Our Bollywood maven J V managed to catch up with the sexy and beautiful Niharica Raizada, who per happenchance is the granddaughter of the well-known, great and late music director OP Nayyar. Chatting up with her, NRI Achievers comes off with the conviction that acting is indeed her passion. Here are excerpts from the conversation we had with her. Read on …
What exactly is the film WARRIOR SAVITRI all about ?
WARRIOR SAVITRI is about a modern day Savitri who sets out to rescue her husband Satyavan from the clutches of Lord Yamraj when he comes from up there to take him, as his life is destined to be short. It is set in Las Vegas and is an adaptation of the legend of Satyavan Savitri. I play a modern day Savitri who is strictly a one-man woman.
Considering that you are a NRI, how difficult was it for you to get into the skin of the Savitri character in WARRIOR SAVITRI ?
Though I had done a course on improvisation for six months at the New York Film Academy, I should confess frankly that I was not fully prepared – but I worked hard on my role. To a large extent, I was helped not only by my director Param Gill but also by Omji, who plays the role of Lord Yamraj in the film. I may have been born in Luxemberg and brought up in Germany, France and Belgium, but I was taught Kathak, Jazz, Ballet and Bharatanatyam dancing from the age of 6, not to mention the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The brief given to me by my director was that my character may be wearing short dresses but she flirts only with her husband Satya. In any case, today’s modern woman is not at all conservative.
Why did you not wait to be launched by a big banner ?
My role in WARRIOR SAVITRI is one that comes in a lifetime. The entire film revolves on my shoulders, though Rajat Barnecha plays the lead. If you will recall, Priyanka Chopra assayed a woman-oriented role in a film like MARY KOM only after completing 21 films – and Kangana Ranaut did a heroine-oriented film like QUEEN only after having 16 films behind her. And yes, Deepika Padukone did COCKTAIL after acting in 13 films.
Is it true that you are the granddaughter of the legendary music director O.P. Ralhan ?
Yes. My dad is an Income Tax consultant who hails from Kanpur, and mother’s a painter. I happen to be the granddaughter of O.P. Nayyar Saheb. He was my mother’s father’s elder brother. Unfortunately I do not have tangible memories of my grandfather as I was only three-and-half years old when I had met him.
Who is your real life Satyavan ?
I am on the look-out for a desi man, and I have yet to find my Satyavan in life. Though I was mingling when I was abroad, today I am single and very ready to mingle.
You are a martial arts expert in the film. How did you prepare for your part ?
To begin with, I had already learnt Karate between the age of 12 and 6. I trained in martial arts because in the film I play a fighter who knows Karate, Kung Fu, Shotokan and Taekwondo.
To what extent are you ready to shed your clothes for the sake of a role ?
I have absolutely no inhibitions at all. I would say that I have a French attitude to life blended with Indian sensibility.
Warrior Savitri is your debut film in a full-fledged role in the lead. Before Warrior SAVITRI, you had acted in MASAAN as well as BABY. Isn’t it ?
Yes. Since I love acting and it’s a passion for me, I did play small cameo roles in MASAAN and BABY, in which I was seen as a reporter.
What next ?
I have been teamed opposite Krishna Abhishek in FULL TIME JUGADOO. It is an out and out comedy film which I bagged after I showed the rushes of WARRIOR SAVITRI to the producers. I play the role of a young karorpati girl called Kavya in it whereas Krishna Abhishek sets out to do jugad to win not only me but also my crores.