New girl on the block

Deccan Chronicle.  | Pranita Jonnalagedda

Entertainment, Tollywood

Priyanka Jawalkar will soon be making her debut in actor Vijay Devarakonda’s next.

Priyanka Jawalkar

24-year-old Priyanka Jawalkar is the new face in the industry, with an interesting story to tell. Nearly four years after she did her first short film, which she had taken up “without seriousness”, she is now set to make her cinema debut as the female lead in director Rahul Sankrityan’s next, starring Vijay Devarakonda as the lead. This time, Priyanka knows well that this is what she wants to pursue.

“When I did short films, I wasn’t sure if this was the career I wanted. It was something new and interesting, so I took it up. It was through Facebook that Subhash Chandra of MR Productions (a well-known short filmmaking team) approached me, and asked if I’d like to act. Both Raj Tarun and Chandini who did several films with them had become very famous by then and Uyyala Jampala (starring Raj Tarun) was launched. I took the chance,” she recalls.

Short films earned her recognition and she began receiving several offers for feature films, one of them being director Rahul’s The End. “I think I was destined to work with Rahul. When he was doing his first film, he wanted to cast me in it. But at that time, I was going to the US, and couldn’t take it up. But finally, my first film is with him,” she shares.

While she went to the US, and stayed on for two years, she did return to take a break, and decided to take up acting full time and see how it goes. “I wanted to be well-prepared, and convinced Bhikshu sir to teach me acting. Simultaneously, I worked towards grooming myself. I eventually sent my pictures to Geetha Arts, and things fell into place. It was such a happy coincidence that Rahul was directing this film,” says Priyanka, who hails from Anantapur and is a Maharashtrian, adding, “I never thought I’d be an actor but now that I have taken this up, I am very committed. This is what I want to do.”

A computer science engineer, she also has a Diploma in fashion and clothing from NIFT, Hyderabad. In fact, she has styled for herself in the film too. “They liked the clothes I was wearing in a few of our meetings and it was eventually decided that I style myself. Everything I wear in the film was planned way before the shoot began, so that there’s no trouble for me when we shot the film,” she explains. On a parting note, she doesn’t fail to mention how her co-star Vijay has been a darling. “This whole setup is new to me, even though I did short films earlier. It’s all on a bigger scale. And he helped me feel at home and  would always be around to suggest and advice,” she says, signing off.