"I am overwhelmed to see the reactions coming in for my performance. Yes, I worked hard on the role but the kind of appreciation that I am getting is far more than what I was expecting,” exclaims Nikita Anand who plays, the leading lady in the just released Dil Dosti Etc.
Beginning with a small role opposite Dino Morea in Life Mein Kabhie Kabhiee, which released early this year, this is quite a leap, isn't it? "See, I consider Dil Dosti Etc. as my debut film. I did Life Mein Kabhie Kabhiee, since I wanted to experience what goes in the world of Hindi cinema,” she reacts quickly.
But what made her wait for so long to face the camera when she was crowned Miss India way back in 2003?
"Two things here, Firstly, I did face the camera in the interim, though not for films but as an anchor. I first anchored a show called 'American Curry'. Later I also dabbled into sports-based shows. I am a huge fan of cricket and I did shows in Malaysia for the Tri-series and then later for the World Cup in South Africa.
Secondly, I was not mentally prepared to get into films. I wasn't quite sure if this is where I wanted to be. I wanted to plunge into this once I was completely sure about it. I took my time and finally here I am," she explains in a confident tone.
From modeling to anchoring to Bollywood, Nikita did some bit of groundwork at her end. Last heard, she learnt Kathak and attended NSD workshops.
"I am here to do so some good cinema,” she comments, "I can't really classify how conventional or unconventional my appearances would be, but what I am sure is that Dil Dosti Etc. is a step in the right direction. The film is about young people, the people of today, and as you would have noticed, it has a realistic streak to it."
Talking more about the film's subject she says, "The film took a different take on the youth who are neither kids nor completely adults. There is a bit of confusion that runs through their minds as what they think is right for the moment may not really be right entirety. There are certain perceptions, certain perspectives about life, friendship, love etc., and not everything is really correct."
The film did have a humor side to it too. "That was the idea. You can show realism but add humor to it and it becomes so much more identifiable. This is when you can start relating to the entire setup. You can see how Manish Tiwary has brought the campus side of affairs so very well on screen. This is what made Dil Dosti Etc. so different from numerous other campus films being made."
Is beginning her career as a main lead in an unconventional film like Dil Dosti Etc. a conscious move?
"My basic thought process has been to be part of films that come from a good banner and boast of a unique script. Guess all fell in place with Dil Dosti Etc. Having said all that, I would love to do all kinds of roles. Film industry is changing and the line is diminishing between hardcore realistic or commercial cinema. I don't think audience categorizes films any more as art, offbeat or for that matter typical,” she reasons.
When she talks about all kind of films; would that also include, a Murder' or a Jism? "I don't know. It depends, you know. You have to look at things in entirety and in the end it's my choice to pick up what I want."
How about the boundaries that she may have set for herself; when it comes to exposing? Nikita explodes in a frustrated tone, "What sort of boundaries are you referring to? Why is something like kissing or exposing such a taboo that we have to bring these topics in every discussion and then try to get viewpoints on these? I don't really understand the need of such questions!"
To ease the situation, one moves back to the topic of Dil Dosti Etc. Being a model herself, it may not have been difficult for her to play an aspiring supermodel in the film.
"If you look at glam elements or traits like being ambitious, then yes, the character I play and the real me are similar. Then, there is much dissimilarity too. It was not as if I was playing myself. So I guess there was some good challenge involved in portraying the character here,” details Nikita.
So what does future hold for her? "At this moment I am primarily assessing the kind of feedback I have received for the film. Let it all sink it. I would be deciding my next move only after that. But yes, as of now I haven't signed anything and would be consenting to a project only if sounds exciting enough in entirety."