Moving forward cautiously

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chat Actor Nikhil is being more picky about choosing films, with an eye on success at the box office

The caller tune of Nikhil’s phone is a soothing and melodious bhajan, with a singer chanting Swami Ra Ra repeatedly. For Nikhil, it doubles up as publicity for his movie Swami ra ra . Looking leaner, smarter and with a cool hair style that makes him look a lot younger, Nikhil is all smiles; he had been searching for the Swami Ra Ra tune on the net; when he found a devotional number he instantly uploaded it on his phone. He says, “My song in Swami Ra Ra can’t be this traditional, the term Swami Ra Ra has a significance which is integrated into the story.”

He adds, “The producers of my previous film Veedu Theda were impressed with the collections and cast me again for this movie. The next film Disco however did not do that well. I have worked with many new directors, some narrate the story well but they are not able to put it on celluloid the way they intended to. So I have to look not just for a story but for a person who can execute it as well. I have done nine movies in five years; Swami Ra Ra is my ninth film.”

Nikhil had neither a family connection nor a well wisher in the film industry to guide him. Perhaps that’s why he has been making mistakes, learning from them and consciously trying to avoid repeating them. He avers, “People say that I always do a good movie and then follow it up with a bad one. I am looking forward to break that jinx soon. One popular director said all it takes to become a star is to give two back to back hits; when you do that nothing will come in your way. I’m just waiting for that moment but right now one film is pushing me down and the other is pulling me up.” Nikhil’s choices and experiences have made him mature and wiser. He adds, “A producer with a sound background comes to me and narrates an action/ violent film. I have to politely refuse because I need to see whether the subject and dialogues work for me . I t is tempting to do such a mass movie but I need to reason and analyse a thousand factors. I’m being very careful and doing films that suit my age, so that I don't disappoint myself and people.”

One hears that Swami ra ra dealing with a Ganesh idol is about a treasure hunt and is made on the lines of Delhi Belly and Kshanam Kshanam - a crime thriller with plenty of humour. Swati playing a journalist and also his love interest. The debutant director Sudhir Verma has known Nikhil for eight years. Shot mostly in Kerala (Padmanabha Swamy temple), Tamil Nadu and Hyderabad, the film carries a predominantly native feel. Nikhil avers , “Sudhir has a lot of clarity, he first shot some scenes and showed them to me. I sport a very urbane look. Swati gets into trouble because of me and my friends. There are Jeeva, Ravi Babu and many more, all with a a purpose and an important track in the film. The story is not just about Ganesha, it has lot more to do with human emotions.”

Is he toning down his energy levels in the film or will he be his hyper active as ever? “I do what my director asks of me and what is required for the script.”


“People say that I always do a good movie and then follow it up with a bad one. I am looking forward to break that jinx soon



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