Friday Review

On a dream run

Nikki Galrani   | Photo Credit: special arrangement



Nikki Galrani is indeed flying high having acted in all the four South Indian languages. Her three Malayalam movies – 1983, Ohm Shanthi Oshaana (OSO) and Vellimoonga, raked in the moolah at the box office and her fourth Malayalam movie, Ivan Maryadaraman opposite Dileep, releases soon. She has two more projects coming up, Rudrasimhasanam with Suresh Gopi and Oru Second Class Yathra with Vineeth Sreenivasan.

Nikki is leaving for Switzerland to shoot for her Telugu movie, Krishnashtami and is busy doing some last minute shopping for the shoot when I finally get her on the phone. Mention that she is being talked about as the lucky heroine of Mollywood and she breaks into laughter, saying: “I have been hearing it for long. I don’t take it seriously. In fact, it is the other way round, Kerala has been really lucky for me. I had signed Ajith, a Kannada movie first, followed by a Tamil movie, Yagavarayinum Naa Kaakka and then 1983. But it was 1983 that released first and that really set my career going,” she says.

And what makes the success really sweet for her is that though she didn’t have much of a screen time in her movies, she got noticed. She even walked away with the best newcomer award at almost all the private film award events. “When people talk about 1983, they mention Sachin Tendulkar, Nivin Pauly and Manjula Sasidharan [her character in the movie]. I had a cameo in OSO, yet people remember the role. Vellimoonga was all about Mamachan [Biju Menon], still my character, Lisa, had a crucial role to play,” she says.

Nikki is the younger sister of popular Kannada and Telugu actress Sanjjanna.

Although she has done a course in fashion designing, modelling came Nikki’s way and that eventually led her to movies. It was one of her modelling assignments that got her 1983.

It wasn’t easy in the beginning with Malayalam being quite a tongue twister for her, Nikki says. Also, she had little exposure to Malayalam cinema till then. “Except for the two Malayalam movies in which my sister acted, that is Casanovva and The King and the Commissioner, I hadn’t seen many Malayalam movies. But I think I’m falling into the groove and managing quite well. People often ask me about the experience of working in different South Indian languages. There isn’t much of a difference when you talk about the art as such. But then Malayalam films are more realistic and closer to life,” she says.

She is excited about the release of Ivan Maryadaraman, a remake of the Telugu film Maryada Ramanna, which has already been remade in four other languages. Showering praise on her co-star Dileep, she says the actor took a lot of trouble to teach her Malayalam. “I think I am better now, though most of the times when I speak Malayalam it is like watching a comedy show,” she says.

She is also looking forward to her role in Rudrasimhasanam in which she plays “Haimavathy, a thampuratti, a challenging character indeed.” Meanwhile she has projects in Kannada and is awaiting the release of her Tamil –Telugu bilingual.

Before signing off, Nikki says that she will be around as long as she is getting good offers. “I am very choosy about the roles, irrespective of the language. I have never gone after any role. I have done 12 movies in the last one year, and feel really happy with what I am doing now. I could not have asked for a better career. But I want to ensure that I won’t be just eye-candy,” she says.

Short takes

* Being a Sindhi, I am an absolute foodie. After working here, I am very fond of boiled rice and fish curry.

* My hobbies are working out and swimming, which also keep me in good shape.

* I love wearing salwars and saris, but jeans and a top is my comfort wear.

* My favourite movie of recent times is Bangalore Days.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 4:14:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/on-a-dream-run/article7057275.ece

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