Interview of Nivetha Pethuraj about ‘Das Ka Dhamki’

‘Das Ka Dhamki’ will be released in theatres on March 22. The Ugadi release marks Nivetha Pethuraj’s second outing with Vishwak Sen after ‘Paagal’. In this interview, she talks about doing the commercial entertainer, her journey in the film industry, her upcoming movies, and more. The actress, known for Telugu films like ‘Chitralahari’, ‘Brochevarevarura’, ‘Red’, was last year seen in a guest role in ‘Virata Parvam’. The Aha Video web show ‘Bloody Mary’ was released last year.

After ‘Paagal’, I received three film offers headlined by Vishwak Sen. I was offered Mithila’s role in ‘Ori Devuda’. I couldn’t imagine myself in that role and so I said no. I rejected another movie. I latched on to ‘Das Ka Dhamki’ because I felt this is the right kind of role for me. ‘Dhamki’ and ‘Paagal’ are a total contrast. When I came to know that Prasanna Kumar Bezawada has written the movie, I called up Vishwak and sought a narration from him since he is the director. I really loved his narration.

So far, I have played only sober roles in Telugu. Prabhu Deva once felt that I am apt for active female lead roles that involve a lot of dancing. ‘Dhamki’ is the first Telugu film that satisfies that talent of mine. The comments section on YouTube features remarks that say Nivetha has been shown in a new way in ‘Dhamki’.

When you are playing a glamorous role, the spotlight is on you. An actor has to balance between commercial roles and performance-centric ones.

Vishwak producing and directing ‘Dhamki’ besides headlining the film as a lead actor has been very tough for him. He took a couple of days to find his feet on set. On the first two days, he couldn’t complete the planned scenes. He slowly got into the groove and deftly took care of the project. As a producer, too, he handled the project remarkably. After Trivikram sir, he is the most energetic filmmaker I have worked with. I think ‘Dhamki’ is going to be a commercial milestone in his career. ‘Falaknuma Das’ was good but it was a raw film.

As a creative thinker, Vishwak has got a lot of original ideas. I feel he is best suited to wield the megaphone for other heroes. If he works with someone like Balakrishna sir, it would be an exciting idea. He can also tackle gangster subjects, I assume. He has a very different way of planning promotions. He is relaunching himself with ‘Das Ka Dhamki’ as a second version of himself.

In ‘Dhamki’, I have got scenes with a lot of cast members, including Rao Ramesh. Rohini ma’am is a superb actress. After its story, Dhamki’s biggest strength is its casting. As for music, it is extraordinary. Leon James composed a song in less than a week. He is the next big thing in the field of music.

For me to do a film, I have to feel like doing my character. I accepted ‘Paagal’ after multiple narrations and after saying no to it for 18 months. The final narration convinced me to do the film.

Cinema is a mere passion for me. This is not my life. I am also looking after my business operations in Chennai. I had set out with the aim of not seeing my film career as my whole life. I am also an introverted person. I don’t hanker after film offers. I don’t lobby for roles. I am not like that. I am ready to repeat my co-stars. Telugu producers are the best. They are flexible and comfortable to work with. They are ever-ready to let the artists tweak their schedules. Even in Mumbai, they talk about how easy it is for actors in Tollywood.

I run a flower shop and a restaurant in Chennai. Next year, my parents are going to move to India from Dubai. I want to settle down things by that time.

My fans want to see me in meaty roles. Someone once advised me not to do unimportant roles even in superstar movies. Take Sai Pallavi, for example. Films like ‘Fidaa’, ‘Virata Parvam’ and ‘Love Story’ have happened to her.

‘Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo’ gave me so much exposure. Everybody watched it in Bollywood. When I am in North India, commoners recognize me by that film and want to click pics with me. Otherwise, I am not up for secondary female lead roles. Trivikram sir is highly knowledgeable. When it comes to Telugu language history, he knows the origin of words/literal flourishes in detail.

I am doing a film titled ‘Parugu’ with Gold Box Entertainments (owned by Sushmitha Konidela). Pavan Sadineni is its director. I have a grey-shaded role in the movie. I completed shooting for it recently. I am also doing a film in Hindi, and it is a thriller wherein my role is heavier than it that in ‘RED’ (Ram Pothineni’s film). It is produced by T-Series. I am going to listen to a story tomorrow.

I have been astrologically advised not to produce movies (laughs). I might direct a film but production is a big no. If I ever do a biopic, I would want to play Kalpana Chawla on screen. I want to see Soundary garu played by Nithya Menen.