Nandini Rai: People have been calling me Samantha of digital platforms
The former Miss Hyderabad is associated with six new projects and has shot for more than three of them this pandemic
The Covid-19 induced hiatus has hampered the plans of a lot of actors, but nothing seems to have changed for Nandini Rai who has her hands full for this year. The former Miss Hyderabad is associated with six new projects, and what's more exciting is that she has completed more than half of them during the pandemic.
The first among them is Shootout at Alair, a series directed by Anand Ranga and produced by Sushmita Konidela. “I am paired opposite Baahubali-fame Teja Kakumanu. It's an eight-episode web series that unfolds in the backdrop of terrorism. I will be seen as a lower-middle-class Hyderabadi Muslim girl named Nafisa. I tried to look natural and didn't wear make-up at all. The character required me to speak Dakhani and it made for an interesting opportunity,” reveals Nandini.
She is also working on a web-film called In the Name of God (working title). Directed by Vidyasagar, the project is being bankrolled by Suresh Krissna and Aha. "I'm playing a bubbly village belle named Meera, who hails from Amalapuram and aspires to become an actor in the film industry. The character speaks with an East Godavari dialect and it's fun to portray it,” says the Maaya actor, adding, “We have completed the Rajahmundry schedule of the film, which also features Posani Krishna Murali, Priyadarshi and Vikas.”
Nandini is also looking forward to the release of director Teja's web series Ssh..stories, which is backed by Netflix. “I'm playing a queen in this web-series that dates back 100 years. It's in complete contrast to what I have done in Shootout at Alair and In the Name of God. I wore regal costumes and submerged myself in the character. The shooting was wrapped up recently in Zaheerabad,” she adds.
Also on the cards for her is Aadhya, a pan-Indian film starring Renu Desai. “It's a women-centric film that takes a hard look at the atrocities against women. Renu garu plays the central character, while I and Kabali-fame Dhansika will be seen in crucial roles. It's a special film for me as I have been fortunate to work with Renu garu, who has achieved a lot in her life. We have begun the shoot recently in Hyderabad,” shares Nandini, who is also working for Amazon Prime's web series called Something Fishy.
And last but not least, she has also signed Satish Vegesna's maiden web series. “It's a multi-genre web series that boasts of a huge star cast. I will be seen as one of the seven-eight female leads. The principal photography will commence in January,” shares Nandini.
Speaking about how safety precautions have been implemented on the sets, the Hyderabadi-girl explains, “Working in pandemic times is challenging and the whole experience is different. A set usually has 20-30 members, who come from different places. So going through temperature checks before entering the set, wearing a mask, washing your hands, and sanitising the premises or caravans every hour has become the new normal these days. I appreciate our production houses for ensuring all the guidelines are followed and safety precautions are in place.”
The model-turned-actor is happy that her hard work has paid off and believes that going step-by-step is the key. “It's a dream come true to get to have these many projects backed by big teams. 2020 has turned out to be one of the luckiest years for me. People have been calling me Samantha (Akkineni) of digital platforms. Being a Samantha fan, I'm overwhelmed at being compared to her,” signs off Nandini.