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I cried when shooting for 'Gentleman' climax: Niveda [Exclusive Interview]

Saturday, June 18, 2016 • Telugu Comments
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Niveda Thomas has made a seasoned debut in 'Gentleman'. Ever since its release, she has been described as a future sensation in Tollywood. In this exclusive interview with IndiaGlitz, the Chennai-based girl talks about what magic she has spun, what she thinks of Nani as an actor, whether she will turn to direction in future, and more.

Everybody is saying that you are a major highlight of 'Gentleman'. How does it feel listening to such sweeping compliments?

(Smiles) It's overwhelming. I am genuinely very happy. For all of us actors, a lot of love and thought went into our performances. I am glad people are noticing those layers of our performances.

Did you foresee this kind of appreciation?

I didn't. But I did foresee that this film is going to make the industry proud.

People are falling in love with you. What magic have you spun?

(Smiles) Avna? I don't know what magic I have done. I think it's the script which deserves kudos. I am glad that I could get it right with the help of Nani and Mohankrishna sir.

While Nani has said that talent-wise, you are a Kamal Haasan daughter, you have described him as next only to Kamal Haasan. How come you have come to appreciate each other so well in a short time?

I am a big fan of Nani. I have watched most of his films. He is my most favourite after Kamal Haasan. I am not saying it for the sake of it. It's a genuine compliment. We both are mad fans of Kamal. I and Nani enjoyed shooting for the movie and everything went so fast. It was like shooting for Ashta Chamma part 2, with me getting into their family.

Any particular scene where you loved Nani's acting so much?

I know it will be cliched to say in an interview but I liked every scene. Nani just killed it. But specifically, the climax scene where he breaks down is my favourite. Tears rolled down my cheek while shooting for that scene. He did it in a single take. The director had allotted one day for the scene, but we completed it in 20 mins.

Was it the first time ever that you broke down on a film set?

I didn't break down, but was really moved. I could see Gowtham in Nani. I was telling myself that my man is back.

You have said that Nani improvises a scene by giving insights. Any example of him changing the director's perspective?

He never changes the director's perspective. Mohan sir comes with a million perspectives. That is the beauty about him. 'Gentleman' is an unconventionally made film. Everything was thought about so many times. At the editing table, Marthand garu took care to edit the portions in such a way as to give the maximum impact. It's a pucca commercial film. Any scene, however well-executed, was removed if it hampered the flow of the scenes. I started working on the character from at least two months prior to the film.

How could you pick up Telugu so fast?

It was difficult. Initially, I found it was very complicated. I always thought Malayalam was complicated. But when I heard Telugu, I wondered how people manage to speak it. I am happy that I can also talk this language.

On a lighter vein, what should we do to learn Malayalam quite fast like you?

Learning Malayalam is not difficult. It's getting the slang correct that is difficult.

What was the most difficult line in for you 'Gentleman'?

In the scene where I bid bye to Nani, I have to tell him, "Ila aithe ninnu kaugalinchukunnattu undhi." I didn't know how to get it. I texted Mohan sir asking him to send an audio of how to pronounce it. He fragmented the word into two parts. That's how I could get it right when we shot the next day.

Samantha has said that Malayalis are born actors. As a Malayali, how do you take this compliment?

Malayalis are born with a temperament for literature and the arts in general. But to bring that out, you need a lot of support from everybody. It's not like only Malayalis are doing a good job. India has so much talent. It's high time the world sees it. We must start encouraging new talents. New ideas are coming up. Whoever is talented and works hard will shine.

Malayali girls come across as very confident ones. Isn't it?

(Shows surprise on face) Assalu teliyadu naku. As for me, I had only one thing on my mind: I shouldn't let Mohan sir and Nani down.

In the film, you are a middle-class girl. But your body language comes across as that of a girl from an upper class background. Isn't it odd?

My past is not told in the film. Catherene is a self-made girl. She brought herself up, and learned the hard way. The back story is not shown but she is a rough-and-tough girl. Having faced difficult situations in life, she has emerged strong from inside.

Most of them have flooded you with praises. But have you received criticism for your performance in 'Gentleman'?

I never bothered myself about how well I will be appreciated. Not even for a minute. I only wanted 'Gentleman' as a movie to be appreciated. I am extremely proud and happy that I am getting good reviews.

Any Telugu superstar with whom you want to work in future?

I want to work with Nani again. Again. And again. I also want to work with Mohan sir and Srini (Srinivas Avasarala).

Nani has said that you had a very good command over the script. Any chances of you turning into a director in future?

(Thinks for a while). Direction is not going to happen so soon. I like

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