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Ready for this great SRK and Aamir combination?

Last updated on: January 19, 2011 10:39 IST

Ready for this great SRK and Aamir combination?

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

Armed with a Masters degree in International Politics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, B V Nandini Reddy entered films a while back. She worked as an assistant director to well known directors like Gangaraju and Krishnavamsi.

Now Nandini's debut Telugu film Ala Modalaindi is up for release this week. She talks about the rom-com, casting and about herself in this interview. Excerpts:

You have been in the film industry for quite a while. Why did it take you so long to make your debut film?

Because I didn't find a producer and an actor.

Being a woman, and a highly educated one at that, how tough was it to be in the film industry?

Initially it was difficult, because if you were a woman, you were thought to be a costume designer or dance master or dance master's assistant. It was odd to think of me as an assistant director.

But Gangaraju accepted me. Vamsi (Krishnavamsi) was apprehensive in the beginning about a girl working for him, but once he got passed the initial hesitation, he was comfortable with the idea and I became an inevitable part of his whole set-up. In fact, till date he keeps asking me if I know of any good assistants who are girls. I guess he realised that women make a huge contribution to the team.


Image: A scene from Ala Modalaindi. Inset: Director B.V. Nandini Reddy

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'My stories are fictional but the characterisation comes from real-life characters'

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How did Ala Modalaindi happen? How long did you take to script it?

I don't take very long to write a script. It took me a month's time. Nani was a friend of mine for the last five years before he became an actor. We met as ADs and used to bounce off scripts and talk about dialogues. I found him to be photogenic and expressive. So I suggested he get into acting. I told him not to worry about finding a producer and to just concentrate on acting. Later we did a photo shoot.

What triggered the story? Is it largely fictional or drawn from real life?

My stories are fictional but the characterisation comes from real-life characters. Like the hero's character is a lot like Nani. As I knew Nani was acting in it, it was tailored for him.

I'd pictured the heroine's character in a particular way but after I met Nithya, I altered it to fit around her personality because I found it interesting.

Had you met Nithya before selecting the cast?

Yes. In fact, I had seen her photograph on the Internet. A friend saw her promo of a Malayalam film and suggested I see it.  I saw it and called her but she was reluctant to act at that time as she wanted to pursue a course in cinematography. I convinced her that I would do the film before that. That's the running joke between us [laughs].


Image: A scene from Ala Modalaindi

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'You will fall in love with Ashish Vidyarthi all over again'

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How tough was it finding a producer?

Surprisingly it was not that tough for this film. Kalyan (Kalyani Malik) took me to meet Damu garu (the producer). The minute I narrated the script, they really liked it.

How would you define Ala Modalaindi?

The film essentially is in the rom-com genre. I thoroughly like commercial cinema and all the films I do by definition will be commercial. What I have tried to do is to create a little space by making the screenplay and conversations natural. It's completely entertaining but within the formulaic pattern in a sense and non-formulaic in the way people react to each other and the way conversations are structured.

You've got Ashish Vidyarthi in the film. Does he play a villain?

I would say Ashish has a very interesting character. I don't want to reveal too much but you will fall in love with Ashish Vidyarthi all over again. I feel we will reinvent Ashish Vidyarthi with this film.


Image: A scene from Ala Modalaindi

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'Nani and Nithya share a tremendous chemistry'

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How did you zero on Kalyani Malik as music director?

Kalyan has been an old friend of mine and ever since I heard the songs in Aithe, I decided that this is the man I wanted because he had a distinct and different sound even then. So I met him right away. 

How has the whole experience of Ala Modalaindi been?

It's been a wonderful roller coaster ride with lots of ups and downs. We've had great moments as well as terrible ones. I've learnt a lot more during the making of this film than in all those years of filmmaking. It's been a great journey and I feel I am a much more equipped director post Ala Modalaindi. They always say your first is a learning experience.

What did Nani and Nithya bring to the film?

They both share a tremendous chemistry. They're both natural actors. Nani is more the Shah Rukh Khan type of actor. He's got the flair, flamboyance and timing. Nithya would be more the Aamir Khan kind. She is natural, intense and earthy. A great combination of Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan in the movie.


Image: A scene from Ala Modalaindi

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'I am a terribly lazy writer'

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Is Nithya more of a method actor?

She's not a method actor. Acting is instinctive to Nithya. She's spontaneous. Both of them share a terrific sense of timing and so complement each other very well. They both have slightly different styles of acting but when they come together, it blends beautifully. Whatever be the destiny of the film, I got my casting absolutely spot on. That's one thing I'll always be proud of.

Are you nervous about the release?

Right now I am not feeling any nerves in the sense, it's like the bullet has left the gun kind of situation. Probably on the day of release, the butterflies may come back. Right now there is calm which is very Que Sera Sera.

What are the films you want to make?

I don't want to get stuck in one slot and continue with rom-coms. I want to make all kinds of films. Instinctively my next film will be a departure from Ala Modalaindi. I am a terribly lazy writer and I  will be very happy if I get great stories which I can go and shoot, but unfortunately I haven't got any as yet.


Image: Movie poster of Ala Modalaindi

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