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Nithya Menen: The character I play in 180 is like me

Last updated on: June 22, 2011 12:03 IST

Nithya Menen: The character I play in 180 is like me

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

Nithya Menen straddles the world of Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada cinema with effortless ease, dubbing in all the four languages herself, which is a rare talent. She sings too, having crooned in Ala Modalaindi and the Kannada film Aidu Ondla Aidhu.

Nithya gets candid about 180, her new release, and discusses what else is in the pipeline.

How did you get to sign 180?

I was approached by Suresh Balaji after Kerala Cafe. I had heard of the film and that it was handled by good people. I heard the script and liked the character and could connect to her even the look and the clothes she has to wear. I was also happy to be working with Siddharth.

You play a journalist in the film. You wanted to be a journalist in real life. Did you fulfil that wish through the film?

Not at all. The film does not explore journalism. It's a love story. I play a photo-journalist and got to hold the camera a lot.

What is it that you liked about the role?

It's not in every film that you connect to the role. The character I play is like me. Vidya is bubbly, full of life, nosey, wide-eyed and innocent in a way. The way she approaches her love is not mature.

Image: Nithya Menen

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180 is a complicated love story

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How different is this love story?

It's not a regular love story where love is the main track. One gets to see two love stories and there is another track which I can't talk about. Love drives the film, but there is a dark side to Siddharth's character. It's a complicated love story.

Have you got equal footage with Priya Anand, the other heroine in the film?

I don't know about footage and that is not any of my concern. As long as I know what I'm playing, I shouldn't concern myself with others' footage.

How did Priya and you vibe on the sets?

Very well. She's a nice person. We are contrasting personalities. I am quiet and Priya is all over the place loud and happy. She was patient, nice, and made me talk to her. We get along easily now and she should get the credit for that.


Image: Nithya Menen

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'Jayendra is more like a friend'

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How was Siddharth to act with?

He is a professional. Having a good actor as co-star is always a pleasure as it gives you space to perform. It's nice to work with nice actors.

180 is a bi-lingual. Did you dub in Tamil and Telugu?

Yes, I dubbed in both languages.

How was it working with director Jayendra? Was he like a father figure?

He is more like a friend. If something bothered me, I told him. We shared a close rapport. Personally we are close friends. I have my own equation with all the people in the film--I am connected to all of them, be it Suresh Balaji, Jayendra or his assistant Arti.

How was the experience of shooting 180?

I shot a little bit in the US. Priya shot more there. It was my first visit to the US. I also got to go to Malaysia. The shoot will always hold a place in my life because of all the friends I made which will carry on for the rest of my life.


Image: A scene from 180

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'I am enjoying my own space'

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You are doing a Telugu film with Nitin directed by Vikram Kumar now...

Yes, I'm doing Ishq being shot by P C Sreeram.  It is also a love story and an entertaining one. I liked the way my character is treated. I am portrayed in a way I like--as a beautiful, charming girl. It's a perfect next film after 180, in a similar genre.

What are your other projects?

I've done the Tamil film Veppam slated for release shortly. For a change, I am enjoying my own space. I've been working in three-four languages. I'm happy to do it.

I've done Violin, a romantic musical directed by Sibi Malayil which is releasing this Friday. I did V K Prakash's Aidu Ondla Aidhu. I've sung and choreographed one of the songs, Payasa.  It's on YouTube. In fact it was the first song I recorded even before the ones in Ala Modalaindi. I'm also doing V K Prakash's Karmayogi in Malayalam.


Image: Nithya Menen

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'Working in different languages doesn't bother me'

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Your debut Telugu film Ala Modalaindi crossed 100 days and was a super-duper hit. How did that feel?

I chose the film because I knew it was good, honest and genuine and that's what connected the audience to it. None of us were known then except Nani.

It was a real honest film made by a bunch of friends. There was no vulgarity in it. One can't underestimate the audience. It was made from the heart.

Are you happy straddling four different film industries?

That doesn't cross my mind. I am doing a film. The fact that languages are different doesn't make any difference. It doesn't bother me. I like travelling, though sometimes I miss home and a normal life.

Image: A scene from 180

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