Someone who actively follows the eerie world of web series know who Nidhi Singh is. She’s usually that one character who most girls relate to – whether it’s her crackling mimicry of Delhi girls, or her moody self in Permanent Roommates or the portrayal of a woman trying to adjust in an arranged marriage in Lovey Dovey.
She has worked in advertisement commercials, web series, YouTube videos and now she has stepped in the mainstream Bollywood cinema too. “It was something I’ve always aspired for. Since the day when the idea sparked in me that I would want to be a part of this craft – the first thing that fuelled anything inside me was movies – all sorts of movies.”
“Cinema has always been an aspiration. It feels good to be a part of good and important stories,” she tells News18.com.
She doesn’t like to call the movie sets as “something she’s been alien to” and is of the view that it’s exactly the same discipline and the skill set on the sets as of that of web series’ schedules. “It’s exactly the same feeling - maybe a little more grand or grungy depending on the subject you’re in. But it’s always the same discipline and the skill set on the sets. We do put in as much effort in a web series as in a film.”Image: Instagram/ Nidhi Singh
“I’ve been on the sets as an assistant director long before I started acting. So we used to shoot a lot and some movie or the other was always happening,” she adds.
Even though both the experiences remain similar for her, she highlights that the difference lie in the time to connect with co-actors and filmmakers. “The only possible difference was that, on a web series, I was almost comfortable with everyone from day one because I already knew them from before. But on a film set, I had to start making friends from the scratch. It was equally fun and enjoyable though.”
The actress, who’ll be making her debut with Makhna, co-starring Taapsee Pannu and Saqib Saleem credits her co-actors for being “fun and very down to earth” and says she has learnt a lot from them. “We’re pretty similar-minded people and both of them are so chilled out! I thought I’ll probably have to go out of my way to make friends but no, they are such good people. They always have a very positive energy around them. I’ve learnt a lot from both of them.”
Quipping that it’s too early for her to comment on Bollywood’s acceptance towards her, she acknowledges their benevolence. “In general, all my actors and directors have done so much of work but still they have been very kind to me. Even if there was any block in my head – they would very happily chat about it. The experience has been really good.”
“But in the end, it’s the audience! They’re the final verdict,” she adds.Image: Instagram/ Nidhi Singh
She has no qualms in crediting TVF’s Permanent Roommates for everything that came thereafter and even shares that the minute the show was offered to her, she knew she wanted to be a part of it. “I’ll give 500% credit to Permanent Roommates for everything that happened after it came out. I didn’t know about what it was going to turn into or how will the audience react but as an actor I knew I wanted to do it for myself.”
“Before Permanent Roommates came out, I was being perceived predominantly as someone who does comedy. And I was being approached for characters which were mainly comic and I wanted to showcase other aspects of myself because as an actor you always want to try and you want your audience to see you in all ways possible – be it comic, drama, romance even as an antagonist,” she explains.
She further adds that she loves doing comedy roles and feels flattered when people think she’s funny because, in her opinion, “comedy is not an easy thing to do”.
The unusual story of Permanent Roommates revolving around a live-in couple Tanya and Mikesh grabbed eyeballs of viewers from all age groups and the next Valentine-special series ‘Lovey Dovey’ based on the initial slightly discomfort, slightly curious days after an arranged married, further etched her mark in the ‘relationship-genre’. When asked if it’s a conscious decision to opt for such stories, Nidhi laughs and says “the only conscious decision is to be a part of stories that somewhere resonate with her.”
“I’m so choosy that sometimes I scare myself because I feel like I’m being a bit too optimistic about what’s coming in the future. I’ve always been like that – done things without some reasoning or backing – just based on instincts.”
She feels that her last web venture Lovey Dovey was like a symphony coming together. “When Adeeb, the director, spoke to me for the first time, I got a very good feeling. I loved the story too – it was a collaborative effort.”
She came to Mumbai 13 years ago and today when she looks back at her journey, she breathes a sigh of relief and says she wouldn’t want it any other way. “It hasn’t really been a breezy or smooth journey. In fact, it has been rather dramatic but I wouldn’t want it any other way. It does kind of give me a feeling of slight happiness - it feels you’re on your way and being on the way is a good thing – so yes.”