She started her film career with SJ Suryah’s Puli. With three Telugu and three Kannada films in her kitty, heroine Nikesha Patel now makes a splash in Kollywood with several plum Tamil projects.
“I was a huge attention seeker as a kid, back home in Wales, where my family is settled,” quips Nikesha. “When I told mum I want to be Madhuri Dixit, she said ‘you have to work for it’. That stuck in my mind.” The never-give-it-up attitude saw her through.
“I was a terrible actor and the famed Peter Woolridge’s acting school rejected me six times in three years. But, I finally made it in, and ended up with a diploma in acting!” she grins.
She has been part of BBC TV shows like Casualty, Tracy Beaker and Dr Who, right from the age of 15, but it was an offer from legendary actor and filmmaker Dev Anand that led her to India.
“He was my dad’s friend and I was supposed to act in his film Beauty Queen, but it was shelved. That’s when I met SJ Suryah and took the plunge into the Southern industry instead,” she recalls.
Today, Nikesha has the Nakul starrer Narathan in her kitty, apart from Yenamo Yedho, with Gautham Karthik. In the Tamil —Telugu bilingual, Rambha Urvashi Menaka (RUM), her co-stars are Trisha and Isha Chawla, while Thalaivan showcases her with Bas.
So how was it being part of an all girl lead cast in RUM? “Its been great. In fact, after the first schedule, Trisha and I have become close friends. She’s the only person I hang out with in Chennai and I have learnt a lot from her. In fact, I go to Trisha for advice whenever I need any.”
Apart from the female bonding, Nikesha is enjoying the action scenes in RUM.
“We just shot in Muscat where I was drenched and bruised, but ready for more! Vijayan master is choreographing the stunt scenes and I just love doing the action scenes in this movie, which has plenty of them,” grins Nikesha happily.
With her sights firmly set on K-Town, Nikesha is busy taking Tamil lessons and practising with everyone on the sets at the moment.