“I’m not sure what’s cringey about it,” Rakul said about the title of Chhatriwali.

Even though it came out two weeks ago, Rakul Preet Singh’s new movie Chhatriwali is still number one on Zee5. The movie does well because it shows how important sexual health is. In an interview with Hindustan Times, Rakul, who played Sanya, a condom quality inspector in a small town, talked honestly about the movie and answered some questions that Chhatriwali viewers might have.

What are your thoughts on Chhatriwali remaining at the top of the OTT platform?

Rakul: When people love and appreciate your movie, it makes you feel great. Especially with Chhatriwali, because of the sensitive topic and the kinds of messages we got from both women and men. Every day, people write to me on social media.

Sanya isn’t sure if she wants to take the job at the condom factory. When the film came to you, did Rakul actually hesitate?

Rakul: I thought the topic was very important. See, if I don’t want to do something, no one can make me do it. Because I have to do the subject, I have to believe in it. I really liked the idea, and I asked the director any questions I had at that time because it needed to be handled with care. You’re telling people something normal, but you’re doing it in a way that keeps it safe for kids to watch. I think he did a great job making sure the movie was family-friendly. I didn’t have any doubts because I really cared about the subject.

You told her about a sex education class she took in school, where she was laughing and wanted the class to end as soon as possible. How would you do the talk differently if you had to give it to anyone?

Rakul: I think the problem is when we don’t tell the truth and just keep going around in circles. I think that’s how Sanya does things. It’s as easy as calling a heart “a heart” and a uterus “only a uterus.” The more we talk about them as scientific facts and make them part of everyday talk, the more normal they will become.

I don’t know where the difference comes from, since it’s taught in schools. But I can’t remember what made us laugh back then. Now that I look back, I wonder why we were so shy and silly. Our minds are being controlled by society somewhere. If you want to change that, you have to start at home. It’s important to know about your body. Being aware of yourself is not the same as taking advantage of yourself.

Some people have criticised the movie for having lines about unprotected sex, such as “Humare pati homemade rasgolla khayenge, woh bhi jaisa unhe pasand hai.” Many thought it was backward. So, what do you think about it?

Rakul: How will they know? You can’t say “hum toh waise hi karenge jaise” and use the word “sex.” They have to know, right? The way I used words makes it so that you can watch with your family without feeling weird.

Because the whole problem with the first attempt is that you don’t say the words in the right way. The point needs to be made. Some people will like it, and some won’t. Our goal as a movie is to please as many people as possible by making it clear without making it cringey. If you’re sitting there with your teens, who need to know this, we have to make sure you understand the language we’re using to get our point across.

People still call condoms “chhatri” and don’t want to call them by their real name. Rakul’s character points out the problem at one point. The word itself makes me cringe, as many people said when the name of the movie came out. So, what do you think?

Rakul: This is hurting society. Condoms have many names, like helmet, chhatri, raincoat, and God only knows what else. Now, because she works at an umbrella factory, people call her Chhatriwali, which means “umbrella worker.” What is cringe-worthy about Chhatriwali? It’s in your head. The mind is where the thought process starts. If your mind isn’t in the right place, things will seem funny or weird to you. Duniya aise hi bolti hai, na toh usi language me sikha rahe hai.The movie can’t be called “Condom Tester.” Then they will say, “How do I get my title?”

Before Chhattriwali, you were last seen in Doctor G, which also had a social message because it was about the taboo of a male gynecologist. Are you sure you want to watch these movies? Are you going to read more like this now?

Rakul: Before that, I was in Cuttputlli, thank God, and Runway 34, which have nothing to do with this, so there’s nothing like that. If the script is good and talks about a topic, that’s great. If not, I want to do my commercial, naach gana, and all that. It all depends on what you feel at that moment.

With so many movies under your belt, do you think you’ve gotten past the idea that you’re just a “girl next door”?

When did I get that label? Who put that label on me? Toh yeh tags ka pata nahi nahi hai.I don’t know anything about the labels people give me. In fact, after “De De Pyaar De,” people thought I was cool. Doctor G and Chhatriwali have put in the image of the girl who lives next door.

I don’t think there’s a tag. It’s only true if you think it is. As an actor, it’s my job to be able to play different roles and be someone other than myself. That’s the great thing about our job, and it’s also what I like to do. I don’t think I fit into any particular category. Like I said, I want to make both naach gana commercials and different, hard-hitting movies.


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