'Sooryavanshi' actor Niharica Raizada talks about the film, working with Rohit Shetty, and her late grandfather OP Nayyar

Meet the gorgeous Niharica Raizada, who was crowned Miss India UK 2010 and was the runner-up at Miss India Worldwide 2010. Granddaughter of veteran music composer OP Nayyar, she is also a cardiologist who has been treating thousands of patients during the Covid crisis. Here, the actor, who has starred in movies like the critically-acclaimed Masaan, Damadol, Total Dhamaal, speaks about working with Rohit Shetty in Sooryavanshi, and more. Excerpts from the interview:

What’s keeping you busy these days?

Right now, I’m actually providing medical services like my nana, O P Nayyar saab — he was also into community service. At the age of 86, he became an Ayurvedic specialist, and would sit at home and give advice on Vedic medicine (his father was also a famous Ayurveda doctor). I guess what you are born into, somehow stays with you. It helps you live that way at a certain point in your life.

What about your career in the entertainment field?

I love my career in showbiz. But, currently, shoots have been stopped. Everybody’s waiting for things to get back to normal. During these trying times, there are two options: Either you sit at home and not do anything, or you can get involved with community services; you have to do services to mankind.

Tell us about your role in Sooryavanshi?

Well, I hope that Sooryavanshi will bring a new ray of hope in my life. I play an ATS officer; I only have scenes with Ranveer Singh, Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif.

How was it working with Akshay Kumar and Rohit Shetty?

I received a respectful treatment from all. Akshay Kumar loved playing games after the shoot wrap for the day. The finest part was playing the game with him, which was interesting, but the worst part was he always won every game — be it Ludo or Rummy, he emerged victorious! Also, Akshay never played without keeping a bet. I lost almost Rs 160, during a game of Ludo. Rohit Shetty is that kind of a director who respects everyone, and receives the same in return from others.

A lot of movies are taking the digital route these day. For Sooryavanshi, what would you pick: Theatre or the OTT?

I have sleepless nights when I think about the film not releasing in theatres. I don’t want this film to come on an OTT platform; that’s what I feel deep down my heart. I want Sooryavanshi to be released in theatres; it’s made for the big screen. However, if the situation worsens, then we will not have any choice.

Can you now be considered as the new entrant into Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty’s camp?

Yes, I am definitely a proud member of the camp. In my entire career, even if I just have to belong to the Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty camp, I shall be happy. It’s the best camp and I am content to be a part of it. It has been my dream to work with Ajay Devgn.

What next?

Rohit Shetty called me for an ad with Ranveer Singh, who is a powerhouse of talent. While working with him I understood that he is one actor who loves to be an actor. This ad will be in the film as well — it’s something like a Simmba and Sooryavanshi mix.

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