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The best of both worlds for Malvika Nair

Malvika Nair  

Malvika Nair has been promoting her new Telugu film Orey Bujjiga which will stream on Aha from October 1, and simultaneously preparing for exams for her bachelor course in history, literature and political science. A student of St Francis College, Hyderabad, the actor says she loves both cinema and academics equally.

Orey Bujjiga was scheduled to release in theatres on Ugadi, March 25, but as theatres closed down in the wake of COVID-19, both the film and her academic schedule went into a state of limbo.

Looking back at the lockdown, she says, “I had to find new ways to keep myself motivated. I also got to realign my priorities. A lot of people in my generation have the urge to do too many things too soon; we are over-achievers in a way. I found it tough to cope sometimes. There were days when simple tasks became strenuous. It was good to slow down.”

She took up Orey Bujjiga, filmed in 2019, since it gave her a chance to play a fun character, a departure from the serious roles she had done before. “It helped that director Vijay Kumar Konda was very chilled out; that helped me let go of inhibitions. It had been long since I did a non-serious role. I had gotten used to playing serious characters,” she says.

Her Telugu debut in Nag Ashwin’s Yevade Subramaniam (2015) saw her in a partly light-hearted character, egging on Nani to fulfil Vijay Deverakonda’s last wish. She then went on to shine in Nandini Reddy’s rom-com Kalyana Vaibhogame, before Taxiwaala and Vijetha came her way. There was also a cameo as Gemini Ganesan’s wife Alamelu in Mahanati (Nadigaiyar Thilagam in Tamil): “It was a short but serious character. With Nagi (Nag Ashwin) at the helm, I trusted his vision and did what I was told,” she says.

Malvika Nair

Malvika Nair  

Malvika had debuted in Tamil with Cuckoo (2014), earning appreciation. Since then, she’s been part of both Telugu and Tamil films. She had begun acting when she was in school and after Yevade Subramaniam, and again after Kalyana Vaibhogame (KV), she thought she wouldn’t face the camera again: “After KV, I took a break for a year, both from cinema and studies. I had completed Class XII. I realised how much I missed both cinema and studies and that’s when I decided to pursue both,” she says.

Malvika says the structured and predictable approach of academics complements the unpredictability of cinema. It’s been an effort, studying and working, and she mentions with pride that she’s good at academics.

Ask her if academics is the reason we didn’t see her in many films and she says, “It’s also because I said no to projects that didn’t align with my sensibilities. I turned down stories and characters that lacked gender sensitivity, for instance.”

Reverting to talk about Orey Bujjiga that stars Raj Tharun and Hebah Patel, Malvika says the film was made for theatrical viewing. She had pre-release jitters when the film was scheduled to release in March. She recalls, “During a preview, I watched only the first half and nervousness got the better of me. I usually watch my films once they are released, in the company of my family or friends.”

In the pipeline are new projects that include writer-director Srinivas Avasarala’s next Telugu film, and a Tamil film titled Arasiyalla Idhellam Sadhaarnamappa.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 6:07:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/malvika-nair-talks-about-her-new-telugu-film-orey-bujjiga/article32729691.ece

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