Nagababu's daughter Niharika is making her debut with the film Oka Manasu, releasing the coming Friday. Rama Raju is directing the film and Niharika is cast opposite Naga Shourya. “I heard many scripts, there were a couple of good ones too, but I finally decided on Oka Manasu because I liked the character Sandhya — she’s versatile and mature,” says Niharika. After graduating in Mass Communications, Niharika chose acting as her career. “I would attend many film shootings. Maybe the acting idea struck me then. I asked my father first, then we discussed it with peddananna (Chiranjeevi). They sat me down and explained the bad and the good of the industry and told me to be prepared, which I agreed,” says Niharika.
Initially, the family’s fans opposed her decision and put pressure on Nagababu. “Some fans met my father at Chiranjeevi Blood Bank. My dad immediately called me and we spoke on the speakerphone. The fans voiced their concerns to which I clarified. Later, they were convinced and pledged their support to me. Till then I felt insecure, but with that assurance I was happy,” says Niharika, adding, the fans told her they would protect her like she was their sister.
Why were the fans against her decision to act? “Everyone knows how women are perceived in the film industry. When my fans asked me, I told them that I am interested in acting and doing only good roles, not the glamour roles,” she added. What does she have to say about other actress doing “glamour” roles? “That’s their personal choice, I can’t comment on them. I personally feel most of the actresses are balancing glamour and acting, but I don’t like glamour,” she says.
She also doesn’t like the tag ‘Mega’ as it helps for her first film. “I have to prove myself as an actress. If the film is not good, no one including me will watch. If my brother’s (Varun Tej) film is not good, I wouldn’t watch it more than once. So for any actor the family tag helps only a certain bit. We have to prove ourselves ultimately,” she says. “This is my debut film and all the attention is on me, but I feel the script of this film is big and the real hero,” she says. Niharika is open to Tamil and Malayalam films too, and hopes to get good offers from there.
On a lighter note, when asked if the same fans would interfere in her choice during her marriage, she replies, “Marriage is personal, not career. Because of our fans, we are what we are in the industry. So they can raise their concerns about my career. Marriage is my personal choice, nobody can intervene,” she says.