Dressed up in jeans and a trendy top, her hair swept up in a tight bun, Girlie came to Mollywood, riding a bicycle. And the way a young heroine was supposed to look in a Malayalam movie changed forever.
Nadia Moidu smiles as she recollects the fashion statement she had made as Girlie, her character in director Fazil's Nokketha Doorathu Kannum Nattu, way back in 1984. “I remember reading somewhere that I was also the one who introduced Salwar Kameez to Malayali women; well, nothing of that was intentional, but it feels good to know that I could influence a lot of women,” she told The Hindu at Kozhikode where she is shooting for director Joshiy's Sevens.
“The other day, a Muslim woman came up to me and said she began to ride a bicycle after watching Nokketha Doorathu…and that made me happy,” says Nadia. “Though Girlie was entirely a creation of Fazil's, her looks and clothes were my idea, but it wasn't difficult as I was born and brought up in Mumbai,” she adds.
Girlie made a deep impact, and Nadia went on to act in several Malayalam films. With films like Shyama, she proved that her performance in Nokketha Doorathu… was no flash in the pan. She also made a mark in Tamil cinema too before bidding adieu to the tinsel world in 1989.
She came back in 1994 to act in a memorable comedy, Vadhu Doctoranu. “After that, films were not on my mind at all as I lived with my husband Shirish Godbole in the United States and England. So I was surprised when the Tamil film M. Kumaran, Son of Mahalakshmi was offered to me,” says Nadia. “I had moved back to Mumbai by that time and agreed to do the film, on the condition that I would not dye my hair white as I did not want to play a typical screen-mother,” she says. She returned to Malayalam cinema this year with Doubles which opened in theatres recently.
“I would like to do substantial roles, but they are hard to come by for an actor of my age,” she says.
“It is a pity that Indian cinema offers little for female artistes once they turn 30; look at Hollywood where actresses like Meryl Streep, who is my favourite, and Julia Roberts continue to get author-backed roles though they are not in the prime of their youth,” Nadia signs off with a reality check.