Nikhil Siddhartha recently commenced work on Daivam Manushya Rupena, the sequel to Karthikeya. The majority of the crew has been vaccinated, which is a great relief, says the actor. “It does help us to a large extent to focus on the creative aspects of the film,” he explains, but is quick to add, “We have been following all the health protocols as well.”
In fact, the shooting for the mystery adventure thriller was scheduled to start much earlier, but was postponed to allow all crew members to take the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
Expressing happiness at being able to get back to work, Nikhil says, “The film industry is one of the worst-affected by the pandemic, but I believe it’s just a matter of time before we come back with a vengeance. It’s a great sign that shootings of most films are getting a kick start.”
Schedules of Daivam Manushya Rupena have been completed in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttarakhand, etc., and the makers are chalking out a plan to go to Vietnam and Europe next month. “The arrangements are in progress, and hopefully, things will settle down a bit. This film requires extensive travel, and despite the pandemic, we are making sure that we are leaving nothing to chance get to the right locations,” explains the Kirrak Party star.
Nikhil reveals that the lockdowns actually gave him enough time to prepare for the role. While Kartikeya was released in 2004, getting the same cast on board and their looks right is one of the biggest challenges, the actor says.
“The cast had to look six years younger. We even hired dieticians to make sure that the cast looks convincing,” he adds.
“It was a bit challenging getting back to the role,” admits Nikhil. “It’s been quite a roller coaster ride when it comes to fitness. There was a time when I got six-pack abs, but I lost it in between, so I am trying to regain it through my workouts.” He weighed around 80 kilos while filming the first part and the hairstyle back then was different too. “I had to get several facials done, cut down on biriyani, etc. Luckily, I haven’t aged much, so my character will still be very relevant to the film’s backdrop,” he shares.
“Going by the way the film is shaping up, I can tell you that the second part looks great,” the Surya vs Surya actor says. Nikhil got married to Pallavi Varma, a doctor, last year in May. “We complement each other on various aspects, and that’s how we strike a work-life balance,” reveals the Ekkadiki Pothavu Chinnavada star. The two of them have been responding to the pleas of people with medical emergencies during the second wave of the pandemic, contributing financially where needed.
Meanwhile, the actor has a slew of in-progress films waiting to resume work, now that lockdown restrictions are being eased.