I believe that my films should do the talking: Malavika Nair
The actor, who made her Tamil debut with Cuckoo and featured in last week’s Telugu release, Taxiwala, talks about her career, and why she’s happy to stay away from social media
Malavika Nair has impressed the audience with her performance as Sisira in Vijay Deverakonda's Taxiwaala. It has been winning her accolades and the actor is happy about the reception the film has got across the Telugu States. “The success has increased my confidence on my script selection. It’s not always that you can predict the success of a film. But I could see that this film would work wonders at the box office, even when I’d had just heard the narration from director Rahul Sankrityan. I have watched it twice with my friends, and the response each time was incredible.”
The Delhi-born actor says she always looks for characters with layers. “I also see how important they are to the story. Sisira’s character challenged me as an actor. It doesn’t really matter to me whether or not my character makes me look pretty.”
For the moment, Malavika is balancing films and education. “I am pursuing graduation (BA) in History, Literature and Political Science at St Francis College For Women, Begumpet. Of late, people have started recognising me and ask for selfies. Almost every other person asks me how Vijay Deverakonda is, and whether I had conversations with him on the sets.”
The Kalyana Vaibhogame actor is also a budding painter. “I work on ink, watercolors and abstract with a lot of detail. Eventually, I hope to organise a painting exhibition,” she says.
While her role in Taxiwala may have brought her a lot of attention, Malavika is in no real hurry to sign films. “I was in school when I first made my debut. Back then, it was difficult to apply for leave, but now that I’m a college-goer, it's more manageable, thanks to the support of my teachers and parents. However, I will wait for good roles. And even when I don’t have films, I have no regrets as education keeps me quite occupied.”
She’s done a dozen films so far, and the actor believes she’s all the wiser for it. “My experience has changed me a lot. I don’t give too much importance to success or failure. The highs don’t overwhelm me, the lows don’t depress me. I look for constructive criticism, and understand that detractors have the right to their perspective.”
The 22-year-old is among the few film personalities not on social media, and intends to keep it that way. “I think my films should do the talking, not me. On social media, I will keep projecting myself, not my work. Yes, social media has a wide reach, but I’m fine being away from it. It eats too much into my time. I’m a private person and so I don’t really try to make myself too visible." She adds that she doesn’t believe she has the motivation to keep coming up with attractive content to engage with her followers. “I’m on Instagram, but even there, I’m barely active. I guess I’m still trying to find a balance.”
Malavika feels that actors should be more in tune with society. “Actors should engage with their environment, interact with people. It’s only then that they can understand people’s behaviour and attitudes.”
A socially conscious person, she has been paying attention to the MeToo movement, and shares that as a teenager, she had to face some harsh comments on the sets of some Malayalam films. “Even though you have your parents around you, you are too young to realise that someone is trying to put you down. When someone comments on the way you talk or walk, it is really hard for you to remain unaffected. People need to be sensitive enough to use kind words because at times, such comments could well trigger a mental illness,” she warns.