Deepa Mehta cast Shriya Saran as the love interest of protagonist Saleem Sinai after working with her in Cooking with Stella.
"Deepa believed in me for this role. The trickiest part was to play a girl in 1947, who lives in slums. I did not know how slum life was back then. We had a workshop. She made me work in Mumbai slums for about two months to understand the life there," Shriya Saran said.
The 30-year-old actress believes Parvati is the role of a lifetime. She is looking forward to the release of the film on February 1. The film is being released in India by the PVR Pictures.
"Parvati is born seven seconds after the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947. She has got special powers. It was a challenging film to shoot because it was not easy to fit the entire book into two hours. The film is a mirror image of the India of that time. The interesting thing is that our dreams and aspirations have not changed much over the years," Shriya Saran said.
The actress, who made a name for herself by starring in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi films, says she loved Salman Rushdie's novel so she was delighted to relive the moments as a character.
"We relived those moments through this film. Every character has something to say and our biggest challenge was to put everything together. 50 pages are sometimes fitted into one minute but there is a harmony. Salman (Rushdie) loves all the changes that we have made in the film. He said he wished he could have thought about the changes while writing the book," Shriya Saran said.
The actress , a trained dancer in Kathak and Rajasthani folk dance, also had an opportunity to indulge in her passion during the film. She is seen dancing with abandon in one of the scenes.
"I am wearing my mom's old jewellery for that scene. I showed Deepa some dance movies and she told me to just dance. I am singing this Rajasthani folk song which fits in that situation. It is a beautiful scene," she said.
Shriya Saran, who has starred in films like Sivaji: The Boss, Awarapan and Pokkiri Raja, is busy working on a number of other projects.
"I think that the best part of being an Indian actress is that you can be a part of so many different films in different languages. I am doing Valmiki Ki Bandook in Hindi and have some projects down south. I am just going with the flow," she added.