Aditi Rao Hydari said she went as a black slate to the sets of Psycho. (Photo: Aditi Rao Hydari/Instagram)
Aditi Rao Hydari believes when she gives attention, time and passion to a medium, it responds. Precisely, why she identifies herself as a director's actor and surrenders to the characters she plays. In the recently released Psycho, Aditi played Daghini, who redeems a toxic man. “I give my 100% when I accept a film. Sometimes, this drives people around me crazy,” she says.
There’s an unmistakable glint in Aditi's eyes as she talks about the process. "The sense of satisfaction when I manage to pull off a character exactly how a filmmaker had imagined to be, is the biggest high. I love being in front of the camera. Also, I love being on set. I'm the happiest there. It's simply magical. You put me there for even 48 hours without food, I'll have no complaints," she smiles.
Aditi says she never looks to create an image where people fall in love with her face or style. "I've been trying to create a space for myself where I don't depend on all that. I look to connect with the audience on a deeper level," she adds.
A still from the movie Psycho.
Aditi wanted to be a 'Mani Ratnam heroine' ever since she saw Bombay for the first time. "I had zero knowledge about films then, but I wanted to be doing what Manisha Koirala did in 'Kehna Hi Kya'," Aditi breaks into laughter.
The spontaneity that Aditi reflects on screen, is very much evident when she speaks, as well. "You have to feel it; you have to internalise. That's where the craft comes into play. But it's organic. I can't put into words as to how it happens. If you dissect too much, you tend to become conscious of what you are doing. I don’t like that. It's the personal quest in multiple ways,” she tells us. After a pause, Aditi adds, “You get your emotions right only if you get into a particular frame of mind. Everything is about creating the character and the whole world around it.”
If Mani Ratnam moulded her in Kaatru Veliyidai and Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, Mysskin brought out the performer in her with Psycho. “I don't like to compare Mani sir and Mysskin sir as they are unique in their own right. But I'd do all of Mani sir's movies as I can relate more with his style of making,” says Aditi. For her, choosing a role is all about instinct. It could be that she is merely excited by the thought or the idea or it could be to do with directors she is collaborating with. “I have been fortunate to work with filmmakers whose vision I want to be a part of. An actor is just a tool and every film is a new journey,” she insists.
Aditi is most comfortable doing characters that are close to life. Citing her role (Dr Leela Abraham from Kaatru Veliyidai) as an example, she says, “One may perceive that she is docile, but she's not. She is extremely loving and courageous. At some point, she walks out of a bad relationship. It takes more strength to forgive someone.”
Kaatru Veliyidai, starred Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari.
Kaatru Veliyidai changed everything for Aditi. “Mani sir's films have opened the doors in my mind to a new world. He is a brilliant craftsman and a master storyteller. He knows exactly what he wants from his actors. His movies are very special and always will be,” she notes.
Our conversation shifts to Psycho again. Udhayanidhi Stalin could be the hero, but it is Aditi, who's the nucleus of the film as her character drives the story. The fact that she selected that role shows she settles for nothing but the best. “I went as a black slate to the sets of Psycho, and it was a wonderful learning experience. I haven’t played a character like her (Daghini) before. It has a spiritual quality if you look at it deeply. I am open to doing different kinds of films because quite often female actors get stereotyped and it's challenging to break out of it. Mysskin sir doesn't believe in rehearsing and that helps his actors do a scene instinctively,” she observes.
Up next, Aditi has Vijay Sethupathi's Tughlaq Darbar and a film with Dhanush, in the pipeline. “Vijay Sethupathi is an amazing actor, and Dhanush is an all-rounder,” she concludes.