eventually films.

How did you land in the film industry? (I know you are bored of answering this, but for our readers, this could be new)

I thought of working in the film industry eventually, but working in KGF wasn’t planned. I had won Miss Diva India and my crowning pictures were all over the papers. My director Prashanth saw the pictures and called me for an audition. Honestly, even after the audition, I wasn’t hopeful of bagging the role. But he liked my audition and thought I’d be right for the role. And like they say, the rest is history. I am thrilled and blessed to work in KGF as my first movie, and all the love & support I’ve received for my performance. 

When you signed up for KGF, did you think it was going to be so big?

Not at all! I don’t think anybody anticipated the movie to become this huge a success. We wanted to make a good movie and we all put in a lot of hard work. In the process, we realized its magnitude after the release of KGF and of course thanks to the audiences’ love and god’s blessings.

How did it feel when you realized that KGF was breaking all box office records?

It was surreal! To think my first movie goes on to become the biggest hit in the Kannada industry and the second part crosses Rs 1,000 crores. It was and still is quite unbelievable! I am so proud and grateful for what we have achieved as a team.

Shooting for a huge franchise means dedicating a major chunk of your time for that. Did you fear that you could lose out on other opportunities if you were to be tied up with just one movie?

It was a risk that I was willing to take. I am quite happy about where I am and the number of years that have gone into KGF. I think at the end of the day, it's the quality of work more than the quantity of work that matters for any artist.

How did your friends react when they saw you had become a star?

I am only an actor. I don’t consider myself a star and I am so glad that my friends don’t as well. My friends and family help keep me grounded; they are my biggest fans and also my biggest critics.

Tell us about your work experience with Yash.

It was fantastic working with Yash. He is extremely dedicated and focused. Apart from being extremely easy and professional to work with, he inspires you to perform better every time. I am very lucky that I got to work with him and that too in my very first movie.

What is Prashanth Neel like as a director and how different is he from other filmmakers you have worked with?

Working with Prashanth Neel was a phenomenal experience. He is kind and gentle, and at the same time very sure about what he wants from his actors. The helps bring out the best in the people he works with.

Crossover cinema is in vogue; do you see yourself eyeing other industries?

I consider Indian cinema as one industry, and I will definitely look forward to exploring opportunities across languages and regions. 

Who are the actors on your Wishlist?

I really don’t have a wishlist. At this point, I want to just focus on my work, and work with as many great actors and directors as possible.

You recently did an ad for KFC. Tell us more about it. How different is shooting for Ads and movies?

I was thrilled when I got the opportunity to work with KFC because I’ve been fond of their signature chicken for years now! The experience was exactly like the product, the all-new Popcorn Nachos – exciting, flavourful, masaledaar, and I added the drama to it! I remember I was sneaking in a bite or two of KFC’s crunchy Popcorn Nachos between shots – and that for me was the most fun part about the shoot! Overall, it was a fabulous experience, and I am thrilled to see the response the campaign film has gotten so far. For those who haven’t seen the film, or tried the product, all I can say is you’re missing out!

Personally, I don’t feel any difference between ads and movies. Of course, films require much more time & commitment, months, as compared to ad films which are shot in 1-2 days. The amount of time is very different, but as an artist, the amount of work you put in, to get the best result is the same. In fact, since digital films and TV ads are much shorter, you’ve to ensure that you’re doing justice to bring out the messaging & storyline in that time. 

Do you watch Tollywood movies? Which Telugu movie did you watch recently?

Yes, I do watch Tollywood movies. In fact, I’m a movie buff and watch films across languages. The last Telugu movie I watched is Mahesh Babu’s Sarkaru Vaari Paata.

Is KGF Chapter 3 happening for real?

I don’t know, you should ask the makers! But I hope the KGF franchise continues and keep entertaining the audience. 

What is next in the pipeline? Tell us about your role and why you signed the film.

A lot of projects are still in talks, so I don’t want to confirm anything yet.

Movies in regional languages have gone pan India and getting a lot of appreciation. Do you think the trend is here to stay?

This should have happened long ago, but I am glad it is happening now. Audiences today have a lot more exposure, and they are watching & appreciating all kinds of films.

What do you think is the biggest advantage of Pan India movies?

The Audience! It’s always the audience. It’s reaching more & more people with your work.

What do you think of OTT platforms?

OTT is a wonderful platform in my opinion. It’s giving an opportunity to artists to experiment with different kinds of roles & genres, and to directors to work with all kinds of budgets. At the end of the day, because of OTT, there is something for everyone now.

If you were approached for a web series, would you agree?

I don’t think about where the work comes from. My priority is to work on a script I like and, with a team who can help me deliver my best work.

Also Read: Rapid 5 With Srinidhi Shetty

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