If you are an avid follower of web series, you must have spotted the vivacious and vibrant Nidhi Singh as Tanya Nagpal in Permanent Roommates, an Indian web series created by The Viral Fever. As Nidhi received a humongous response for her very first show, she bagged back to back projects on the digital front.
Some of the finest performances of the actor include Apharan, MOM (Alt Balaji ) and many more. Currently, the actor is seen in Abhay season 2 that is streaming on Zee 5.
And for all the fans of Permanent Roommates, here is a piece of good news Nidhi is back with another rib-tickling comedy show 'Wakaalat Frome Home' that stars her Permamanet Roommates co-star Sumeet Vyas opposite her.
In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times, India, Nidhi Singh shared how she paved her way into acting, whether she was rejected at auditions and what makes her choose projects in a certain way.
Excerpts from the conversation:
How did the lockdown treat you?
My lockdown wasn't bad, I had a roof overhead, I didn't have to displace myself. I live in Mumbai alone and my family lives all over. I am in constant touch with them over calls. My elder brother is in Austria and my parents are in Allahabad so I was by myself. At times it's got frustrating as I wanted to get out of the house to meet, my younger brother but I couldn't meet him. Talking about the lockdown it was a much-needed break that I got. Routine is something our parents told us all our lives and that's what I did, I was cooking, reading took care of my health, cooked healthy, did my workout on time. I took myself as the biggest project and pending project and taking accountability of myself. The only difference was I didn't go out.
Adding further she said:
I'm the daughter of a doctor and I can understand how brave it is to go out into the line of fire every day and work relentlessly.
As your father is a doctor, did you also aspire to be a doctor?
I never wanted to be a doctor, when I was very young, I was very fascinated with children and small babies, I was myself a small baby, but I wanted to hold small babies, and my mother would freak out that what is she up to. Seeing my love and fondness for kids, my parents thought that if I ever become a doctor, I would be a paediatrician. And when your parents start thinking in a certain way, you also tend to believe in the same manner. I thought maybe I would also work with kids. While I was a when I was introduced to literature like Shakespeare and other stuff as a teenager, I was inclined towards performing arts. My initiation into dramatics increased. I was always a dancer it came to me. Naturally, I started with kathak and leaned kathak for 2-3 years and then I started learning Bharat Natyam but had to stop as I had an injury.
I started performing on my school annual day, and everybody in my family thought it was my hobby and so did I.
My friends took up science therefore I took up science too and one fine day I mastered the courage to tell my parents in 11th standard that I want to pursue acting. initially, my father had a lot of resistance as he wanted me to have an academic degree. He said you need to have a proper graduation degree and then we will see. So I found a way out and came to Mumbai and did BMM (Bachelors of Mass Media). The only pressure that I had was that while adulting I don't go haywire and lead a disciplined life.
On the first job in a reputed advertising firm to getting her first break in Permanent Roommates
When I came to Mumbai, I realised that every single person wants to be an actor and I realised how big a place this is and how small I'm. It happens when you tend to feel smaller and I was quite young I was just 17 years old.
I started working in an advertising firm and was freelancing as an Assistant Director. During the course of time, I enjoyed both the jobs, the more I was behind the camera I wanted to be in the front. I also started giving auditions. Slowly and steady I got what I wanted, I stopped doing other jobs and finally, got Permanent Roommates.
Did your struggle after the success of Permanent Roommates
Not just permanent roommates, even other jobs, there are other contenders who are as good as you or better than you. So, it's never that you are the best, there are many other factors that work. The process has always been you are interested in something and then there are auditions and conversations that happen for so long and nothing comes out of it. Even after Permanent Roommates a lot of that happened, auditions, self-promising things were said and then nothing was given. There were days and months, I didn't want to get out of the house, I would be upset and then I would try again. I realised that when you are recognised for the work you have done there is also a certain responsibility on your shoulder. I also believe that unless you see failure you won't understand success. The struggle is a big learning curve. Everyone is going through their own rough and smooth patches.
Were you rejected during auditions because you didn't match their expectation?
Yes, absolutely. Having said that I don't think everybody's criteria is the same. What is slim for me won't be slim for someone else. In my eyes, a person is too fair, too slim or too tall but he or she might be the best suited for the role.
If you want you can discriminate with anybody and everybody. There is a whole lot of that. I tend to choose people whom I want to work with as I have been behind the camera, I have seen the process of selection and how it happens. Yes, at times it sounds brutal. And all I want to say is, even they (casting directors) have their brief and need to do a thing in a certain way. So I think it's very important that you don't have to take everything personally. It's not because of who you are or what you are. It is just what they are looking for and see you not anything against you, happens initially when the rejection and the discrimination is going on we are the only one who is getting discriminated. Everyone gets discriminated and the most beautiful person( by the ways of the world) are also discriminated. For me, it is all about my skill set and it will always be about the role that I'm doing. I always read the brief and then decide whether I fit the character or not. At times I instantly understand that yes this role is for me, and at times the director has a strong conviction that I can pull off the role. Discrimination is happening throughout the world. I'm seeing it all over the world.
How comfortable are you portraying semi-nudity or nudity on-screen
I don't think, I will ever say no to something that will take my career to another direction. I always look at the script in a different way be it comedy, suspense or romance, I'm a voracious reader, I see all kind of cinema. How well the script is written who is making it and how well it's written, even if you are playing a sex worker there is a human emotion attached to it.
I am glad to be part of Abhay. 2 I play an IPS officer. I am new in the world of Abhay the show and the format focuses on the antagonist and protagonist. The reason why I was drawn to the show was my father was a doctor and then he was posted in railways as an administrator. And I have seen officers on duty as I come from a family of bureaucrats and have seen officers all my life. Also, I enjoy crime drama, I have always been part of shows where I am either romancing or playing the damsel in distress or a girl next door, but this is something different and out of the box.