'I want to do more meaningful roles'

Candid talk

'I want to do more meaningful roles'

Actress Nikesha Patel has starred opposite some of the biggest names in the Kannada film industry. She has always elicited a mixed response for her work but says that she is unfazed by criticism and is open to experimenting with all kinds of roles. Born and raised in the United Kingdom for most part of her life, Nikesha says she took her time to adapt to Indian ways when she first relocated to Mumbai a few years ago. But settled down sooner than she thought she would. She grabbed a lot of attention after her notable performance in Kannada films like ‘Narasimha’, ‘Varadhanayaka’, ‘Namaste Madam’ and ‘Alone.’  In an interview with ‘Metrolife’, Nikesha says that her journey in the Kannada film industry thus far has been both eventful and memorable.   

Your journey from a model to an actress.

I started out as a model because all you need to be a model is good looks and a great body. I qualified in both and thus, began my journey there. I am also an attention-seeker, so in this context, modelling was an inevitable choice. I was conscious that modelling is a short-lived career, so I settled in for my next choice which is to be an actor. I used to host a show on BBC during which I got my first movie offer for ‘Beauty Queen’. This was my beginning as an actor.

The audience has definite preferences...
The tastes of those who watch Bollywood movies is quite different from the preferences of those from the Southern part of the country. For instance, actresses wearing a bikini in  Hindi, Telugu and Kannada films is normal but you wouldn’t find the same trend in the Tamil film industry. They have a conservative
audience. I think this mindset must change.

Does having definite goals help?
There was a time when the star cast would be my criteria for choosing a film but now I go by the strength of the script and co-actors take a backseat.

The perils of being typecast...
I am tired of playing the hero’s romantic interest in almost every movie. I want to go beyond just standing, smiling and looking pretty. I want to do more meaningful and performance-oriented roles. I did a different role in
‘Namaste Madam’ but I got very mixed responses for the same. While some people said they didn’t like me in the traditional, homely appearance, others said it was a welcome change.
     
Your take on the Kannada film industry and the remake craze?
Most Kannada films that I have acted in are remakes. I think those watching Kannada films are yearning for something fresh and new. Every movie that a director makes or directs becomes a part of his life, so I think directors must look at working on more original content.

Are actresses from Mumbai being sidelined?
Bollywood movies have a worldwide appeal but the demand for actresses from Mumbai is slowly going down. The preference is moving from actresses with perfect looks to more realistic-looking faces.

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