‘I have held my own amid some big names’
Nandita Swetha talks about successfully straddling the very different worlds of Tamil and Telugu cinema
Nandita Swetha is keen that no two films of hers be similar in genre. With her latest release, Kathirappor Pattiyal, coming out to good reception, she’s visibly happy. It’s a much-needed fillip for this actor whose only other release this year, Kalakalappu 2, featured her in a cameo. Nandita, who looks to balance her Telugu and Tamil film commitments, is working on finishing her second Telugu film, Srinivasa Kalyanam. She thinks of this as the best phase of her career, and shares that she’s getting a lot of offers.
She’s playing the mother of a seven-year-old in her next. “There are two dimensions to my character in this film. I play a carefree school girl with gay abandon. I also play the character of the mother, and the script provides for a lot of nuanced portrayal,” she says. “It all happens in the backdrop of a village. You will see a new me in this film.”
Nandita’s got an enviable line-up of films in Tamil including the long-pending Nenjam Marapathilai, and Vanangamudi in which she’s paired with Arvind Swami. “It’s a dream come true, getting to work with the likes of Selvaraghavan and Arvind Swami. Selvaraghavan is like a library,” she says. “I play a bold character in the film, and it’s brought out without any compromises. Honestly, after essaying that character, my confidence in my ability has grown. I kept wondering how Selvaraghavan had such insight into the mind of a woman.”
She has also pinned a lot of hopes on Asura Vadham with Sasikumar, with the script, according to her, being very liberating. “You will find a very mature Nandita in this film,” she says, adding she’s been asked by the production house to keep things in wraps.
Nandita says everything she gets now is a bonus, for, she’s come further than she expected. “All the work that is coming my way is a reflection of what I’ve done so far. I have managed to hold my own amid some big names, and it’s not easy at all.”
All set for the Telugu remake of Sathuranga Vettai, Nandita says it was her suggestion that the team cast a newcomer to play the main lead.“I love thrillers, and think the urgency of such stories makes me give my best.”
First-time director Balaiya Rajasekhar says he owes the success of Kaathiruppor Pattiyal to sheer hard work. He also attributes some of it to the prefix, Balaiya, which is the name of his grandfather. “He was a name to reckon with in the Tuticorin theatre scene,” he says.
While he’s delighted that the audience has accepted his film, he voices a tinge of regret when talking about its potentially limited theatrical run. “With many big films releasing this week, I’m not sure if my film will survive another week.”
Rajasekhar was working a software job when he decided to throw caution to the winds. “Actor Appukutty helped spread word around about this script, after I narrated it during the shooting of Mariyan when I was an assistant director,” he says.
The story of his latest film, he owes to his personal experience of getting caught by the railway police for a minor offence. “I was surprised by their efficiency,” he says. He also owes the good reception to the music of Sean Roldan.
The production house, he says, allowed him a lot of freedom. “I was just asked to follow my heart and make the film,” he says. “I’m thankful to them and all the artistes who gave their best for my film.”
Well begun is half done, it is said. Rajasekhar is keen to follow through with good work. “That’s what the business of films is all about.”