Karthika Nair
Interviewer : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar | Coordination : Venkatesh | Camera : Balaji | Text : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar
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Coming from an impressive lineage of talented artists like Radha and Ambika, Karthika Nair, daughter of the former makes her entry into Tamil film industry through K V Anand’s Ko ready to be released soon. With a notable Telugu debut in Josh and Makara Manju in Malayalam, this young girl strikes a pose of confidence. Catch Karthika Nair in conversation with Senior Editor Jyothsna Bhavanishankar.

Is your career move a conscious one?

My career move was not a conscious one but a random one. Right after I completed my 10th, I got my first film offer Josh in Telugu without having undergone any formal training in acting or any such thing. Everything happened very fast and was spontaneous. Perhaps that led me to become a spontaneous actor more than an acting course which would have made me more methodical.

I was shocked and excited to

see myself on big screen

How was it to see yourself on the big screen?

My first film was Josh and I had not seen any edited portion of it before its release. I was shocked and equally excited to see myself on big screen as I had no clue about how the movie was because all the movies that I had done, I was not aware of the complete storyline. More than the audience, I was excited and anticipated to see the whole movie. It was like seeing a new person.

What was your mom and aunt’s feedback?

My mom and aunt were initially shocked to see me so comfortable shooting. Perhaps, this has got to do with my mom’s genes. My aunt Ambika and uncle Sudeesh were always very supportive in terms of enriching me with technical knowledge of film making. My aunt Ambika always helped me with my costumes and dressing since my childhood and that came in handy when I came into movies. I think I have a huge film industry within my family.

How did Ko happen?

Ko happened very randomly. I think K V Anand sir saw some of my Josh stills, called me and narrated the story. I liked it and accepted it as I know that K V Anand will make nothing less than a blockbuster.

Ko happened very randomly

I am one of the heroes along with


What is your role like in Ko?

In Ko, I am playing journalist Renuka and the role is a very powerful one. Anand sir told me that I am not a typical commercial heroine and that I am one of the heroes along with Jiiva who is playing the role of a photographer. I think my role of a journalist will be like an inspiration to many journalists.

On Jiiva

I don’t need to say Jiiva is an amazing artist as he is already an award winning actor. More than that, Jiiva is an amazing human being and a great co-star. If there is any award for the best co-star, it will go hands down to Jiiva. His support has helped in my smooth film entry.

Jiiva is an amazing human being

and a great co-star

K V Sir is a one man show

How was it to work with K V Anand?

K V Sir is a one man show. He has given me the space and freedom and I was shocked because I am a newcomer. He always treated me like an established and experienced artist. He used to value my opinions and asked for my suggestions. It was new to me to be asked by such a talented director. It was really inspiring and made me grow as an actor every day.

Any difficult scene?

Every day in Ko shoot was a huge adventure. I have to mention about the Norway shoot for the song 'amali thumali' under Harris sir’s mesmerizing music. It is a visual fantasy. We discovered locations which even the world cinema has not explored like Norway, Harbin and Mongolia. It was a one time adventurous opportunity for all of us. I can write an interesting travelogue on Ko and I am sure it will be a bestseller.

Every day in Ko shoot was a

huge adventure

Did you dub for yourself?

No, Chinmayee has dubbed for me and has done an amazing job. I am hoping to dub soon.

My mom is the best

Role of your mom in your career

My mom plays the role of my mom in my life. She does everything best for me. I am not experienced and she has done around 150 films and I could not have asked for a better guide than her. She is the one who selects my roles and of course with my consent. But my mom is the best and she knows me inside out.

Makara Manju experience

After Josh in which I played an innocent bubbly girl, I did Makara Manju which was a complete contrast from Josh. Makara Manju is a historical and a period film. I was excited as I was doing a double role in it. But it was tough as I have to change from the bubbly Vidya of Josh to a totally contrasting roles of Goddess Oorvashi and dancer Sugandha Bhai. It was a tough experience. It took many days for me to get into the skin of the character but it was worth it. I discovered Kerala and felt so close to nature. I am proud to have worked with three legends- Santosh Sivan, Madhu Ambat sir and Lenin sir- so early in my career. Working with them was like a once in a life term opportunity.

What kind of roles do you look forward to?

As I had said earlier, all my roles, till now have been poles apart. A teenage lively girl in Josh, a subtle Kathak dancer and an out of the world Goddess Oorvashi in Makara Manju and now a journalist in Ko. I am hoping to do diverse roles which have the potential for performance.

Any projects that you have signed?

My manger manages my dates and an announcement will come soon.

Which one of your mom’s films is your favorite?

My mom has done many films and my aunt Ambika has compiled a song collection of mom’s films. I sit and watch them regardless of what movies they are. However, Mudal Mariyaadai remains a legendary hit. My mom was known for her glamorous roles although she has done many roles. Glamour is something which is very tough to play. In Mudal Mariyaadai, she has done a de-glam role and I think she is the only one who made a village girl look simple but yet glamorous. I think my mom is totally made for movies.

My mom is totally made for


Glamour has to be there


What is your take on glamour?

Glamour in today’s world is not about wearing skimpy costumes. Glamour is in attitude, it is in personality and it is in style. A completely clad woman also can look glamorous. You can bring the glamour factor to it if you have the right confidence and through the style of your character. I think glamour has to be there everywhere.
Tags : Karthika Nair, Ko, Jiiva, KV Anand
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