Nithya Menen’s Bollywood debut Mission Mangal, a semi biopic of scientists involved in ISRO’s mission to Mars has gone on to become a huge hit. The actress though isn’t the one to rest on laurels. “Mission Mangal is one of the most comfortable teams I have ever worked with and it has reflected in the film’s box success. When Jagan told me that the film is about ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission, I was overwhelmed because this is something new that the audience will witness. Being a Bengaluru girl, I am quite familiar with ISRO and its achievements. The director of the film Jagan Shakthi too is from Bengaluru. All these factors worked in our favour.” Nithya is popular for her characters like Tara in Ok Kanmani and Aishwarya Vetrimaaran in Mersal. “These characters had a “connect” that the audience look for in a film. For Mission Mangal, I was given the freedom to choose the character I wanted to play. Among Tara Shinde (played by Vidya Balan), Kritika Agarwal (Taapsee Pannu), Neha Siddiqui (Kriti Kulhari) and Varsha Pillai, I chose Varsha because I felt Varsha’s character had the universal connect and I felt that her character will instantly strike a chord with the audience. I am glad it did,” she smiles.
Almost 12 years after her debut as a heroine, Nithya debuted in Bollywood. However, she clarifies that she was never in a rush to do a Bollywood film. “I didn’t want to become an actress in the first place. It happened to me by chance. That is why I am never in a rush to do films be it Tamil or Telugu or Hindi, I wait for the right scripts to come my way. I feel responsible for the money that people pay to watch me in the theatres. I don’t want to let them down by playing mediocre characters or choose run-on-the-mill films. I felt this was the right script and that is how my debut in Bollywood happened,” the actress tells us.
Nithya is also awaiting the release of Kolaambi in Malayalam that has veteran actor Renji Panicker as her co-star. “I can’t wait for Kolaambi’s release because that’s a film, which is close to my heart. I worked with a familiar team that has Ravi Varman, who was the cinematographer of Mission Mangal as well and I have previously worked TK Rajeev Kumar. The film is about two contrasting characters who cross each other’s path that makes for an interesting story,” the actress opens up. Nithya was recently subject to body-shaming and was also trolled for not expressing solidarity with the Kerala flood disaster. “We are in an age where social media is seen as the ultimate thing. I have spoken up on the issue already. Moreover, I don’t take such things personally,” she concludes.