Nayanthara has bagged the prestigious Nandi Awards for Sri Ramarajyam given by the government of Andhra Pradesh.
The glamour queen of south Indian cinema’s transition to the Sita one of the most revered characters in Hindu mythology was a shock to everyone and today you think of the Hindu calendar gods and you might find Nayanthara’s face there. She has the face of an Indian Goddess.
There is something about Nayanthara that makes you stop and take notice of her. Unlike her contemporaries she neither had a sugar-daddy as mentor nor did she have a film maker as her best buddy to offer her films on a platter. She simply made use of her opportunities and the mythological Sri Ramarajyam not only won box-office success, critical acclaim and country’s eight biggest awards.
She could easily play a glamourous Sasha (in Billa) or Sita all at once. She is South Indian cinema’s answer to Marilyn Monroe and Madhubala. She extremely beautiful and has an air of mystery. And mystery is always beautiful.
Her happiness knows no bounds and after hearing the news of bagging the Nandi awards, and she spoke Sridevi Sreedhar. Excerpts from a heart-to-heart chat..
What are the names of three people that come into your mind after you heard the news of winning a Nandi Awards?
(Smiles) The three faces that pops up are Balakrishna sir, director Bapu sir and producer Yalamanchali Sai Babu. I would not have done this film, if not for Balakrishna sir. When I was not signing any new film, he called me up and gave me confidence to take it up. The fact that he even told me that if I am not doing it, then he will keep it in the backburner and start work, when I’m ready! That is something no big actor will say, considering the fact that there are dime a dozen girls in the industry. That one line of his touched me and I decided to do it. I have to thank my producers and director who believed in me, the entire unit members and my good friends who stood by me.
We all know that Sri Ramarajyam is very close to your heart....
It not only close to my heart but I feel blessed to do such a character in my life. Nandi is my eight awards this year for Sri Ramarajyam. I don’t think there’s more that I can ask God. Looking back, I think I was destined to role of Sita and there was no grand plan that this is the goal for the year. And it’s not even that I went out looking to do a film in such a genre.
I was going thorough a difficult phase in my life and it’s my good fortune that Balakrishna sir instigated confidence and believed that I would fit into the role of Sita. Working with a living legend like Bapu sir was like a dream come true for me and he gave me so much freedom. Producer Sai Babu made this film not aiming at box-office success but it was his dream as an ardent devotee of Lord Rama to make this film.
Did you relalise during the making of the film that the movie was heading to towards becoming a landmark one in your career?
Yes, I knew that Sri Ramarajyam will be a special film for me. There was positive vibes throughout the making of the film . Bapu sir handled my role with care and affection and I gave my best.
You have been touted as the woman for all seasons. How do you view yourself?
I do not consider myself anything like that! I fact, I wake up everyday look at myself in the mirror and thank God for everything in life. I am like the weatherwoman. I venture out to play come rain or sunshine. Work is not a chore for me. It’s my calling. I would be nothing without it. My passion for the art is enough to push me out of bed every day.
What keeps you going?
The lean phases are what keep me going. My faith in God, myself and my family are my biggest strength (Smiles). Time is the biggest healer and my work keeps me occupied and it minimises heartbreaks and pain to a large extent.
Do you feel that you are the number one heroine today?
I have never been affected by numbers.
Art films or commercial blockbusters?
Commercial all the way! It’s not a good idea to segregate cinema into two. I respect art film but I live for commercial cinema.
How important is it for an actor to have a set image?
It used to be necessary during 70’s and 90’s but not anymore. Today audiences are different. I could play a Sita and now make a comeback in commercial films with Ajit sir, Nagarjuna and Rana. We are actors and after doing a mythology or period film, we are back to being normal people.
Any more mythology films for you in the pipeline?
Not yet but I would love to do mythology films. I connect a lot to Hindu mythologies like Ramayana and Mahabharatha and am waiting for another good script in this genre.
Pic courtesy: JFW Magazine