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All eyes on Nivetha

Nivetha Thomas

Nivetha Thomas   | Photo Credit: arranged

A week since the release of Gentleman, Nivetha Thomas is being hailed as one of the most promising faces. Facebook posts are being dedicated to her and on Twitter, she’s being lauded as a potent combination of talent and good looks. “I was sure the film would be appreciated and was waiting to see it in theatres,” she says, talking to us in between back-to-back promotions.

The girl who hails from Kannur, Kerala, is at home in Hyderabad and has learnt to speak Telugu. “I would talk to unit members in Telugu, make mistakes and learn the lines. It became useful to get the emotions right,” she says.

She has a bunch of films to her credit in Malayalam and Tamil, including the Kamal Haasan and Gauthami starrer Papanasam, where she played their daughter. “I was so excited then, for the obvious reason of getting to watch Kamal sir at work. In terms of my role, Gentleman is the best so far,” she says.

At eight, Nivetha debuted as a child actor and ever since, has been balancing studies and shooting. “A Malayalam or Tamil film I worked for would become a big hit and I’d disappear for a while when the academic year opens. This has been the pattern for me. Even today, I spend my break time during shoots studying or sketching,” she says. Nivetha is studying architecture in Chennai and has two more years to go. “Both architecture and cinema are creative fields, requiring all my attention. My parents and I were clear that studies shouldn’t be neglected,” she shares.

Nivetha remembers being bowled over when director Mohanakrishna Indraganti narrated the story of Gentleman. “A few other Telugu films had come my way and I had to let them go because it clashed with my academic sessions. This time, it all fell in place,” she laughs. Nivetha rues not being able to do the dubbing. “Nani and Mohan sir were keen I do it myself. But there was very little time after the shooting completed and I had to appear for my semester exams,” she reasons.

A reading session helped her get acquainted with her co-actors and technicians. “A lot of planning was involved and when you work with an actor like Nani who improvises on the spot, you can’t take it easy,” she says.

She spent time with stylist Rajesh and the director to finalise the look for Catherine, her character. “There’s a back story to each person, which may not be elaborated, but it defines who they are. You see Catherine moving out of the house when her uncle taunts her and among the things she takes with her is a photograph of her parents, whom she lost in her childhood. That says everything. She has roughed it out and is now a confident, young woman. We chose a specific colour palette to go with each phase of her character. I chose clothes that would find a place in my own wardrobe.”

There’s curiosity to see what she will choose next, but Nivetha insists she hasn’t finalised her next Telugu film. “There’s a perception that Telugu cinema is only glamour and masala. I feel that’s changing. I want to be a part of logical, sensible films,” she says.

Her college reopens in July and she’s looking forward to the academic year. “When I was in school, I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. The thought of being in space was fascinating. I don’t know if I will be a full-fledged actor or balance cinema and architecture. Perhaps I would teach. There are so many dreams,” she trails off.

All through school and college, Nivetha has had support from friends and teachers. “But no one is partial to me because I am an actor. I work doubly hard to finish projects on time,” she says.

Cinema, she says, happened by chance. When her parents were approached to let her be a child actor, they weren’t sure if she was cut out for it. She wasn’t sure either. She thought she’d give it a try and one film after another followed.

There’s little time for pursuits beyond cinema and studies but when she does find time, she rides a Bullet. “I love the sound of the Bullet and the wind on my face,” she signs off.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2020 1:56:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/All-eyes-on-Nivetha/article14397047.ece

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