New star on the horizon



The "Chandramukhi" girl Nayantara is making waves in Kollywood, says S. Shivakumar

In the haunted house that forms the location for Chandramukhi's plot, a strange story unravels. Superstar Rajnikanth as the doctor, and Jyotika as the possessed woman, really shine. There is also a timid girl, played by Nayantara, who is blamed for the violent happenings in the now famous storyline. With this role, Nayantara has arrived in Tamil cinema. Catching up with the young star from Tiruvalla on the sets of Gajini, a film in which she is paired with Surya... .

Post-Chandramukhi, she is surrounded by autograph-hunters. Clad in black corduroys and bright orange shirt, Nayantara launches into a freewheeling conversation. Does she always like to be clad in trousers? "No, I love saris, though it makes me look older than I am," she says. The smile does not vanish when she is asked whether she is doing roles opposite older stars because of her "mature" personality. Sarath Kumar and Rajnikanth were her co-stars in her first two Tamil movies. "It just happened that I was offered a role in Chandramukhi when I was on the sets of Ayya. The rest was like a dream," she says.

Nayantara's maturity comes across when she is asked about Jyothika's sterling performance in the lead role in Chandramukhi. "Yes, she had done a fabulous job. But on the professional front, it was a rare opportunity for me to be Rajni's co-star."

Nayantara is getting rave reviews for her latest movie Raapakal where she is paired with Mammootty. "It was a really challenging role and I loved it. Both of us play servants. I am sure my fans in Tamil Nadu will love it," she says confidently.

Coming to the traffic-stopping billboards... images of Nayantara kissing Silambarasan splashed all over the city caught the public eye. "I don't think anything is wrong with kissing. In the movie Vallavan, the script calls for such a scene. Of course, the one depicted on the poster does not feature in the film. It was only a promo."

If you thought Nayantara was a favourite with senior actors alone, think again. She is also doing movies with younger heroes such as Surya (and Silambarasan of course). "I never planned to act only with older heroes. It just happened. When offers came, I felt it would be good for my career," she says.

For this Air Force officer's daughter, Bangalore is a favourite holiday destination. "I just love to relax there. I am not the partying type and I prefer to spend time with friends."

What about her forthcoming releases? Besides Gajini and Vallavan, there is Kalvanin Kadhali with S. J. Suryah. The grapevine is that she will be seen in a Kamal Hassan film too. Is it true? "I hope so!" she laughs.

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