image_1The perfect example of acting and style. She is a professional designer from prestigious NIFT and has done designing for  brands like Tommy Hilfiger ,Guess and Lee Cooper. She is a beautiful diva who strongly supports vegetarian diet. She never goes for animal leather and believes animals are as innocents as kids. She often raise her voice for women empowerment in India in various news debates. You know her from various TV serials – Annie from “Geet -Hui Sabse Parayi”, Maya from “Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai”. She has recently started her Bollywood career from “Revolver Rani”. Yes- we are talking about beautiful Nikunj Malik. Nikunj had a long conversation about her career, films and social issues with Matpal team. Here are few highlights of discussion-

Matpal: You are a professionally trained designer, alumnus of NIFT and an IIM dropout. How did you enter in acting then?

Nikunj: Acting just happened by chance.I guess I was destined to be here. I took up a reality show -my first show, Swayamwar Season 2 (Rahul Mahajan Dulhaniya Le Jayega, on NDTV Imagine) on my mother’s persistence. I got calls from the television industry right after that and everything just followed one after the other.

Matpal: What is the role of your family in your journey so far ?
Nikunj: I come from a political family. My mother is the BJP Delhi chief for slum development.She is a member of the national executive group of BJP.I have had a 100% support from my mother & brother.My mother encouraged me to become an actor and have always had my back,no matter what.

Matpal: We know you are a good designer but what are your hobbies other then designing?
Nikunj: I love playing with my pets. I like cooking and reading books whenever I get time. I read lot of fiction. I also love to shop.

Matpal: We came to know that you are a vegetarian and you do promote being vegetarian.
Nikunj: I love animals very much. I can not imagine to hurt them in any way. I do not support the killing of poor animals for meat or leather. Besides being vegetarian, I also do not use leather products. I believe animals are as innocent and helpless as little children and need to be protected,taken care of and love !!

Matpal: You always look gorgeous and fit. What is your fitness mantra ?
Nikunj: I like to stay slim and healthy. I work out 4 days a week and climb 20 flights of stairs every alternate day. I also love to walk. I watch what I eat. And also make sure I get ample amount of good sleep. Its very important to be rested. I have not gained one inch or one kilo in the last ten years.. proud of it !

Nikunj MalikMatpal: You have raised your voice for women in various forums. Do you think our existing system is not able to protect women?
Nikunj: It is true indeed that women are not safe in our country. I always voice my opinion for women safety on various news debates. We are very hopeful that the new government would make us safer. They are working towards it everyday. We do have ample rights and laws on women safety. Its the enforcement which is not in place. But, along with the government, I feel the citizens also need to be actively involved with such issues, and the society on a whole needs to work towards a safer country.

Matpal: As women – how do you thing an individual should stand for herself?
Nikunj: Every girl needs to be aware of her surroundings to begin with. An alert person can prevent lot of mishaps.Girls need to keep themselves mentally strong to face any unpleasant incident.
Every girl must learn some physical stunts like karate etc. to be able to help herself. Girls need to know and understand the laws that protect them & their civil and legal rights as the citizens of this country.

Matpal: Do you think that women’s issues are only the part of academic discussions – society and government are not serious towards them ?
Nikunj: The government is serious about women’s issues. There are strong laws for women safety. But, government can not look after every girl all the time. We are a huge country. The society needs to wake up.Its everybody’s responsibility, as much as it is government’s. We need to help each other. Most importantly,we need to teach one half of our country to respect and protect the other half. We need to morally correct our men/boys.

Nikunj MalikMatpal: You have worked in various TV serials but what is your favorite character played by you so far?
Nikunj: I immensely enjoyed my first fiction show, Geet (Geet – Hui Sabse Parayi). The character of ‘Annie’ was awesome. I was a spoilt ‘baby’ sister on the show. I have never been a spoilt baby sister in real life.I am the eldest child.So I really enjoyed being that for a while.

Matpal: What are your future plans? Will you ever consider designing as your primary passion again?
Nikunj: Definitely..I have devoted a part of my life to become a designer and i deeply cherish that.I am very proud of it.I will resume designing at some point.But right now,my acting career is gradually moving ahead on the right track,and I believe in focussing on one thing at a time.

Matpal: We heard that you have done designing for some international brands as well ?
Nikunj: Yes indeed.I have designed accessories for Tommy Hilfiger & Guess.
In India, i designed men’s footwear for Lee Cooper.

Nikunj MalikMatpal: What are your upcoming projects?
Nikunj: I am currently shooting my first solo project,tentatively named ‘Gulmohar’. Its a woman oriented hindi feature film and I play the title role. There are two more projects that I have signed.I am a little superstitious about discussing things before we go on floors,so will not talk about it now :)

Matpal: Do you think our industry has less or no presence of women centric cinema?
Nikunj: It was true till a while back.But lately the trends have changed.We have seen some brilliant women oriented films like Mary Com,Kahani,Queen. I myself shooting a heroine oriented film right now. We have seen pleasant changes and i hope we will see a lot of heroine oriented films in the future as well.

Matpal: Which are your favorite shows from Indian and Hollywood Industry?
Nikunj: I love hollywood sitcoms.I have seen everything from “Friends” to “Two and a half men” to “About a boy” multiple times over. I loved “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Boston Legal” as well.
I also enjoy watching telenovelas from Pakistan. Their shows are very sorted plot wise and very well executed.

I find Indian TV a bit too exaggerated. Everything is over the top. I do watch ‘Jodha Akbar though. History excites me and also,’Akbar’ is quite cute.. ;) I complimented him a few weeks back when i met him at one of the awards..

Matpal: Your favorite hollywood movies ?
Nikunj: I love romcoms..”Monster-In-Law” & “What happens in vegas” top my list of most watched. I also enjoy period dramas. “Troy” is my all time favourite.
“Sex and the City”,”Devil wears Prada” and my list goes on !lolz

Matpal: Which is your favorite Bollywood movie ?
Nikunj: Indian cinema – vintage films are beyond comparison !
i love ‘Mehboob Ki Mehndi’ and i also absolutely love Rajesh Khanna-Mumtaz.So all their films are delightful to watch.

Matpal: Who are your favorite Indian and Hollywood actors?
Nikunj: Indian actors that I love are Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz. From the current gen, I  love Akshay Kumar and Irrfan Khan. Irrfan for his most subtle natural performance and Akshay Kumar for his looks !! From hollywood,I love Gerard Butler and Eric Bana !!

Matpal: Thanks Nikunj for your precious time for matpal.com. 

Nikunj: My pleasure. Best wishes for Christmas and have a happy new year 2015.

 

This interview is based on a conversation between our editorial team and Ms Nikunj Malik.  You can mail your feedback to us on editor@matpal.com