For someone who rose to fame essaying the role of a student on screen, actor Nikhil Siddharth says he had a memorable college experience off screen too. Having pursued his engineering from Muffakham Jah College of Engineering and Technology in Hyderabad, Nikhil started out as an assistant director for the film Hyderabad Nawaabs, before foraying into films as an actor. He shot to fame for his role as a student and the son of an MLA in Sekhar Kammula’s highly successful film, Happy Days, in 2007.
The phenomenal success of Happy Days paved the way for Nikhil to establish himself in the Telugu film industry and he has since appeared in several films, including Ankit, Pallavi & Friends, Kalavar King and Swamy Ra Ra.
The actor now awaits the release of Karthikeya, which is set to hit the screens this Diwali. “I had a fantastic college experience. In fact, what I had observed and learnt in college helped with my films. Thanks to my college experience, I was able to naturally perform my role in Happy Days,” shares Nikhil.
The actor became nostalgic recollecting his old college memories. Not a shy person, he was always surrounded by friends. “I was a complete extrovert and had a very good set of friends. We often used to hang out in gangs and had a lot of fun,” he recalls.
Explaining his relationship with his professors, he says, “My professors always used to complain that I hardly attended college and urged me to be regular. I often used to bunk college and watch movies, first day, first show.”
When asked if he had faced any embarrassing situations in college, Nikhil struggled to pinpoint a single incident but felt that there were plenty that he would later laugh about. “I think almost everything about college is a bit embarrassing now when you look back, as you’re at an age when you’re young and naive,” he grins.
Though Nikhil is a hit with the ladies, thanks to his popularity as a Tollywood actor, he says he was not into dating during his college days. “We hung out in a large group, which included male and female members. However, I was not a flirt and I had just one goal and focus, which was my career in films,” he insists.
In his upcoming film, Karthikeya, Nikhil returns as a student on-screen and he is confident of its success. “I play a medical student in the film. I never watch my movies until they release, so I’m curious and excited to see the outcome. I’m feeling confident though, as the film is highly entertaining,” says Nikhil.
Pointing out that films were on his mind even during college, the actor feels that everybody should experience college, regardless of their profession. “I feel education is important for everybody. I had a wonderful college life, which helped me with my roles in films,” he adds.