Tara Sutaria
Tara Sutaria Image Credit: Instagram/Tara Sutaria

Bollywood actress Tara Sutaria loves a good thriller and ranks twisted Hollywood hit ‘Gone Girl’ as one of her all-time favourite films in the genre.

So it’s no surprise that the former Disney darling jumped at the chance of being a part of ‘Ek Villain Returns’ where a serial killer is on the rampage.

“The aim is always to keep doing things that excite me as an actor and I feel I am the kind of person that if I don’t enjoy what I am doing, it will show on my face and the screens,” said Sutaria in an interview with Gulf News.

In this Mohit Suri directorial, Sutaria plays Aarvi, an effervescent pop idol in the ensemble film featuring Arjun Kapoor, Disha Patani, and John Abraham. The trailer indicates that a serial killer, possibly the one from the original, is back on the streets preying on unsuspecting women.

“I have always enjoyed thrillers and darker films. So this was right up my street,” said Sutaria.

‘Ek Villain Returns’ is the sequel to Suri’s 2014 pulpy thriller about a serial killer who’s emasculated during the day by his wife and channels his rage by turning diabolically violent and killing innocent women.

The original starred Sidharth Malhotra, Shraddha Kapoor and Riteish Deshmukh, while the second installment has four major leads indicating that director Suri has upped his game in terms of warped players and villains. The trailer indicates that the serial killer chooses his prey because the women were a part of unrequited romantic proposals. The violent killer is dubbed as a mentor to spurned male lovers.

“This is the film that I am proudest of and I never say this because I am super-critical about everything I do. But this is the film that I am proudest of. I hope people will come and genuinely just support us because it’s a tough time for the movies,” said Sutaria.

Tara Sutaria and Arjun Kapoor in 'Ek Villain Returns' Image Credit: Supplied

She has a valid point. Bollywood has been eclipsed by South Indian fantasy epics like ‘RRR’, ‘KGF: Chapter 2’ and ‘Pushpa’, and are struggling to roll out money spinners. She hopes this thriller will turn the tide in their favour. Here’s her take on joining the hit franchise, her role and her ridiculous on-screen chemistry with Arjun Kapoor…

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Tara Sutaria Image Credit: Supplied

Joining the second instalment of ‘Ek Villain’ franchise:

“‘Ek Villain Returns’ is a sequel to the 2014 film but it’s set in a completely different world than the first part. I love this genre of films and I am a lover of this franchise. Director Mohit Suri has created so many dimensions to the second part. But what drew me to this film was my role. The character is very close to my heart because I have always wanted to play a singer. Singing has always been special to me all my life. Before I became an actress, I was a singer first. And the prospect of singing my own songs for the first time in a Hindi film was a uniquely rewarding experience … Singing to my own songs felt like I was coming home. And of course the villainy and the story of this film also appealed to me.”

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Tara Sutaria in 'Ek Villain Returns' Image Credit: Supplied

Her insane on-screen and off-screen chemistry and camaraderie with Arjun Kapoor:

“We didn’t know each other before we started filming this movie. We met in Goa to shoot our first song for the film. The minute we met, we got along like a house on fire. What best friends who have known each other for life is what we do. It’s crazy. Despite not knowing each other, we became very close. I feel like I have known him all my life and I am very grateful that he was my co-actor in this film. You can see our genuine friendship in all those ridiculous posts that we keep putting up of each other. It’s a very genuine and rare friendship. And in this industry, it’s not easy to come across a real friendship. I am very grateful that we are who we are today … Plus our friends’ circles are so different and we don’t share that many similarities. But when it comes down to the basics, I have his back and he has mine.”

Tara Sutaria and Arjun Kapoor
Tara Sutaria and Arjun Kapoor Image Credit: Instagram/ArjunKapoor

Being a part of an ensemble thriller:

“I love this genre of films. Even if I wasn’t in this film, I would go watch it … We have an amazing ensemble cast like John and Disha too. This film has brought out a side to each of us individually and you have never seen that of us before. John Abraham has some defining traits as an actor and a star, and the same goes for Arjun, Disha, and me too. But here you can expect the unexpected from us. John has brought a certain vulnerability to this film. He has amazing style, while Ajrun has this macho vibe that he has brought to the table. Disha is effortless and unbelievably sassy. And I hope you see a different side to me too.”

Bollywood actors Arjun Kapoor (L), Tara Sutaria (2L), John Abraham (2R) and Disha Patani pose for pictures during the trailer launch of their upcoming Hindi-language action thriller film ‘Ek Villain Returns’ directed by Mohit Suri in Mumbai.
Arjun Kapoor, Tara Sutaria, John Abraham, and Disha Patani Image Credit: AFP

Her process of choosing a role in a film:

“I don’t choose a film based on who’s in the movie because that would be so foolish. Remember, I was launched with another actress in ‘Student Of The Year 2’. So if it’s something that bothered me then I wouldn’t have done that film. When it comes to ‘Ek Villain Returns’, we have been extremely content and secure in our positions because of the ambience that we were surrounded by … Every actor in this film has got their own niche and there was no room for discomfort or insecurity. And I honestly believe that the mood on the sets reflects on the screen. The comfort among us is palpable.”

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Actors Ananya Panday, Tiger Shroff and Tara Sutaria in her debut film 'SOTY2' Image Credit: IANS

On filming this thriller in between lockdowns and COVID-19 wave in India:

“On most films, you tend to do readings and workshops. But on this one, we actually began shooting it just before the second lockdown began. I was in Goa with Arjun and we just had a week and a half to shoot because COVID was all over the place. We just met and did our lines together. Just before shooting our first scene, we didn’t even get to do that many readings because COVID was just rampant at the time. But I wouldn’t have it any other way because it brought spontaneity and intrigue to our scenes. We improvised after we met and our scenes didn’t look overly rehearsed. Arjun and I clicked and everything just fell into place.

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Tara Sutaria in 'Ek Villain Returns' Image Credit: Supplied

Her debut single ‘Shaamat’ becoming a chart buster:

“To be honest, I have always been a person who focusses more on the process than the outcome. And, I don’t mean that in a ‘cheesy actor/actress way’. I have grown up in a family who has always been steeped in the art world and they are completely obsessed with theatre. So it has always been about the process rather than the numbers that a film or song racks up. ‘Shaamat’ was an unusual song and there are not that many tracks today that have a sort of mid-tempo concert festival feel. And that’s what connected to the youth and I am thrilled that it’s doing remarkably well.”

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I have the utmost regard and respect for singers in our industry. My childhood friend is Armaan Malik who’s loved in our industry and abroad. I am so proud of him … His brother Amaal is also so loved and we have known each other since we were kids

- Tara Sutaria on her favourite pop idols in India

Don’t Miss It!

“Ek Villain Returns’ is out in UAE cinemas on July 29