Chennai: Shraddha Srinath’s career didn’t take off the way she anticipated, especially after her first Kannada film got shelved. But the actress didn’t let the shaky start deter her, for she reaped benefits from it. Despite the initial setback, it’s been a great year for Shraddha, whose critically-acclaimed Kannada thriller “U-Turn” turned out to be a hit. She was soon signed on opposite Malayalam heartthrob Nivin Pauly in a yet-untitled Tamil project. “I never expected things to go so well. It could’ve been so bad but the fact that I did Pawan’s film (‘U-Turn’) gave me some confidence. I knew it will be watched and accepted by a lot of people, even though my performance was my responsibility,” Shraddha said. Looking back at her career and the way it has shaped, she says it’s nothing short of a dream. “When my first film got shelved, I had nothing in hand but projects somehow did keep coming. And if I look back now, I wonder what if I hadn’t got anything else. The film that got shelved, in a way, helped me get used to the camera. It was like net practice and prepared me for next projects. You could say I reaped benefits from the initial stage of my career,” she said. Her film with Nivin Pauly will mark her Tamil debut. She also has Mani Ratnam’s “Kaatru Veliyidai” in her kitty. Shraddha, who has already finished shooting the first schedule of Nivin’s film, is waiting with bated breath to start working alongside her Malayalam counterpart. “Nivin will join the sets in July. I’m very nervous because I’ve been following his work since my first Malayalam film ‘Kohinoor’, and I heard so much about him on the sets from his ‘Premam’ co-star Vinay Forrt. I’m really looking forward to start working with him,” she said. In the film, she will be seen playing a journalist, a role which she had already played in "U-Turn". While admitting both the roles are similar, yet she explains how they are different. “The only similarity between Rachana from ‘U-Turn’ and Meghna from Nivin’s film is the fact that both are journalists. However, their respective experiences differentiate them. Since I’ll be playing a similar role, it becomes my responsibility to essay it differently,” she said, adding that she’s also excited about working with veteran filmmaker Mani Ratnam. Unlike many heroines, Shraddha didn’t jump at the opportunity to play a cameo in Ratnam’s “Kaatru Veliyidai”. “I didn’t want it to be a blink-and-you-miss kind of role. I didn’t want to do a character that adds no value to the film. Only after the team told me more about the character and I went and auditioned, did I express my interest to do it. Even though this is a cameo, it could be slotted into an important character,” she said. Shraddha, who also has a bunch of Kannada projects, will join the sets of “Kaatru Veliyidai”, later this week.