Nikhil Siddhartha is leaving nothing to chance for his upcoming film Swayambhu. In the period drama directed by Bharat Krishnamachari, Nikhil plays a village youngster who aspires to be a soldier. He recently left for Vietnam to train in martial arts for 40 days.
"I have started training rigorously, and it’s pretty hectic," says Nikhil, talking to us during the breaks in his training. He shares that he picked Vietnam because he wanted to train in handling multiple ancient weapons. "We use several kinds of unique weapons which are over thousand years old in the film," he says. "I wanted to train in Vietnam where we have authentic fight masters and trainers."
Interestingly, the stunt masters who are training Nikhil in Vietnam are also part of the film.
"I will also train in mounted archery — I need to shoot arrows sitting on a horse in the battle sequences in the film. It’s difficult, so I need to take training," he explains.
Though Nikhil underwent training in guns and weapon handling for his earlier film Spy, he says the weapons in Swayambhu belong to a different genre. "While Spy is contemporary, Swayambhu is a period flick and is completely different. Only a few people can provide training in an ancient and forgotten art," he notes.
According to the actor, such training also makes him strong mentally. He feels it acts like a detox and makes him more confident. "I am a huge fan of costume drama, and I am lucky to get this role," he adds.
Apart from the physical efforts he’s taking, the actor is researching the period, going through books and other material to absorb the traits of the character he portrays. He is spending time with the director who has been doing research for the project for the last five years.
Nikhil signed Swayambhu after the super success of Karthikeya 2. The gripping script and edge-of-the-seat narration were the motivating factors. "When I heard the script, I was transported back to an ancient era. I wanted to give a similar experience to the audience," he says in conclusion.