Nithya Menen is quite a familiar name now for Bollywood audiences, too. After enjoying success in south Indian films, Nithya made a grand debut in Bollywood with Mission Mangal. She is an actress with an amazing sense of finding good scripts and is pretty choosy about the projects she commits to. The Ustad Hotel actress was present at the recently held 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2019, where her film Kolambi was screened. She had taken part in an interactive session as well along with Kannada actress Rashmika Mandanna.
After the event, Filmibeat Managing Editor Shweta Parande caught up with Nithya Menen for an exclusive chat, in which the actress spoke about IFFI 2019, her favourite film at the festival, her stint in Bollywood, her acting process and more. Excerpts from the chat...
How was the session that you attended at IFFI 2019?
The session was great and I think it went really well. Baradwaj Rangan (moderator) took the whole session in a really nice direction. We had a really productive chat.
Is this the first time you are at a film festival or IFFI?
Yes, this is the first time at a film festival and also the first time at IFFI. I have never attended something like this before or wanted to watch films. But this time, I really wanted to and I have enjoyed watching a couple of films.
Which all films did you watch at IFFI 2019?
The day I landed here, I watched two films. The first one was the Belgian movie, Cleo and the other one was the Iranian movie, It Must Be Heaven, a fabulous movie which I really loved.
You wanted to pursue cinematography at the FTII (Film and Television Institute of India). Did that happen?
I had applied for the course but couldn't write the entrance exam. Back then, I was committed to a movie, which was supposed to be shot in two months but it took a year to get completed. Hence, my plans to go to the film school was kind of cut short.
You have done journalism as well. So do you enjoy the process of acting and filmmaking more than journalism?
I have only studied journalism but I have not worked as a journalist.
Can you tell us something about your sense of style and fashion and how do you choose your clothes off screen, especially for events? How much thought do you put into these aspects?
I think about my fashion sense when I have to make public appearances or if it is a part of my job, I would or else I seldom think about it.
How is your process of acting? Does it differ according to the language in which you are working?
Not at all. The process cannot be different because of the languages as it is a very small factor and it doesn't matter to me at all. I approach every film in the same way. My process of acting is spontaneous and I go with the character offered to me. I can speak all the languages fluently and it has never been a concern for me.
Is there any favourite among the roles that you have done so far?
I tried to avoid that question at the session. I definitely liked the character that I portrayed in OK Kanmani.
Bangalore Days is one of the favourites of many. Do you have any fond memories about that film?
Of course. Initially, Anjali Menon (director) wanted to me to play the female lead but I couldn't due to my busy schedule. So finally, she asked me, 'Will you do at least this character? It will only take a couple of days and it is in Bangalore and would be like at home. Please do it'. I was really happy and immediately said yes. I love shooting in Bangalore since my house is located there and I could go for the shoot from my home, which happens very rarely.
How was your experience in Bollywood and please let us know about your future projects as well?
I am always open to do movies in any language as long as the subject is good. There are some amazing directors in Bollywood and they make some really good films out there. I really hope that I could express myself well through films in Bollywood. If projects that match my sensibilities come along, I would like to work with such directors.
Any particular director that you would want to work with?
I don't have any particular name in mind. When I watch some of the movies, I feel as if I want to do a film like this. So, there are people and films like that. But I can't think about any particular name as such. I just want to do good movies.