Exclusive: Shruti Haasan Gives Us a Tour of Her Mumbai Apartment

Shruti Haasan on her addiction, working with Kajol and why she keeps her awards in the kitchen.

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Shruti Haasan is an actor and a musician and loves home decor. So when we were invited to check out her Mumbai duplex apartment, we were more than happy. The gracious host took us around her beautiful house and gave us a sneak peek into her private life.

While the actor shows us around we notice her collection of vinyl toys which she says has been collecting it for years and you can’t miss the colourful khatiya in her living room.

You have just made an international debut. Tell me all about it, and you have got great appreciation for your role.

Shruti: Thank you. It was a very small part in a show called Treadstone. I got to fight and kick some butt. That was fun. So, yeah, it was really fun. It was like my first international acting thing. And yeah, it was a lot of fun. And I’m glad that people liked the show.

Her apartment is nothing like any Mumbai apartment that I have come across. It’s an open space and not restricted by walls.

Okay, so now, this is quite an open space for Bombay. This place is huge, Shruti. How did you get this place?

Shruti: So this didn’t look like this one, I got it. Because like you said, it’s not a very Bombay place and we all know that Bombay is like, Manhattan or London or Tokyo. It’s like small spaces. So I always wanted to have an open artistic space, where I could move from one section to another with the mood that I had. We also don’t have a lot of outdoor spaces or green, you know, like a backyard. So I really wanted my home to be as open and inspiring to me as possible.

What is the most interesting thing in your house that you really like?

Shruti: Me! (Pointing at herself) I match the decor, I’m nifty, I’m useful and I am comfortable.

Last year in an interview you had said that you were dealing with alcohol addiction. Is it true?

Shruti: I didn’t say I was dealing with alcohol addiction, I said that I used to drink. And a lot of people I think would agree with me that, drinking is such a part of social culture like you socialise at someone’s birthday. It’s an office party, you just have to drink. There are many times I’m with people who are like, ‘Oh, I really don’t want to drink tonight,’ but then you just end up drinking. It’s something that I wanted to change in my lifestyle because I felt like it’s such a part of societal culture. I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink coffee even. The only thing really was like drinking which was a part of my life, and it wasn’t that it helped me psychologically or physically, so I gave it up. But what’s really sad is people, like, blew it really out of proportion. And I think that that’s why people who need help are so paranoid about talking about it because there’s such a stigma. Like, women aren’t even supposed to be having a glass of wine. So I just feel that I’m happy that if I can help in some way for people to destigmatise that. There are a lots of women who drink. We have some of the largest numbers of closeted female alcoholics in the world, but there’s always that fear of talking about alcohol because it’s like, ‘Did you ever drink?’ Of course, I drank. Everybody drinks. It’s 2020. But I felt like as a lifestyle choice, it’s something that I didn’t want to do, and my life is much better for being sober.

Is there something that you’re addicted to?

Shruti: I think I’m addicted to living a fast-paced life. Like I love working. I love travelling and I travel a lot between London and India now for my music. So I really love the energy of being able to travel and work and like being on the go all the time. That’s really my addiction and Candy Crush. Yeah, I have a bad Candy Crush addiction.

Okay, so tell me what is going on here? Grey walls?

Shruti: Concrete walls actually. So the whole house is concrete walls and concrete floor which has been polished and I did up the whole place myself. And of course, I mean, there were people who came into the architectural stuff but I always love mixing. I think like my personality, a bit of mixing, like hard and weird and colourful. It’s concrete and a lot of unnecessarily colourful corners.

You’re doing Devi. That’s something we want to talk about because it’s all-female characters. How did you get this role and how challenging was it?

Shruti: So, basically Niranjan & Ryan, who are producing the film are friends of mine, and they told me about the concept. I met the director, Bianca and I just loved the idea so much. Then they told me the cast and I was like, ‘Yes, I have to do this. I have to be a part of it.’ So I really, really loved it. And I think it’s a very important film. When you guys see it, you’ll understand why I’m saying that. It also really stresses the point of women having to support each other and learn to coexist in a way that empowers each of us together.

How was it working with actors who are so much senior to you?

Shruti: I always loved working with people who have more experience than me, because it’s always been a fantastic learning experience. I’m a big, big fan of Kajol Ma’am, like I love her work. So I was obsessed with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, all of us were. So to work with her was amazing. There were just so many women in the film. Neena ji is such a veteran actor, wonderful woman as well. So it was nice. Then meeting like the whole young bunch of people as well. I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ve seen you on this Amazon show. So I’ve seen you do this.’ Neha. So it was really an amazing experience. There was so much oestrogen in the room. It’s like so much. I was like, ‘this is like a proper female attack.’

Is the energy on sets very different when the cast is all women? Does the work culture change?

Shruti: You know what it didn’t feel like that. I mean, we still had like, of course, the male crew on the set, which is a lot of women which is nice because a lot of the times it’s not so many women on the set. There are times I have sat on sets and realised ‘Oh my God! It’s just my hairstylist and me who are women’ because the scene is like that. But there were lots of women.

One thing that you can get rid of from this house, what would that be?

Shruti: I actually need to get rid of this record player because it doesn’t work.

One secret that you want to share with us.

Shruti: If it’s a secret, I probably don’t want to share it with you.

The latest film that you have watched?

Shruti: A latest film? I saw ‘1917’ in London and I got so emotional at everything about the story and about the way the film was made. And just everything about it. I was blown away.

A Bollywood film you wish you were a part of?

Shruti: I don’t like really have that kind of mentality like ‘I wish I had that’ but, I don’t know, probably I would have loved to be in Mughal-E-Azam.

Do you like online shopping?

Shruti: I like online shopping and it’s a big problem.

What is the last thing you bought?

Shruti: I actually ordered a really useless mosquito killer. It apparently emanates some weird light. Doesn’t seem to work. Yeah.

While we chat we couldn’t help notice all her awards lying around on top of the fridge. When asked, she promptly says that she doesn’t take awards seriously while she is still very happy to receive them. “I know people are really offended that like I keep my awards like so chill, but I love that I got these awards but I like never take them seriously. I put the Filmfares in the front because I probably should. But I love getting the awards. Sure on the night that I get them but I'm not like ‘Oh my god!’”

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