Hyderabad: Now that Nithya Menen has turned a film producer, she is slightly bogged down by her responsibilities. But she loves to play the dual role of a producer as well as a lead actor when content deserves the required attention.
“That’s how the story of ‘Skylab’ made me curious. I had never heard of such a space station, Skylab, which was launched by the USA in the early ’70s. Because I had never heard of the real story. None had told me. Neither my parents nor my friends. Our generation isn’t aware of the past. When I asked my parents, they started recalling the happenings of that time. I couldn’t contain the excitement after listening to the Skylab story from director Vishavak Khanderao because such was the potential the story has,” the actor says.
The ‘Ala Modalaindi’ actor is piqued by the treatment of ‘Skylab’. “A story from a non-descript village in Telangana region. I like such a paradoxical treatment of linking western classical music to a story that is set in Banda Lingampally village. The village has a rich and posh look. Cinematography, music, colour palette, production design – everything is rich in taste. So, we hired an orchestra in Macedonia to develop the sound track for the film. It is fully western classical music for this rural story. That’s the paradox in the movie.”
Turning a producer was accidental, she says. Soon after okaying the project ‘Skylab’, Nithya says she pitched the idea of helping the team with financial investment if needed. “That’s how I forayed into film production. Because, the content deserves such attention. It wasn’t a cakewalk for me to manage both as producer and lead actor. I understood later because Prithvi Pinnamaraju used to manage the proceedings while I was in shooting,” she says.
Nithya shares that she likes simplistic stories rather than bankrolling big-budget flicks full of opulence and grandeur. “As a producer, many things keep bothering me. How to bring down production costs and how to reduce the overheads… One has to deal very meticulously without creating problems for artistes,” she adds.
When asked reason for not doing films in Telugu frequently, she says, “A true artiste doesn’t churn out too many stories. Be it a director, a writer or a cinematographer – they won’t manufacture films consistently. It’s a creative process that takes time to manifest things. An actor needs breathing space. I remember how I worked continuously all 365 days for six years and I became exhausted. Every actor reaches a stagnation point. I just need time… to do nothing. That’s what rejuvenation is for me. Maybe because I am busy with other languages, you feel there’s a gap in Telugu.”
Playing a Telangana girl
The actor plays a journalist who loves to exaggerate incidents and sensationalise news amidst the furore of ‘Skylab falling’. “I tasted the beauty of Telangana slang. The words sound so great. Of course, prep went into it initially but it wasn’t that challenging to pull it off. All my dialogues have sync sound in the entire run time while shooting it live. So no dubbing, I felt so great.”
‘Skylab’, starring Rahul Ramakrishna and Satyadev in the lead roles besides Nithya Menen, locked horns with Nandamuri Balakrishna’s ‘Akhanda’ on December 4. Nithya has ‘Bheemla Nayak’ coming up soon and then ‘Gamanam’ in Telugu, besides a slew of other films in Tamil and Malayalam.