After she swept the audiences off their feet with her performances in Malayalam and Tamil films, Namitha Pramod is all set to enthrall Telugu film industry. The Kerala-born talks to Sashidhar Adivi about how she had to quit college to take up films, glam roles and Tollywood.
If not for films like ‘Traffic’ (the 2011 Malayalam release), Namitha Pramod would have been on her way to pursue her dream of becoming a professor. As destiny would have it, she went on to do films in Tamil and now Telugu. “I was planning to complete my degree and pursue a career as a professor. After getting into films, I discovered that this is a profession too and started my career as an actress,” the talented actress starts off.
A choosy actress, Namitha is not the one who is in a hurry to do five to six films a year. “I was in 9th standard when I did ‘Traffic’ but I have still been the same girl me over the years. I was always normal and I am the same even now. I still hang out with my friends and am involved in family matters. Glamour and limelight haven’t changed me at all. I go out for shopping and hang out with friends. It’s all the same. Only that I am asked for selfies by those who like me. It’s because of their love that I am here,” the down-to-earth girl says.
Her mantra is that an actor should be more in touch with the society. “An actor should connect with society, talk with people. Then only can one understand the behavior and attitudes.”
Namitha juggles both studies and films. “Right now, I am pursuing graduation through distance education. I got full-time admission in a college, but had to drop out because of film assignments. My teachers have always been very supportive. I am not like an actress for them. I am child-like, you know. All my friends are from my school.. They are very happy for me. They are my best critics who tell me ‘You could have done that better’ and stuff,” reveals Namitha, who is apparently proud of her companions.
Like many actresses of her of her ilk, Namitha is finding Telugu difficult to cope with, although she is confident of getting a grip of it. “I am doing ‘Kathalo Rajakumari’ and ‘Chuttalabbayi’ in Telugu. I was initially scared as I didn’t know a single word. My hair-dresser in Kerala is from Hyderabad and I learnt a couple of sentences from him. Today I can make out the gist of what is being said. When doing a Malayalam film, I am talkative on the sets,” she says.
Her stint in Telugu has had many funny moments. Thanks to her Malayali accent, she would end up pronouncing them as cuss words unintentionally! “Everybody would laugh out loud and tell me that it’s a very bad word in Telugu. So many incidents like this happened,” she states.
How does she see highs and lows in her career? “I don’t give importance to ups and downs. I don’t get overwhelmed by ups, neither am I underwhelmed by failures. I give equal importance to them.”
For someone who has done around 15 films, does she think her potential as an actress has been tapped yet? “The way I see, things have changed. My experience has changed me a lot,” she says, suggesting that learning is a continuous process. Like very few actors, Namitha doesn’t watch her own movies, but for once. “I don’t watch my films. I watch my film once in the theatre post release and I am done with it. I don’t get DVDs or watch on TV. I am scared to see myself on screen,” she says matter-of-factly.
Having done a number of girl-next-door and performance-oriented roles, does she want go the way of most actresses? “I really don’t like skin show. I give importance to the character and performance. My character has to look pretty on screen. I am not comfortable doing glamorous roles. If I wanted to do, I could have done that long ago. Money and fame don’t matter to me,” she says firmly. Her firmness invites us to ask the hypothetical question: Will you reject a glam role even it’s a Mani Ratnam offering it? “Definitely I won’t do,” comes a frank reply.
Did the pretty girl get proposals from boys or fans? “Actually no one has proposed to me. I studied in a convent school. I was with girls always. I had a huge crush on Hrithik Roshan during the days of ‘Kaho Na Pyar Hai’. Down South, I am a huge fan of Prithvi Raj,” she says.
Classical dancing is something many of her tribe learn. What about Namitha? “When I was in 6th standard, I tried to learn dance. But I realized that I am a pretty lazy person. Then, I got into academics. I was a rank holder in school. I would take books along with me and study on the sets. I would study after coming back to my room, too,” she says.
How different is Tollywood from Mollywood? “I love the industry. It feels like home only. The way they treat you, the way they make things clear, I find it very interesting. I do have relatives in Hyderabad. I find the city pretty cool. When I tell people I don’t like Biryani, people ask me, “Oh my God, you don’t like Biryani!” Even in Hyderabad, she likes to eat Punjabi culinary. I didn’t get the time to visit places here as I was too busy with the shoot,” she signs off.