A New Beginning

Nisha Solanki
Young and vivacious, Nisha is an upcoming actress from Bengaluru who will be seen in her debut film, Sri Rama Raksha, which is scheduled to release in October. Daughter of actor-turned-politician C.P. Yogeshwar, she spoke to us about her life before films, her plans and how she spends her free time.
How did you get into the film industry?
My dad, C.P. Yogeshwar, has acted in around eight Kannada films, so my family has a movie background of sorts. But while growing up I had never thought I would get into acting. In fact, after earning a degree from the University of Illinois in the U.S., I returned to India and was working on starting a power generation company. I received several movie offers during this time, but was I shy and unsure about what exactly I wanted to pursue. A few months later, while contemplating which profession to take up, I chose to give acting a try. At that point, I didn’t know anyone from the movie scene since I had always been more academically driven. I then went on to do a big Kannada film which, unfortunately, never took off. So that was an immediate high and low phase for me. After that I moved to Bombay in search of opportunities.
Tell us about your upcoming debut film.
It’s called Sri Rama Raksha and is directed by Ramu. I play the role of a coy Intermediate student from Rajahmundry who’s the first love of the hero (Rejith Menon). Playing a young and perky character was quite challenging and a whole lot of fun. While the character was not much like me in real life, I could still relate to it because I’ve met many coy girls like these in villages while I was campaigning for my dad, who is also a politician. I’m super-excited about the film and am waiting for it to release in October.
What sort of response are you expecting?
I’m obviously hoping for a good response! A lot of people have heard about me and seen me, but they will take time to believe in my talent. Nobody wants to bet on a horse that’s never run a race before, and in this case I’m the horse (laughs). So I’m looking forward to checking out everyone’s reaction to the film and my role.
What about the language – did it come easy?
I’m originally from Bengaluru and I’m half-Kannadiga and
half-Rajput, but I had to learn Telugu for this film. I believe that nothing comes easy; you have to work for it. And in this case I had to know the language to be able to deliver any scene.
What are you like as a person?
I’m pretty smart and absorbing, which is probably why I was a nerd before I got into movies. But I’m also fun-loving, magnetic, easy, and adaptable (or so I am told). I want to have a good time while I’m at work, unlike most others who are here only for work. I want to work with talented people and make a difference in the industry.
Name some people you’d like to work with.
There are so many…Aadi, Sharwanand and Sudheer Babu, to name a few.
Do you plan to restrict yourself to Tollywood?
No way! I am looking at no such barriers! I even want to go to Hollywood … there’s no stopping me. But right now I want to do some work here. The Telugu and Tamil film industries have a lot of potential. They say that if you can actually pull off a role in these industries, you can work anywhere else.

What are your immediate plans.
I’ve finalised a three-film contract with a production house in Bollywood, and I’m in talks with another director for a Telugu film too.
Nisha Solanki 
What do you do when you’re not working?
I’m a huge travel and fitness freak. I’ve also studied yoga and am a certified professional yoga trainer. I practice and teach yoga in my free time; it’s a huge stress buster. I like to fly private planes just for the fun of it. I love sports and have represented Karnataka in badminton, and was also an athlete back in my school days.
I’m very adventurous and love sky diving and snorkelling. Dancing is my first love, and I’ve learnt a lot of forms, including Latin, Western freestyle, jazz and a little bharatanatyam. I’m also an artist and do free hand sketches when there is time.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
I haven’t been to most parts of the world, but from what I’ve visited it would have to be Sri Lanka. I flew over the entire country in a day.
What would your alternative career option be?
If not for acting I would have definitely been an entrepreneur and started a big conglomerate.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the Tollywood industry?
It’s opening up a lot and there are many opportunities. It’s a great platform for people to start because people are crazy about films here.
What other kinds of films do you want to work in?
Right now I just want to work with good, talented people. I’m still exploring the place so I want to do different roles and at least one good film a year. I think I would be best at serious roles, but I guess it would take some time before I did one.                 --- as told to Niharika