Monday, Dec 18, 2017 | Last Update : 04:57 AM IST

Why am I still asked about MS Dhoni?

THE ASIAN AGE. | SUBHASH K JHA
Published : Sep 20, 2017, 1:23 am IST
Updated : Sep 20, 2017, 1:24 am IST

Now Raai brings her 12 years of experience in the South Indian film industry to Bollywood where she is being launched as the protagonist in Julie 2.

Rai Laxmi
 Rai Laxmi

The very svelte Rai Laxmi was not so svelte when she was doing films in the South. “For my Hindi debut in Julie 2 I’ve lost seven and a half kilos. For this reason I’ve lost films in the South. They’re saying I am too skinny now. But if I am to work in Bollywood, I have to have bikini body, right?”

Right. That’s Raai for you. Spunky and self-made she has done approximately 60 films in the South. “I’ve done films in four South Indian languages, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. I didn’t know a word of any South Indian language when I started in 2005. Today I can converse in all four languages, though I’m still not allowed to dub my own lines because they are very particular about pronunciation in the South. When I started in the South Indian industry I didn’t know anybody. I had no godfathers, no connections in any entertainment industry in any part of India. I got films on my own. Yes I am self-made and very proud of it.”

Now Raai brings her 12 years of experience in the South Indian film industry to Bollywood where she is being launched as the protagonist in Julie 2.

She laughs nervously. “It does feel like a responsibility when I am told I am the hero of Julie 2. And I do feel pressurized. But I know we’ve made a very powerful film about the struggles of a newcomer in  the  film industry.”

Raai has herself gone through some of her character’s struggles. “I never had to face the casting couch. But I was propositioned in indirect ways and subjected to a lot humiliation. It is something all newcomers go through, unless you are from the film industry. Luckily I got my first film (in Tamil) quite easily. My actual struggle began after that. I had no work for some time,” she says. Did her 5-year relationship with M.S. Dhoni affect her career?

Raai takes a deep breath. She says, “It didn’t affect my career. But it seems to have made a permanent place in my reputation. So many years after it ended, I am still being asked about it. The strange part is, the headlines in Mumbai make it seem as if I am seeking publicity by talking about him when in truth I’ve gotten over whatever existed between us a long time ago. I’ve been in a few relationships since. No one asks about them although my boyfriends were well known. Why am I still asked about Dhoni, then?”

Tags: julie 2, ms dhoni, rai laxmi