“I Am Living My Dream,” Says Priya Prakash Varrier!

The bold and sizzling actress is determined to break ‘the wink girl’ tag! 

She is all of 19 – young, beautiful, confident and rearing to go! Even before she realised it herself, she had become an internet sensation overnight. The social media has celebrated her and criticised her in equal measure but she is determined to prove her mettle and rise beyond the tag of being called the ‘wink girl’! Ritz is in conversation with the bold and sizzling Priya Prakash Varrier, whose much awaited debut movie, ‘Oru Adaar Love’ is hitting screens this Valentine’s Day!

Interview: Riya Sonny Datson

Photography: Shafi Shakkeer

Styling: Smiji K T

Makeup: Samson Lei

Costumes: Lifestyle, Jaz’aash Studio

Footwear: Steve Madden, Lulu Mall

Venue: Novotel Kochi Infopark

Cinema has been your dream since childhood, how was your first experience facing the camera?

I had absolutely no fear while facing the camera; infact it was just sheer excitement. But yes, when the movie releases, I think there would be an element of tension and fear to know it’s response from the audience.

What drew you to the role?

I always wanted to be a part of Cinema, so I was waiting for an opportunity to come by. I had initially auditioned for a movie titled ‘Chunkzz’. Though I had cleared the audition, due to my exam schedules, I couldn’t be a part of the project. So they promised that they would call me for their upcoming film.  When ‘Oru Adaar love’ was announced, I got a casting call as a supporting character. But after the song became a hit, there was a change in the script.

Since this has been your dream, have you had any training in acting or any form of art?

I started my training in Carnatic music from a very young age and I have also learnt classical dance. Acting has always been a dream that I have harboured since childhood as I loved watching movies. While in school, more than attending classes, I was always active in extracurricular activities like dance, music or drama.

What was your response when you heard that the song, especially your wink had gone viral?

I didn’t expect it to go viral and to be honest, when I heard about it, I didn’t even know how to respond! At first, I had just forwarded the link of the song to my friends and family and they all gave me a good feedback. Next thing I knew, it was spreading like wildfire. I started to get calls from across the country. In fact, even CNN and BBC got in touch with us.

Life has changed dramatically and you are constantly under the scanner now. You were recently seen taking a selfie with Ranveer Singh.  How has it all affected you?

On the personal front, there has been no change. I still travel by bus and walk down the lane that leads to my home. I watch movies at shopping malls and hang out with friends. Life is normal. At the work front, things have changed. I am doing what I always wanted to do. I am following my dream. I have always wanted to meet celebrities but I didn’t expect it all to happen so soon.

You have also had negative experiences like people filing cases against you…

There was a certain level of tension initially but my mind was clear that I hadn’t done anything wrong. It was the director’s call to do a particular role or a particular scene and as an actress, I did my job. To be honest, it hasn’t affected me much.

What about all the social media slamming?

It hurt me a lot when I realised that whoever created the hype for me at first, were the ones trying to slam me now. But I have come to accept that where there is positivity, there will be negativity. I would like to look at all the negativity as a challenge and I am looking forward to turning it around to positivity.

The teaser of your Bollywood outing ‘Sridevi Bungalow’ has been garnering a lot of dislikes. Is it really about the late actress Sridevi?

The teaser was made just to create a curiosity element and nothing more. The main intention was to get people to notice it and I think any publicity is good publicity for a film.

But don’t you think it will affect you or the movie negatively?

The teaser was released just to capture the attention of the audience and like I said, any publicity is good publicity. At the end of the day, am just doing a character that was given to me by the director.

As a celebrity, what do you like most about tinsel town?

In a very short span, I have received fame and recognition. But more than that, I am really happy that I am living my childhood dream.

With fame and recognition comes challenges, what is your biggest challenge?

I don’t let fame go to my head. I believe in staying rooted. Instant fame is something that has come to me along with my career but my dream of being recognised as an actress still remains. My biggest challenge is to step above the tag of being called ‘the wink girl’. I have to prove my mettle as an actress.

What do you dislike about tinsel town?

I know that a coin has two sides but it affects me only when someone is purposely trying to hurt or harass me. I don’t mind harmless trolls. In fact, I handle trolls in the right sense. I laugh at my own trolls and share the funny ones on my Instagram page.

What are your interests outside of movies?

Singing, reading, watching movies.

Is there a possibility of play back singing, then?

Yes. Why not?

Fashion Mantra: Comfort

Fitness Mantra: I like to workout but I hardly find the time. Thankfully, I don’t put on weight easily.

If not cinema, then?

That was never an option. Cinema was my dream and my only goal in life. My parents’ only insistence was that I complete my degree, which I am pursuing.

How are you balancing your studies and Cinema?

It is very hard but I am trying to attend classes whenever I can.

Rapid Fire:

  • I admire: Deepika Padukone
  • Dream Role: A Vamp
  • Can’t do without: My phone!
  • Obsessed With: Movies
  • Idol: My Dad!
  • In My Bag:  Phone!
  • Proud Possession: My family
  • Favourite Star: Vijay Sethupathi
  • Motto in Life: Keep dreaming!
  • Favourite Perfume: Victoria’s Secret
  • Favourite Dish: Pav Bhaji
  • Dream Destination: Paris