Tinsel town starlet
Though her father’s job took her to various places, Smitha still nurtures a special attachment with Mysore. It’s here that she studied high school and college, writes Sreekantswamy B
When software was the hottest thing happening for most of the budding engineers, with the profession earning a fat pay packet, she dared to call it off one day, in quest of something really challenging.
Enroute her journey, she decided to try her hand in films, and went on to become a talk of the town for her daring act, without any inhibition, in ‘Avva’ a screen adaptation of journalist of yore P Lankesh’s popular novel ‘Mussanje Katha Prasanga’.
Yes, we are talking about Smitha aka Nivedita, whose ‘Nine to 12’ hit the screens recently. For the first time, Smitha has been paired with Kishore in Kannada, with whom she had also shared space in ‘Porkalam’ a Tamil flick. Though she has shifted her base to Bangalore, Mysore is her next stop always.
For Smitha, her five years stay in Mysore from 2000 to 2005, remains etched in her memory. Her father Jagadish was a deputy commissioner of commercial taxes and mother Lakshmi a housewife. Smitha, was a student of Marimallappa’s educational institutions from high school to second PUC. Churmuri, she used to binge on in front of the college, makes her mouth water.
A fitness freak, she used to take cross country walk to Chamundi hill daily in the early hours along with her father. Also an animal lover, Smitha was a member of the youth club of Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens popular as ‘Mysore Zoo’.
“How can I forget the once in a lifetime opportunity to feed animals under the supervision of experts — especially leopards and elephants”, Smitha recalls. Once she was pawed by a leopard and had to take antiseptic injection.
Ask about her stint of less than a year in Infosys as information science engineering graduate she says it was good.
When she thought of becoming an actor, she joined Anupam Kher’s school of acting ‘Actor prepares’ in Mumbai. After successfully completing the course, she grabbed an offer in Dinesh Baboo’s ‘Akash Gange’.
Says Smitha: “My first shot was alighting from a car and spitting a chewing gum. It was finally okayed after two shots”. Ironically, the film saw a delayed release, and ‘Sixer’ became her maiden movie to hit the screens. Her other memorable films include ‘Mathad Mathad Mallige’ as Vishnuvardhan’s daughter and ‘Avva’ among others.
Her acting talent definitely got noticed in the Vishnuvardhan starrer, where she joins a vigilante group in fighting against the society. However, it was ‘Avva’ which made her a hot property of sandalwood, for the kisses she rains on ‘Duniya’ Vijay, the film’s hero.
‘When Kavita Lankesh madam, the director of the movie, narrated the story, she had clearly spoken about kisses. I had to enact the same with perfection to make it look real. However, I was a bit embarrassed,” she said.
But she is happy about her performance after watching herself in the movie. Unlike most of the actors who blame thier busy schedule for not watching their own screen versions, Smitha says she watches her movies without a miss. “I am a biggest critic of myself”, asserts Smitha.
Her movies in Tamil include ‘Kadhai’ with newcomer Shan and ‘Markandeyam’, with another newcomer Shabarish, that is yet to hit the screens. Many do not know that she was offered a role in Bala’s ‘Avan Ivan’ that is already running to packed houses. In Kannada, ‘Pari’ with Rakesh, ‘Deena’ with Deepak and ‘Gandhi Smiles’ an experimental film await release.
She was a bouncer-like girl in her high school days that had earned her the name ‘Marimuthu’. “I used to threaten most of the boys who used to tease my friends”, says Smitha.