Riythvika, who won the second season of Bigg Boss Tamil, says she had no hopes of winning the title whatsoever in the beginning. “I never knew I had the support of so many. I was just being myself on the show until the last day. Most importantly, I never took sides or lost my cool,” she adds.
After three months of struggle, fights, drama and emotions, finally she’s spending time with her family and friends. “Though I’m home, I get reminded of the Bigg Boss’ wakeup voice every morning,” she smiles.
Now that she’s the title winner, how will she handle the undivided attention that is sure to come her way? “I didn’t go in expecting to win. I wasn’t getting movie offers, so I thought I could utilise a platform like Bigg Boss to let directors and producers know I exist,” she laughs.
In fact, Riythvika says she herself approached the television channel for an opportunity to be a part of the show. “I was the last contestant that they had zeroed in on. Since I was quite soft-spoken, they had almost given up on me. They knew I was neither going to provide content to the channel nor entertain the audience,” she adds.
But how did she manage to win the title? “It feels like a dream because it was something unexpected. Aishwarya Dutta was an equally strong contender. And until the last moment, everyone was tense. I’m happy I won. Unlike others, I never had a strategy. It was only half-way through the show that I started thinking about winning. Those who’ve been saying that we were pretending – they should understand that you cannot be pretend to be someone you’re not for 100 days in front of more than 50 cameras.”
Riythvika, who hasn’t even caught a single episode of the show yet, says life has turned pretty much upside down for her. “Earlier, I would go anywhere the way I want to and be what I want to be. But after my stint on the show, every move is noticed. I have gone through a lot in life and leaving it all behind I only hope my life will be filled with a new ray of happiness from now on,” she says.
For Riythvika, Bigg Boss Tamil 2 also threw up a few life lessons. “I learned to live in the moment. Besides, the show gave me a chance to interact with such amazing co-contestants and Kamal Haasan sir. Honestly, there was no celeb status in the house. We all lived like a family. They have given me so much love. I miss them a lot.”
Heaping praise on Kamal Haasan, she says he’s her inspiration. “Even if someone had done a grave mistake on the show, he had good things to say about them during their exit. He’s a wonderful human being and nobody could have hosted the show with such poise, dignity and grace!”
The actor, who has Nethra and Odavum Mudiyadhu Oliyavum Mudiyadhu in her kitty, will soon start shooting for her next – an untitled venture, produced by Pa Ranjith. “I’m playing one of the leads opposite Dinesh of Attakathi fame. I’m excited. Right now, I’m planning to go on a vacation. Once I’m back, I’ll focus on my film commitments,” she adds.
What kinds of roles does she want to do? “I’m not someone who says I’d do only lead characters. I’m game for performance-oriented ones,” she says.
But Riythvika has an appeal to filmmakers. “I have been politely told multiple times that I won’t suit a character despite speaking flawless Tamil. Deep down, I knew why. There’s an unspoken rule in the industry – when it comes to casting, fair-skinned actors are given priority. This needs to change.”
With a slew of successful women-centric films getting recognition, Riythvika believes that the past couple of years have been good for female actors as they’re getting to play challenging roles. “I want my work to be as versatile as possible and essay characters starkly different from each other.”
Riythvika says she would like to share screen space with Vijay Sethupathi someday. “He’s a terrific actor and has a knack of choosing interesting scripts. Let this be a shout out to all directors,” she signs off.