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Being called 'out of syllabus' is overwhelming: Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam actress Ritika Nayak

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'Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam' has made its debutante actress Ritika Nayak popular overnight. In this exclusive chit-chat with Ragalahari, the budding actress talks about her background, her expectations from the Vishwak Sen-starrer, her definition of glamour, and more.

Tell us about your background.

I was born and brought up in Delhi. I am the only child in my family! My parents are from Odisha. I am the first person in our family to enter the glamour and entertainment industry. Even when I was in college, I tried modelling while studying. I participated in pageants. Professional modelling was a great experience that drove me to try acting after I started doing commercials.

You have been described as 'Out of syllabus' by Netizens. Do you find it amusing?

I didn't expect such a hashtag (#OutOfSyllabus) to trend with my name. When I noticed it on social media, I didn't understand the context. I then understood the funny context associated with my movie. It was overwhelming to see all the love and appreciation.

How was it working with Vishwak Sen?

Vishwak Sen is a great co-actor. There is so much to learn from him. He is patient and is a chilled-out person. Despite the language barriers, I didn't feel uncomfortable.

Did anybody in your circle know the twist in the film before it was released?

My friends knew that I am doing a Telugu movie but they didn't know the story. I live with my parents, who know everything about me. They knew that I was playing a lead role in the film but my friends had no clue about the story. My manager was there with me when we listened to the script. We both enjoyed a lot and felt that we should go forward.

What exactly made you want to debut with a film like 'AVAK'?

The whole story is so natural and beautiful. Vasudha is independent, funny and bubbly. At the same time, she is empathetic. I was able to relate to her so much. I am neither too bubbly or too calm in real life. I am somewhere in the middle.

Are you fluent in Telugu these days?

I understand 30-40% of what people say in Telugu. I worked on my lines before shooting for my scenes. I did workshops for 3 months. I didn't want to trouble anybody while shooting. I used to write my lines and learn them by heart.

Now that you have debuted in a traditional role, do you think there is a risk of you being stereotyped?

I think there is no such risk. I want to explore more and more characters. It's a slow and steady process. As for my next film, a few talks are going on. We are still figuring it out. I was not expecting much from 'AVAK'. I had the least expectations because I didn't want to be disappointed. I didn't want to over-think. The script should make me want to play the character.

How do you distinguish glamour and performance?

Performance can be seen in your work. Glamour doesn't involve performance. You can be glamorous off-screen as well. As an actor, I don't want to be constrained. 

Updated on May 10, 2022