She was just a teen when she debuted in the Kannada film industry with Nanda loves Nandita, but what’s kept her busy all these years are Telugu and Tamil films. For someone who’s not looked at as a typical mainstream heroine and who isn’t seen hobnobbing with the who’s who of the industry, actress Nandita Swetha has managed to have a loyal fan base and plays characters that have stood out. As a performer who’s maintained that she gives importance to her role more than anything else, Nandita is back with yet another strong character, in her upcoming film IPC 376. The bilingual, whose trailer was released earlier this week, is directed by Ramkumar Subbaraman.
“I play a strict and stubborn cop in the film. When there’s a gruesome rape that happens, I take up the case. There are a lot of influential people involved in it, so it becomes difficult to solve the case. The story then unfolds, and the film shows what happens next,” reveals Nandita.
Considering the theme, was she affected when shooting for the film? “Rapes and sexual assaults are happening so much around us – I recently read a story of a girl being thrown near a railway track after she was assaulted. When I was working, I didn’t feel like I was shooting, I had this fire in me and even when doing the stunt scenes, I kicked the stuntman so hard. Everyone was surprised that a petite person like me was displaying so much strength in the action sequences,” says the actress, who’s known for choosing strong roles, even if the character is not a ‘leading lady.’
Her previous cinematic outing Seven had Regina Cassasndra in the lead, but, Nandita says she was offered the role previously. “I chose another character. I never thought it was a supporting role, only when the edits happened, I realised it was being branded as a supporting role. The same thing happened with Ekkadiki Pothavu Chinnavada. There’s a misconception amongst people that whoever gets the hero is the main heroine of the film. When I did Ethir Neechal, my role was bigger than the heroine’s, but it was looked at as a supporting character,” she says.
Shooting the action sequences was quite a task for Nandita, who had to undergo a gallbladder surgery during the shoot. “I was in pain when I shot for the fight scenes, my doctor was super worried about me. But I shot for them and the next day, went and got operated–this was right before the lockdown,” says the actress, who reiterates that she’d like to do commercial films as well. “I’ve done a few – including Puli and one with Prabhudeva last year, but the outcomes weren’t as expected. I mean, who wouldn’t want to do a commercial film where the heroine gets so much fame? But, I also want to balance my kind of films and commercial ones,” she adds.
Although Nandita really wants to see herself on the big screen in IPC 376, she’s not sure if it will release in the theaters or on an OTT platform, given the current situation. She also has Akshara in Telugu and the bilingual Kabadadaari, which is the remake of the Kannada film Kavaludaari. “Akshara is a film about education, but it’s a commercial film and I play the protagonist in it. If the film does well, I will do more female-oriented films,” says the actor, who now has a dubbing card and has also dubbed for Sonakshi Sinha in the south Indian verions of Dabbang 3.
With the Corona chaos still not having died down, shoots are stalled, and actors haven’t been stepping out either. Nandita’s been chilling in Bengaluru with her parents and keeping herself busy with make-up and fashion courses online. She’s also brought out the photographer in her by doing some self-shoots while styling herself in different looks. Recently, she wore a saree gifted by a follower and took some gorgeous pictures near Sankey Tank in Bengaluru, which was a hit with her Instagram followers.
As someone who’s always been away from ‘extreme’ things in her career, Nandita quips, “I’ve never had a crazy fan following, neither have I had no followers. My career and fans have always been balanced, just the way I wanted it to be. I don’t have to deal with too many trolls or too much hate,” she smiles.