Nandita Swetha Interview: Comforting at times, novel at others
The actor talks to CE about her film Hidimbha, playing a police officer, working in Telugu cinema and more
Nandita Swetha is no stranger to playing a cop onscreen. After playing a police officer in the recent Tamil film IPC 376, she yet again donned the khaki for last week's Telugu release, Hidimbha. "Donning that khaki uniform, a second time for Hidimbha, I feel a lot more at home, for sure," says Nanditha.
The actor, known more for her career in Tamil cinema, plays the female lead of Hidimbha, a serial killer procedural drama set against a backdrop of cannibalism and indigenous lore. The film not just marks a homecoming to the khaki uniform but also to Telugu cinema. "I am somehow feeling the same vibe, the same emotions I felt while promoting Ekkadaki Pothavu Chinnavada, my debut Telugu feature. That film was both memorable and successful. I have a feeling Hidimbha is going in that same direction as well," says Nandita.
In Hidimbha, Nandita plays a police officer on the hunt to find a serial killer who has been preying on young women wearing red-coloured clothes. Speaking about the film, Nandita notes, "What makes this film interesting is we are investigating a string of murders, not a single one." The film's plot has multiple missing girls at the centre of it all, as well as a female police officer at the helm, trying to get to the bottom of the issue. Before one could ask if Hidimbha is a female-oriented film, Nandita corrects, "Not every film with a strong female character classifies itself as a female-oriented film. I do play a strong role in Hidimbha, but my role is on par with that of Ashwin Babu, the film's male lead."
Apart from the novelty evident in the film's plot, Hidimbha gave some specific, hitherto inexperienced challenges to its female lead. "I am a very jovial person, always laughing and chatting away. Hidimbha required me to adopt a more serious disposition. I play the hero's commanding officer, so my body language had to reflect that as well," says Nandita, who goes on to reveal that she broke her no-kiss rule for Hidimbha. "This was just something I had never done before, but that romance felt necessary for the larger proceedings of the film. So, I took the plunge," replies Nandita.
Commenting on other the action choreography of Hidimbha, Nandita says, "The story demanded that my look be very simple and functional. The kind of action I did in Hidimbha also falls in the same category. It is not like I land a kick and ten guys fly in the air."
Post Hidimbha, Nandita has an interesting lineup of films. "I am committed to appearing in a handful of films, in both Tamil and Telugu. I am particularly looking forward to Ajay Bhupathi's Mangalavaaram, in which I play an important role. I was supposed to appear in RX 100, his debut film and that wish of working with him is finally being fulfilled now. This is a very interesting, experimental film, and I have a feeling people will really love it once it is out." signs off Nandita.`