Much has changed about Nikesha Patel but not her plain speak. The former Brit model shares about her journey in films, realizations and love life. Sashidhar Adivi records her candid confessions.
Life after ‘Puli’
Initially, I was very excited about being an actress, but of late, my journey has become very tedious (smiles). When I came here, I didn’t imagine I will last this long. I ha ve done so many films and roles after ‘Puli’ but people still talk about that film. I didn’t think that even if it was a hit, I would have gotten several offers and if it doesn’t do well, I won’t get to do another film. But back then, I made a few mistakes. I rejected many offers because I was looking for a handsome remuneration. I think I messed it up there and then. I didn’t look at the value of a project. After ‘Puli’, I took a break for one-and-a-half year trying to find out what works. Then I was offered a Kannada film ‘Narasimha’ opposite Ravindran, and subsequently I have done six films in Kannada. In Tamil, too, I have got to do some good roles.
I was being offered glamorous roles in Telugu, while in the other two languages; I have been getting homely girl-kinda roles. Telugu audience likes to watch me in glam roles. I don’t think they will accept me in homely ones (smiles). It’s the other way round in Tamil and Kannada. So I am only giving the audience what the y want. As for Bollywood, I have been waiting because I am particular about starring opposite a big hero.
Honesty ‘not’ the best policy
People in the industry don’t like honesty. They have a problem when you speak the truth. The safest way out is to be diplomatic. I started to shut my mouth a little bit more now. The other day, someone asked me on Twitter which film of Allu Arjun I like the most. The truth is I haven’t watched any of his films, in fact I don’t watch my own films but for once. I can’t watch a film uncritically; I focus on the make-up, hair-do, direction and all. There are too many opinions within and outside the industry about me. But at the end of the day, it’s only my work that shows on the screen.
Despite me delivering more flops than hits, people still want to work with me. I think what matters is how confident you are and how talented you are. Having done different kinds of roles the biggest I realized that working with big stars brings popularity, but not necessarily success. I ha ve done several characters and I’m glad that people are appreciating all that. Star presence doesn’t matter to me now. In fact, if it’s a star, you get lesser screen space. If you work with a big star, people will say, ‘This is Pawan Kalyan’s heroine’. It took a long time for people to say, ‘She is Nikesha Patel’. I don’t mind working with big stars, but I should ha ve a substantial role like Nithya Menon and do films that are realistic.
Trisha, Pranitha and Charmme are my close pals
I am 120% romantic. You can’t find anyone more romantic than me (smiles). I had huge crush on Hrithik Roshan as a child. And I did fall in love once. He was in the limelight, but not into films. It didn’t work out and dealing with it was a wee bit tough. After the break up four years ago, I drew energy from my mother. She is my best friend. All the experience helped me in portraying emotions.
Away from films, I am a very grumpy kind of person and like to be in my own space. I chill out by reading books, Skyping with my parents, and attending dance classes. I am into learning Kathak and Hip-hop. I am not a foodie at all. The reason why I looked hefty sometime back was because I was diagnosed with a syndrome two years ago. 70% of women have this, due to which they gain in weight. The solution is to double the workout.
I like homemade food any day. Street food or five-star hotel food is not for me. Also, I catch up with my close industry pals Trisha, Pranitha and Charmme at leisure. I have been in Chennai for more than two years. To work in Tamil films, one has to have a better knowledge of the language. I also like to gain knowledge of the people and culture, so I bought a house in Chennai.