Film Companion interview with Nani

The film industry has come to a complete standstill over fears of the Coronavirus. Artists are now staring at an indefinite break wherein they don’t know when they’ll be on a film set again. Many are using this forced break to spend time with family, catch up on movies and TV shows, and entertain people on Instagram. Film Companion will be checking in on artists to see how they’re coping with social distancing. We ask Telugu star Nani, whose film V has been put on hold, what he’s been up to.

What’s your mind space right now? 

I’m in a space of uncertainty right now. I’ve realized how much we’ve taken things for granted. I’m looking forward to seeing our lives get back to normal. If not normal, at least close (to normal).

How can art save us from the gloominess outside? 

I guess that is the only distraction for the entire world considering our lockdown situation. With all the information across social media/WhatsApp groups and the related panic around us, the only way to be sane is to indulge in art and it’s various forms.

How do you stay creatively motivated at times like this – when you don’t know when you’ll shoot again?

Watching movies was always my way of being creatively motivated. Now that I’m home and I have all the time in the world, I’m getting to catch up on a lot of films that I’ve missed. I’m obviously very pumped about getting back to work, though the timeline is uncertain.

Are there things that you’ve put off for a while that you hope to do now? 

I always used to write down ideas and develop stories as an assistant director and I enjoyed that process. After I became an actor, I never found the time to write and I think now is the best time to start again. Also, I’m trying my hand at cooking which I always wanted to learn but never could.

What’s on your binge list? 

I watch everything and anything. Last year, I’ve been working on films back to back and I missed out on a lot of nice films and series. I’m planning to catch up on them. I just finished watching Knives Out, Uncut Gems and Fargo and I enjoyed all of them.

World over film shoots are stalled, theatres shut, releases are pushed, daily wage workers are under threat – what worries you most about how the industry will brave this storm?

I know for sure we’ll sail through this. The industry has already come together to make sure everyone  overcomes these difficult times. However, my biggest fear is how the movie watching experience might change in the future. Watching a film in a packed theatre is the best experience, I believe. With all the phobia around, I’m worried it will get affected.

There’s a general sense of panic and anxiety in the air. Is there anything you recommend people watch or listen to calm their nerves? 

Apart from your primary source of information or news, refrain from reading all kinds of forwards and random stuff and spend time with your family. No recommendation in particular. But I spend most of my time listening to Ilaiyaraaja sir’s music.

Lastly, for people constantly in the public eye, is there any silver lining to this forced social distancing? 

Yes, I’m definitely enjoying my time with family and I’m making the most of it.

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