All eyes on Nayantara

She is sharing screen space with superstar Rajinikanth in Kuselan, Vijay in Singam and Ajith in Aegan. Nayantara has arrived in Kollywood as the numero uno heroine

Nayantara never ceases to surprise. With her latest film Yaaradi Nee Mohini (YNM), she once again proves that she’s one actress who can guarantee an opening entirely on her own steam. She’s also one star who has, in a span of five months, delivered back to back hits (Billa & YNM).

In her home state Kerala, she is all the rage as young fans hungrily devour her dubbed Telugu films and turn them into Malayalam super hits! Even the sports world has claimed her as its own. She, along with actor Vijay, is IPL’s anointed brand ambassador for Chennai Super Kings. Working with all top actors in Tamil film industry, Nayantara is the current ‘it’ girl who’s riding a wave of popularity and super stardom. “I just can’t fathom my popularity though I’m loving every minute of it,” she responds, when asked it feels to be number one. “At times, I am surprised by the love and affection showered by my fans,” says Nayantara nonchalantly with a smile.

Popular belief is that it was the glamourous role of Sasha in Billa that made her hot property in southern cinema. Elaborating on that phase of her career, Nayantara says, “It was a bold decision to do Billa as the role required me to wear Western outfits, including a scene where I had to walk in a swimsuit. Before this movie, my image was essentially the homely, sari-clad girl-next door type, thanks to my role in Chandramukhi. I wanted to rid myself of being typecast as I believe that an actress should be versatile enough to do glamorous as well as girl-next-door roles. That’s when Billa came my way and I’m happy this decision has reaped rich dividends!” Does she have any role models? “Yes, of course,” she replies.

Her role models are Bollywood heroines Rani Mukerji and Kareena Kapoor because she feels that they do justice to both serious and glamourous roles. “Just as Bollywood actresses are never afraid to experiment, I too wanted to bust this popular theory of South Indian actresses doing the same kind of cinema. The decision to prove myself capable of doing both glamorous and good-girl roles was a tough one. Most of my colleagues wrote me off. But a spate of movies, including YNM, in which I played Keerthi, a character I could relate to as she is very close to what I am in real life too, has vindicated my stand,” she explains.

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