It wasn’t scary with dad

Niharika Konidela talks about signing up a movie with dad Nagababu and how it is fun to portray their real
relationship on screen too

Published: 17th January 2017 04:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th January 2017 04:26 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Despite hailing from a family of superstars and having made her own debut in films, Niharika Konidela remains an enigma. She hadn’t done a single film after the release of her debut film Oka Manasu last year, and instead experimented with a web series called Muddapappu Avakai, of which she’s also the producer. Niharika isn’t seen at film parties, nor does she overdo on her social media accounts. And yet, there’s always a considerable buzz around her. The 23-year-old actress will be working on her second film called Nanna Koochi, which also features her father Naga Babu, who plays her on-screen dad.

“Nanna Koochi is about a girl who’s extremely possessive about her father. The film delves deeper into the relationship between a father and a daughter, and the consequences they face when there is a sudden change in their lives,” Niharika shares.

When a still from the upcoming movie was released on social media, it was largely reported that this was another web-series which Niharika was planning to start. The actress, however, refutes all such rumours and insists that Nanna Koochi remains a feature film.
“When we initially started out, we though we’ll make it into a web-series, but later there were a few improvements to the script. The script was written for a feature film so we thought why not do it. The shooting has already begun,” she explains.
Sharing screen space with your own father can be a daunting task for anybody. But Niharika was unfazed by this challenge.

“I had already done a couple of shows with my father, so it was not entirely new to me. It wasn’t scary or anything that I had imagined, cause my dad was cool. In fact, it’s not different from our real-life relationship since the characters were so similar to how we actually are,” beams the actress, who also anchors a talk show for a  television channel.
With a rise in technology, prominence of the Internet and birth of a new digital generation, web-series have turned out to be highly successful. Niharika likes to believe that she was one of the trend-setters for web series.

“After my show, I noticed that a lot more web series were coming up. With so many people having access to the internet, the concept was always going to be successful,” she observes.
Niharika also has no qualms in doing more web-series and wouldn’t mind going back to them after the completion of her latest film. “I always wanted to test myself first in a web-series before taking up a feature film. It allows me to experiment a bit more. Also, I believe that doing a web-series is just as challenging as films.

If you notice, the duration of seven episodes (20 minutes for each episode) is 2 hours and 40 minutes, which is the same duration as an entire feature film,” the 23-yead-old points out.
Niharika gets slightly irritated when quizzed about the kind of roles that she likes to do. “A lot of people ask me this and each time I have the same answer. I have just one criteria – I want to experiment and do something different each time, and be able to test myself,” she says, firmly.

Since such scripts are scarce in Tollywood, especially for women, Niharika is often branded as a ‘choosy’ actress. The young star, though, is unabashed about her choice of films.
“Yes, I am choosy. Because if you’re not choosy, then you get offered roles which only require you to dance in some songs. There is not even proper characterisation for such roles, and they don’t interest me one bit. Now people know that if they have to approach me for a role, it has to be of some significance for me to take it up,” she expresses, passionately.

Another reason for her being selective when it comes to choosing her films is because she doesn’t see herself acting after four years.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m going to be acting for only the next three or four years. After that, I’ll take charge of production full time. So in the few years that I have to act, I want to do good roles,” Niharika reveals.

And one of the top priorities in her bucket list as an actor is to work with her uncle Megastar Chiranjeevi, who just made a comeback with Khaidi No. 150.
“To watch him on-screen after 10 years was surreal. His return to films is like a celebration for our entire family. I hope to act with him soon. In fact, for Sankranthi I interviewed him for my talk show, where I told him that I want to act with him, even if it’s just for one-minute,” laughs the actress.
For now, though, Niharika remains focused on Nanna Koochi. “I’m also listening to a couple of other scripts and something should materialise soon. I’m hoping 2017 will be busier than 2016 was,” she signs off.



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