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Counting Swamy’s blessings

VISHNUPRIYA BHANDARAM
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Chat Nikhil is on a happy high after the success of Swamy Ra Ra. He talks about the value of a script, director and storyline

New phaseNikhil Siddharth
New phaseNikhil Siddharth

He has been looking for a break for a long time; after Happy Days and Yuvatha , no other film worked in favour of the 28-year-old Nikhil. All that changed last week when the Telugu film Swamy Ra Ra managed to come out as a decent hit even without getting a taste of the Friday buzz. Debutant director Sudhir Varma’s Swamy Ra Ra has been garnering good reviews and that is making Nikhil subscribe to the ‘catch-me-if-you-can’ motto especially with his numerous promotional gigs, movie-related flash mobs and what not.

He recalls Kshana Kshanam, that one diamond film in RGV’s film bouquet, and says when he heard the script of Swamy Ra Ra , he got the same feeling. “What is better than a crime-comedy?” he smiles. “This is my ninth film and all I can say is wow,” he smiles. Nikhil and Sudhir Varma have known each other for a long time and decided to the make this film, for which Nikhil underwent a huge makeover. “Sudhir just asked us to leave the whole story, screenplay and script to him and asked us to go through a total makeover,” he chuckles.

Nikhil plays a suave pickpocket in Swamy Ra Ra . “We as actors have to change colours like a chameleon and I did,” he says. It is not just appearance that he worked on; since Nikhil was keen on winning the multiplex and family audience too, he says that he became conscious about the kind of roles he was doing and felt the need to work on getting them back., “I thought of this as a career-changing role,” he declares.

Looking back on his earlier films, does he have any regrets? Nikhil says that he doesn’t regret the films but regrets his decision to get swayed by ‘mass’ appeal than looking into the worthiness of scripts.

“Everybody had a certain idea about the kind of films I should do. I followed suit. I should have stopped to think,” he says. Nikhil realises that he made mistakes but is ready to charge ahead with confidence, “Many of my friends used to tell me that I was better than what I was doing, they were disappointed in me. I guess this film is a stepping stone towards redemption,” he says.

He also credits the audience on becoming ‘mature’; “If a film like Swamy Ra Ra is being appreciated, it has to do with the fact that the audience is growing. I don’t buy it when people say that people want to watch a ‘certain’ kind of film. The audience will pick quality over quantity, as filmmakers we should keep our faith in them,” he says and gives us a foodie metaphor to ponder over,

“If you keep having dosa everyday, you will begin to crave for idlis soon enough,” he laughs and adds that the merits of this ‘quotable quote’ can be questioned.

VISHNUPRIYA BHANDARAM

We as actors have to to change colours like a chameleon… I was asked to go through a total makeover.

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