March 06, 2013 Y. Sunitha Chowdhary
There is a silent determination, there is innocence and there is vulnerability, exuberance and she can be assertive too. Nithya Menon brings with her to the Telugu film industry 15 years of acting experience in Tamil and Malayalam cinema yet she exudes freshness and plenty of charm. Seldom do we see this permed hair beauty dolled up but for an occasional lipstick at filmi functions. She became a familiar face after Ala Modalaindi and now speaks reasonably good Telugu and has fetched quite a few films to last for a year.
Considering that she did strong content-oriented movies down South, does she regret running around trees? "I never came into the industry making conscious and strategic moves. I got an offer from Nandini Reddy, I heard, liked and did it. That becoming a hit is something I didn't plan or expect. Even in Telugu I do my best to do films that I've never never done earlier. It's a wrong notion that down South they do great films. Bad and good films are made in every language. Telugu is much bigger and much more commercial, I don't believe in good or bad, I do films that appeal to me," she avers.
Nithya says the reason that keeps her going here is the appreciation, love, recognition that she gets from Telugu cinema and all the hard work she put in Malayalam never fetched her a recognition. "I've done some fantastic cinema there but I got my first State Award from Andhra Pradesh, none from Kerala. People know I'm here to do good films, they appreciate and recognise my work. They look at me the way I want to be looked at."
But isn't she being typecast as an innocent girl always? "People expect the same stuff from Snigdha and Tagubothu Ramesh, ditto with me. I was just 21 during Ala Modalaindi, That was me not my character Nithya in the film. I was allowed to be who I was. Four years later I can't be the same person. I grew quickly as a human being and it reflects on my films. I find it hard when they want me bubbly but I can't be something that I am not in this point of my life..but I do try. Who I am and what I have become reflects on the camera," she explains.
The actor is now doing an assertive character in actor turned director Rohini's debut movie in Tamil that has Nasser, Pasupathy, Salim, etc. She says it's a surreal character and has the place to do something intelligent the character that is hard to understand which is not like all those films that general public may watch. It is a about a 12 year old boy's journey and she surprisingly plays Nasser's wife. Like Tamanna, Nithya is aware and enjoying the fact that she has become the crowd puller in all her recent films that had hero's grappling for attention.
She sounds glad when she remarks, "Girls would earlier dance and vanish, I wanted to show that being an actor I too can be a selling factor and make a huge difference. I can't judge if a film will run well or not, I have realised not all good films do well and not all bad films. I just move on to the next, I don't think, detach completely the minute I'm done. Even the dubbing seems to be an extra thing for me because I have already moved."
About her work, Nithya observes that there is need to do something after a film winds up, another movie obviously. "Earlier I would do it only if I wanted to but now I feel the pressure if I don't do anything for a while. I'm not a workaholic and I would earlier be okay not doing anything. Yemito Ee Maaya, which is not a love story is my next release and I find Sharwanand one actor who matches up to that level of thinking, very sensible boy and a good performer. Gunde Jari Gallanthaiyinde is the other movie with Nitin."
Finally is there anything she craves to do? "Yes, at the moment I'm craving for food. I'm hungry. I don't do anything consciously about reducing, I don't look at it seriously at all. I put on, I lose weight. No big deal."