The Telugu film industry has accepted TV actress Avika Gor who is busy learning Telugu.
“My debut film got me the award for best debutante. When people talk around me I understand what they’re saying. And the best part is, Balika Vadhu is very popular in Hyderabad.
They come and pull my cheeks saying, ‘Jab aap chote thhe bade cute they.’ I tell them I am still very young.”
At the moment Avika has no plans except acting. “I love acting, dancing and photography. There are many things I want to do. I am loving the attention. It also feels nice to know that viewers are so involved.
When I go home after shooting, my grandparents ask why my character is doing what it is doing. So Sasural Simar Ka has the best fan club at my home only.
Recently when my character, Roli was injured on the show, my grandmother came running to see if I was okay.”
Avika was recently in Hyderabad, shooting for a Telugu film. “In Hyderabad they know me as Uma, the character I played in Uyyala Jampala. But Sasural Simar Ka gave me the chance to play many characters, including a greying aunty.”
A greying aunty at 17?
Laughs Avika, “My favourite role is that of Mr Amitabh Bachchan in Paa. At his age, he played a young boy. Sasural Simar Ka gives me a chance to move completely out of my real space and create an alternative space for my character. Which actor gets to do that?”
From the chirpy child-bride to the weepy bahu, Avika made the crossover in just a few years.
She is very clear about the character being very different from the person she is. “The solemn and sullen bahu is not me. I still ask stupid questions. I do stupid things.
I am still a child at heart, far removed from the decked-up bahu that I play in Sasural Simar Ka. After Balika Vadhu ended, there was an eight-month gap. Then when I came back as a grown-up bahu in a sari, the initial reaction was that this isn’t the right casting. There was public outrage when the romantic track started between Siddharth Shukla and me.
There was a difference of 18 years between us. People thought it was wrong. But the team was very sure that they wanted this relationship to be unique, and finally it worked. Now when I meet people they tell me they love the show.”
Avika says that even she was taken aback when she saw herself as a sari-clad bahu. “Initially I appeared on the show in a school uniform. Then they suddenly changed the entire story, got my character married, and the rest you know.”
As a child actor working round-the-clock, Avika did her homework on the sets and even met her school friends while working. And as a teenager, her life hasn’t changed much.
But she’s enjoying every bit of her life. “I am finding time to do the things I want to do. Recently, when the next plot movement for Sasural Simar Ka was not finalised, I was free for six days. For three days I only slept. Then I went out shooting a short-film that I’m making. I have a pet dog and I bring him to my sets most of the time.”
Ask her about doing things other 17-year-olds do and Avika says, “It isn’t normal for a girl of my age to be playing a bahu. But I’ve tailored my life accordingly.
Most of my friends are from the television industry or connected to the industry. We are all busy. But we stay connected.”...