Interview With

Nivetha Pethuraj

The smart and savvy Nivetha Pethuraj will be seen as the lady lead in this week's release Tik Tik Tik, touted to be India's first space film. In an interesting conversation with Jyothsna Bhavanishankar, the actress talks in detail about the film.

From Oru Naal Koothu to Tik Tik Tik, how do you see your journey in the industry?

The journey has been very very beautiful. I am really happy that I got to play different characters in my films in such a short time. In this judgmental world and industry, it is very important that I stand my ground and I accept and do what I like and not what others ask me to choose or want me to like. I am really happy and the journey has been beautiful according to me, my family and friends. And that's important.

You are four films old (release wise). What is the criterion to choose your projects?

I am four films old and I have started shooting for my 8th film as well. There is no criterion as such. It has been two years since I entered the industry and one thing that I have learnt from this career since the time I ventured is - I have to do what I like to do; that's when I will create my own space and my own energy. I should never look at others, never look up to others in the industry. I should not listen to what others are asking me to do because I hear five different things from five different people around me, and that puts me in a very confusing state of mind as to what I should do with my life. No matter what it is, it could be a worst project, if my gut says, 'go ahead and do it, you will like it', I will definitely do it. That's what I have learnt and that's what I am going to continue doing.

How did you bag Tik Tik Tik?

I don't know how Shakthi chose me. I think he thought I will fit into the character. It's all about wavelength, I guess. It is a kind of a project that I have always wanted to do as I am a great fan of Christopher Nolan and love anything to do with space and science fiction films. I think Shakthi got the vibe because he is such a positive person. He knows what kind of people will fit into his project and must have chosen me.

Tik Tik Tik is the first Indian space film. How do you feel about it?

It is absolutely an honor to have been a part of Tik Tik Tik because this film is going to be in history as it is the first Indian space film. And that puts me in a very responsible situation because the next generation is going to look up to us and say, "Okay, they have tried something different, we can also try something new". So, Tik Tik Tik is going to set example and I have always wanted to be part of that. I am delighted that Shakthi gave me a chance to be part of history and be responsible for the future generation.

Any difficult scene?

Eighty percent of the film was difficult, it was physically draining but everybody in the team was so positive that you don't even realize you have done so much of work. We never felt the strain. When we saw on screen, it looked so wonderful that we were waiting for what's next. Everybody was enjoying the present and was looking forward. Nobody had the time to realize that they had got hurt or strained themselves. I learnt a new set of jargon. Whole vocabulary changed completely towards the end between us in the team. Everyone was using so many new words. It was something new and I was really happy I was part of it.

Tell us about working with Jayam Ravi?

Working with Jayam Ravi was wonderful. Ravi is a dedicated actor. I got to learn a lot of things from him. On the spot, it was very much at ease. I did not feel any kind of pressure. Everybody was happy and was willing to do any kind of work, be it big action sequence or anything that came towards them. I am happy that I got a wonderful team.

Director Shakthi Sounderrajan

Shakthi is an amazing person and a director as well. He is very sensible and knows what he wants from his artist. I might have worked for 12 hours but I would not even realize it. He will put me in such a beautiful state of mind that I don't feel the hard working process but at the end of the day, I feel good about what I have done. The best thing about Shakthi is he does not force anything on us. He lets everything come out naturally. At the end of the day, he knew what he wanted and that made things easier.

Aarav Ravi

I had seen him only once when we were shooting the jail sequence. I can't believe that at such a young age, he was extremely dedicated. He wanted to learn more about direction and acting. I think he has a bright future and I must say hats off to Jayam Ravi and Aarti for bringing up such a disciplined child. I am sure he will achieve whatever he wishes to.

All the best Nivetha Pethuraj!