She is positive. She is cool headed. Just like how a stream is loose and gushes, so are her lips. Words gushed down her loose lips at 1GB per second with her mellow giggles.
At 23, she has worked with many A-list actors and directors in M-town. After making noise with her spectacular performance in 1983 as Manjula, Nikki Galrani is on a career high. The year 2014 has been the best for her. Manjula aka Nikki has touched several hearts down south with her performance in 1983, as Lisa in Vellimoonga and as Krishnendu in Ivan Maryadaraman in M-town.
Taking some time off her busy schedule in Switzerland, she talks to Unique Times about how cinema changed her life …
- NIKKI in short…
About myself in short … I’m very random and a very unpredictable kind of person, who is quite crazy. I’m very adventurous, I love travelling and I’m a very big foodie!
- Did you always want to become an actress?
When my sister was an actress, I would never even go to her shooting locations. I have always been away from the industry and the press. I have never planned out anything in life, I graduated in fashion designing and acting is something which just happened to me. I took life as it came and just going with the flow. I think I was destined to be here … And this is where I’m now and pretty glad that I made it here!
- So how has your journey been like?
Well… I have had the best start to my career. I don’t think I could have asked for anything more than this. I have done 10-12 movies in a span of one year. I have worked in all the 4 south languages. All the movies haven’t released yet, but most of them have and the rest are ready for release. So I have had a wonderful start with my debut in1983 last year January.
- 3 things no one knows about you
- I’m dead scared of rats.
- I’m a disaster queen. I very easily hurt myself.
- I’m very scared of heights and needles.
And most importantly …if anyone has to bribe me for anything, you just have to get me a dabba of biriyani, my weakness!
- Fashion to you …
Fashion to me is comfort, confidence and about expressing myself. No matter what you are wearing , you can look stylish in anything you wear … be it a sari, a dress, a pyjama, shorts , what so ever you just have to carry yourself well …
- Why is 1983 a dream come true?
Well yes, 1983 was pretty much a dream come true for me. Ever since I signed my first movie, I wanted to play a village girl because I have had absolutely no connection to a village life. All my life I have been based in Bangalore, my dad is from Mumbai and mom is from Chennai, so there is no village connection ever in the family. So I never got to go to a village in holidays like my friends, who would go to meet their grandparents… I have always wanted to experience a village life, see how people live there with minimum facilities and feel the ambience of such an environment. It has been a dream to live a village life and has always excited me. Never got to do it in my real life so wanted to have the experience in my reel life. And that experience is what 1983 gave me. So 1983 is a dream come true!
- How was it acting with Dileep in Ivan Maryadaraman?
Acting with Dileep ettan in such an early stage in my career has been another dream come true moment. It was really nice and a great experience working with him. Inspite of being such a huge superstar, he is such a simple and humble human being. I have learnt a lot from him and its been a great experience working with him and the whole team of Ivan Maryadaraman.
- How similar is the real Nikki to the roles you have played?
Each character that I play in every movie differs from the other because I make it a point that I choose something which is different from the earlier projects I have done. In 1983, Manjula was village belle based in the 1983 era, Lisa in Vellimoonga was a nurse, I played a city based girl in Ivan Maryadaraman, a devil in Darling, a tomboyish character which is really close to my real life character in Yagavarayinum Naa Kaakka, a thamburati in Rudra Simhasanam, again a village belle again in Oru Second Class Yathra and then a NRI girl in Krishnashtami, the present movie I’m working on. So like this, I have always made it a point to work on different projects, I get to explore more and it becomes more challenging for me.
- Wikipedia says ‘IBT Times called Nikki the most successful actress of 2014 in Malayalam Cinema’. What do you have to say about it!
Like anybody …even I’m very happy to have been tagged like this in my very first year of my career. It’s the best start I could have ever dreamt off. And I hope I live up to people’s expectation, do movie which appeal to them and touch their hearts.
- How do you handle your private life and public life?
I’m a very private person in real. I keep my work, fame, my public life way too apart from my personal life. On the personal front, I’m a very simple person. When I’m with my friends, I have always been like the ‘Nikki’ they know and when in my work place, I’m in my work shoes.
- Beauty icon
- Fitness Mantra
I have always loved to work out. I have always kept in touch with my yoga, gym, swimming etc. But when I’m at shoots in remote village areas and I have no access to gym or workouts, I balance with my diet. And I believe the best glow on your face can only be bought by being happy from within.
- About the tattoo inked on your hand
Well… I don’t have a tattoo on my hand but on my back. It’s my sister’s name, for the special bond we share. I’m really close to her so the tattoo was a birthday gift for her about five years ago.
- Tell us about your love for the ‘God’s own country’ and the people here?
I love the place, the people there, the nature, the greenery and the food. Whenever I go to Kerala, I end up eating a lot and gaining weight. I get lot of love and affection from the crowd there and I’m accepted as a pakka Malayali kutty.
Ever since my first movie, 1983 … people here have always influenced me to do more and do better… There has been a good transformation in me. Got to learn a lot…. After completing 3 Malayalam movies, I feel very much at home when in Kerala. I have made efforts to learn Malayalam and now I’m quite well versed with the language. I can now strike a conversation with anyone on my own with my broken Malayalam. And the people here are very warm and simple which really touches my heart. I like the whole feeling of being accepted here and they call me ‘Manjula chechi … Manjula chechi’ or ‘Nikki chechi … Nikki chechi’ after 1983…
- The best Malayalam movie you have seen till date?
My recent best Malayalam movie would be Bangalore Days because its based in Bangalore and the awesome storyline revolving around the three amazing cousins. I could connect with it, a lot …
- Your favourite dish of Kerala.
The authentic food of Kerala – Boiled rice and fish curry.
- Your favourite attire.
My favourite attire remains a sari.
- So would you be in Kerala for this Vishu?
I have not experienced a Vishu kanni before but have heard a lot about it from my Malayali friends. I have been invited by them for the special Vishu lunch and have ate all the delicious dishes made by them. Unfortunately, I won’t be there in Kerala this time for Vishu as I would be in Switzerland shooting, hope to be there soon. The whole crowd there has given me a very special Vishu kanni, makingIvan Maryadaraman such a big hit. So I thank everybody for making my Vishu so special.
- Finally what has life taught you at this tender age of 23?
Being in the industry, I have learnt one thing … you never stop learning and everyday has been a new learning experience. From the small villages to the biggest countries, you meet different kind of people each moment ….who teach you to be unique. I have had best experiences. I personally believe in working hard, being ambitious and focussed in whatever I do… it has got me this far, so quick.
So believe in working hard, do your best and leave the rest to god!
Photo courtesy: Google