Nikitha Narayan, who has made a mark in Telugu and had her Kannada debut with Vinay Preetham’s 2016 movie Madamakki, says her second movie in Sandalwood required a makeover that tested her patience. But she is not all complaining because working on Yogaraj Bhat’s Mugulu Nage, starring Ganesh, was a “unique experience”.
She says it was not a routine shoot, where all the actresses head to the sets and faces the camera. Nikitha had to go out of her way to get into the character. She got temporary tattoos, coloured her hair all the shades of a rainbow and drove around a vintage 1956 model car in Puducherry. This apart, Nikita also learned to strum the guitar for the film.
“Though hair colouring tested my patience, what got me hooked to the role was the guitar lessons,” she says. “Bhatru had informed me one-a-half months before the shoot that I need to learn guitar because my role required it. I took it seriously and signed up for classes and that came very much in handy. Moreover, I have always been wanting to learn the guitar and I got an opportunity to do this because of Mugulu Nage.”
The actress comes from a family familiar with music.
“Music has been in the family for generations,” she says. “My grandpa Y N Subbarao was a musician and a known name in KV Mahadevan’s troupe. I am glad that I could learn the guitar as part of my job and I will complete the course.”
Nikitha, who has done around five films in Telugu and now two in Kannada, says she was happy to try her hand at dubbing in her voice for Mugulu Nage. “I was dubbing for the first time and it is a very tough job,” she says. “First because you have to replicate the entire mood of the scenes, recalling how it was from the shoot. Voice is very important because there are people listening to you but not watching the scene. Voice can tarnish your acting or take it to a whole new level.
Also, your original voice and what comes through the mic sound are very different. So I was told to try first to see if my voice fits the role, and then after the trial I was allowed to go ahead. I learnt all of this during the process of dubbing.”
Mugulu Nage runs on seven stories with Ganesh and Nikitha doing a part, the film also features Apoorva and Ashika Narayan with Amulya playing an important role. The film has music by V Harikrishna and cinematography by Sugnan.