Nandita Swetha is fuelled by the strides she has made over the years. Sashidhar Adivi meets the new-age girl with a vintage appeal.
Hailing from a Bengaluru-based orthodox family and being a focused and determined girl, Nandita Swetha has defied shibboleths to become what she is today. “A film offer came my way when I did a jig on the stage in school. I was surprised and was in dilemma whether to tell my parents or not. This was my second offer. When I finally told my mother about it, he said that if I dance on stage, it doesn’t mean I can do cinema. Later on, when my dad contacted the filmmakers, he was convinced when they told him, ‘Your daughter is our daughter’. My debut project ‘Nanda Loves Nandita’ (2008) was a superhit. I was getting a lot of Tamil movie offers but was rejecting, which is why everybody would ask me and parents why I wasn’t doing films,” says Nandita narrating how it all began.
Becoming an actress made no difference to her at school. “I was already a celebrity at school, people used to recognize me because I would participate in a lot of extra-curricular activities and debates. The teachers had no problem because I was good at studies and going to school regularly.”
Since she comes from a conventional family, how did cinema change her? “Besides learning Tamil and a bit of Telugu, I have learnt that one should have patience here. Success and failures ought to be taken in your stride. After delivering hits in a row, I was shocked that I couldn’t take it when one of my films did not do well. Earlier, I was never conscious about the audiences’ reaction. From that film, I felt something is not right. When I watched the premiere, I suddenly became conscious,” says Nandita, who has been into modeling and commercials, besides dubbing for cartoon films after she became an actress.
Saying that she always aims to be at No. 2 because she doesn’t know what next after No. 1, Nandita informs that she doesn’t want to shock the audience by switching to glam roles overnight. “Last year, I took a decision to do more films. People have known me as a homely girl till now. I have to try something different. I want to show greater maturity in my performance, try varied emotions and take my acting to the next level. I count myself among performance-oriented actresses. But if a role demands, I am ready to glam it up. But before that, I got to prepare the audience. I want to do it gradually.”
She reveals that in her next Tamil film ‘Idam Porul Yaeval’, she looks darker. “I have a wheatish complexion. But in this film, I am tanned. The make-up takes some 1 and a 1/2 hour and the same amount of time to be removed,” she says.
Ask her if she had any crushes, pat comes the reply that as her father was strict, she wouldn’t even talk with guys. “Many guys did propose to me. But I was too busy to give time to such stuff. I used to enjoy it though when boys followed me. When I was in 6th standard, a boy studying in the 7th gifted me a ring. Years later, my junior would follow me. If people felt, it was not my first movie when I debuted, it’s because I could bring all that I had experienced to my role. It’s not like I didn’t fall for any. When I was in 10th grade, in the computer class, I was falling for my sir. In fact, everybody was falling for him,” she recounts nostalgically.
For someone who hasn’t fallen in love, what turns her on in a man? “I never thought of it. I have to think about it now (laughs). On second thoughts, honesty and respect towards my job and interests are what I look for in a man. I can’t stand a guy who questions me too much. I love possessive guys, but suspicious guys are a strict no,” she reveals. So, what’s her take on relationship? “Every time you are trying to prove something to the other person and that’s not how it should be. Love is not about proving all the time,” she opines.
“I am not a party girl. I am a reserved person, although I come across as very talkative,” she informs.
Ask her about fashion statement, she says, “Wearing for your happiness and comfort is what matters.”
Nandita is on her way to debut in yet another South Indian language – Telugu. “I was getting a lot of offers from Tollywood after I acted in 2-3 movies in Tamil. But I was not actually ready. I wanted to wait. I was not getting the kind of movies I was expecting. Finally, ‘Ekkadiki Pothavu Chinavada’ happened,” she says.
How is she finding the Pearl City? “As of now, I have been limited to Ramoji Film City. I am savoring Andhra cuisine here. I love it a lot. I had developed a taste for Andhra food even in Bengaluru.” Spice girl, huh?