What does your name signify?
‘Nayan’ means eyes, ‘Tara’ means stars. Eyes which sparkle like stars (smiles)
How did you feel when you got selected for Chandramukhi?
Vasu sir’s wife saw my Malayalam film Manasinakkare and recommended me. I was shooting for my first Tamil film. I could not believe that I was going to be cast as Rajni sir’s heroine because he has been paired opposite the topmost heroines. They all (including the director) saw me only on the first day of the shooting.
Tell us your experiences with Rajinikanth.
It was a great enriching experience working with Rajini sir. You get to know lot of things from him as an actor and also as a person. He is very dedicated, punctual and unassuming, despite a superstar.
Why do you work only with senior artistes?
(Smiles) I was getting offers from them only. What’s wrong in it? I enjoy working with senior artistes. Some girls don’t like it, but I do! And when an offer comes from superstar Rajini, no one sees him as a senior artiste. I think he is beyond all these.
As far as Ayya is concerned, I played a role which suited my age only. Both Sarath sir and Rajini are very comfortable to work with. Both are soft and humble.
In Malayalam too, you seem to toeing the line of the Superstars and rejecting the offers from young heroes!
I have no such compulsion. I am ready to act with any hero but to tell the truth I have not got any offers to act with young heroes in Malayalam.
Any romances when you were studying?
I was studying in Gujarat’s Jamnagar. I didn’t even now what love was. I was in my Class VI. My classmate, a Punjabi boy, gave me a love letter. Since then I have got many love letters, but all the affections were one sided. I don’t make a fuss about them.
You made headlines when you announced that you are not going to get married at all. Comment!
I didn’t expect it to make such big news. But I have learnt a lesson- never open your heart to media.
When you were signed to act in Manassinakkare, you didn’t know who Sheela was?
It’s true! My father was an Indian Air Force officer. I spent my childhood away from Kerala. I didn’t have much exposure to South Indian films. I knew only the names of Mohanlal, Mammootty, Jayaram and Suresh Gopi. All I saw were Hindi films. Now I have acted with her once again in Chandramukhi.
If not an actress, what would you have become?
I was studying chartered accountancy and also doing my degree in English Literature when I got first film offer. So I would have become a chartered accountant if I had not become an actress.
What about other language offers?
I am getting offers from Telugu. I am waiting for the right script. I had a Hindi film offer too, but it was not a commercial film. It was to be directed by a lady from Bengal. It had an excellent script but I wouldn’t be able to do certain portions in the film. I could not tell her to change those scenes because they were very vital for the film. So I did not accept the offer.