Nithya Menen Said, Things In 19(1)(A) That I Had Never Experienced Before
Actress Nithya Menen is certainly taking an occasion in Kerala. While various would think that the lockdown was an extensive break, Nithya disagrees. “It was just five months, and I’ve taken longer breaks than that. Everyone seems like a year went so fast, but it wasn’t a year. The lockdown was lifted in August, and that I am shooting from September. I even have been home just one occasion since then,” says the actress, who finished dubbing her portions for Indhu VS’ 19(1)(a) that also has Vijay Sethupathi and Indrajith Sukumaran. In conversation with Nithya.
Compared to your films within the other industries that have you ever in diverse roles from cameos to female protagonists, in Malayalam, you’ve got been a part of movies, like Praana and 19(1)(a), during which the story revolves around your character.
Honestly, I hadn’t considered that till you mentioned it. These sorts of movies give me a pleasant space; naturally, if a movie is that character, there’s a big emotional graph. But I even have also done Kolaambi, which isn’t entirely on me. There are tons of other actors, and Renji Panicker and Rohini’s characters have much more screen space within the film.
Frankly, while choosing movies, I don’t check whether it is a multi-starrer or a single-heroine project. I hear a narration, and I like it, I do it; it’s that straightforward. If I prefer the script, it doesn’t matter where my character falls in it. That’s why you see the range. If I had a criteria, you’d have seen a pattern.
What can you tell us about working in 19(1)(a) after the lockdown?
We had planned to shoot the movie before the lockdown started. So, the minute the lockdown was announced, we had to place everything on hold, and once the restrictions were lifted, we could start soon as everything was ready. The story was narrated to me years ago, and it’s been in my mind ever since. I like the film because there are things in it that I had never done before. The character, the pace of the movie, certain scenes and shots within the film – all of which I even have never wiped out my career.
Was it an emotionally exhausting character?
Not even a touch bit. It’s the precise opposite. I used to be extremely happy throughout the shoot. It’s a subtle movie.
How was it working with Vijay Sethupathi in an exceedingly Malayalam film?
Sethupathi and I only had a couple of days of shoot together, but both folks enjoyed shooting. He thought we didn’t have enough scenes together. Our combination scenes were nice to shoot, and that we all felt the two characters were wealthy together and had excellent chemistry.
During the lockdown, you had said that you had plans to direct a movie. And in the projects conceived and executed during the pandemic, most are more involved because the cast and crew are limited. Does it help in gaining directorial lessons?
I am repeatedly asked about direction, and that I say, ‘Yes, I might like to.’ But it doesn’t mean I’m getting to direct now. It doesn’t have a time-frame or plan as of now. Currently, I feel I even have to try to do more in terms of acting.
As for shooting during the pandemic, there was a slight change when it came to 19(1)(a) because it had been shot in Kerala, and therefore the State is stringent when it involves following pandemic restrictions. We had a small crew, and that I enjoyed it immensely. The very fact that there weren’t too many of us on the sets meant there wasn’t an excessive amount of noise and chaos. I used to be optimistic before the lockdown, thinking that folks are now getting to know that you can shoot with a smaller crew. I always want to have a problem with the chaos on the sets. It’s something that disturbs me immensely. But it’s bounced right back to normal now.