If a psychologist were to hear Nivetha Thomas, she would conclude that this beauty with brain has a high emotional quotient. She doesn’t show off her opinions formed from observations and perhaps, reading. Southscope observes that when she talks, nothing about her speech is superficial.
“I can act, but I can’t act like a heroine,” she declares at the outset.
A student at heart, Nivetha says that juggling school/college and films has been like a switch-on-switch-off affair for her. “When I was in the college, I didn’t even have to tell myself that I was a student because even when I was shooting, I would study.”
But hasn’t it been difficult to manage both studies and acting? “My parents have brought me up that way. It was difficult and it still is. That’s what I enjoy. When in 12th, I wondered if I should rethink. So far, I haven’t faced a situation that forced me to say, ‘No man, I can’t do’. There were days when I badly needed time for studies; I would need to get back to decimals and fractions. Whenever I went to school, it used to be Maths exam,” Nivetha smiles, sharing her challenges.
She may have made a mark today as an actress, but becoming an astronaut was and is something on her agenda. “I wanted to be an astronaut and also act. I think I could have done both. I may still do it in future. You never know. But after 2 years, I will be dedicating myself to films for some time.”
Doesn’t she find it taxing to live up to the pressures of her creative profession? Doesn’t it sap her energies because she is also graduating in aeronautics? “All that I want to do in the industry, for now, is to learn, grow and create a strong core. You own an image or path set by others for you. You kind of push yourself to choose films on the basis of that paradigm. Some of them who allow themselves to do that vanish after gaining popularity. I am blessed in that my fans have got along with my tempers,” she observes. This brings us to her learning curve.
“I don’t want to just float away. I want to dig deep and see how better I can act. I have learnt to open up a little bit more over the years.”
An actress of mettle, she hasn’t shied away from playing supporting roles. “When you are in public life, people know about your life 24/7, they are in the know of your moves, etc. I don’t want to fit myself into a set image, which is why I have chosen to play character roles,” she reveals.
But did she ever have any second thoughts before playing that role in the Kamal Haasan-starrer ‘Papanasam’? “No. I was approached by Jeethu Joseph for the Malayalam film ‘Drushyam’. I couldn’t take it up because of my studies. He didn’t think about what other roles I had done when he sought me for the Tamil film. Since I missed out on the Malayalam version, he wanted me to do the Tamil version. Any day, I’d do a role of substance than a plain female lead’s role with no place in the story. Sometimes, the film will be exactly the same even if you crop your role. Working with Kamal sir meant that I was given enough inputs,” Nivetha analyzes.
When with friends, she is hardly conscious of her actress identity.
“I drive to college myself, I love coffee, chit-chatting with friends, you know, normal stuff. My friends understand how difficult it is for me to balance things, so they help me out. I call them home and we learn together. The only time I think they think of myself as an actress is when we are watching my movie in a theatre.”
Though Nivetha claims that she hasn’t got any proposals, she reveals, she’s full-on romantic at heart. “I am an absolute romantic. I think a lot, the way I understand things, how I treat people, sometimes the way I talk – these make me say I am a romantic person.”
Given that she’s completely romantic, what does loves mean to her? “I never fell in love. I love everybody. You can be romantic in so many different ways, but falling in love is different. If I love somebody, I should get married to that person. It is always a give and take when it comes to love. In love, one should feel free. So many people believe that love is a bondage and that it binds one to do certain things so as to keep the other person happy. You tend to become a mirror image of the other person. That’s not love. You should know that the other person will be there for you,” she says profoundly, “My man should be someone who respects everyone around him;” the thinking actress signs off.