A rare feat for a lead actress in the current scenario of a male-dominated industry, surviving for over 11 years, and reaching a milestone of 25 films in Kannada excluding other language films (which amounts to 36), is surely a special occasion. To make it even more special, and to mark her 25th Kannada film, with a female-centric subject, talented actress Hariprriya will be investigating a mysterious case pegged on the most popular bond — that of a mother and a daughter. None other than the evergreen beauty, madam Sumalatha Ambareesh will be portraying her mother’s role for this silver jubilee project. Hariprriya speaks with Bengaluru Chronicle, as she recollects her 11-and-a-half year journey in the industry where she started as a 16-year-old girl with no starry background, earning accolades with sheer hardwork and dedication!
“I have never kept an account of the number of films I have done so far. All I knew is that I have so far acted in 36 films since my first film in Tulu, Badi, which was in 2007. But, never had the idea that D/o Parvathamma is my 25th film in Kannada. It was the producer of the film who arranged for a small celebration. He had a separate list of films which I have acted in each language, and in Kannada. It was such a special occasion and I felt so pampered, as normally actresses miss out on such things,” says Hariprriya.
The actress is currently busy with atleast half a dozen diverse projects in which she will be seen in a range of different avatars — a girl, a mature lady while probing roles mixed with high emotional content such as the one in D/o Parvathamma; Bell Bottom which is set in the 80s, and the mythological act in Kurukshetra, a short act in Katha Sangama, an intricate one in Suji Dhara and a youthful one in Life Jothe Industry Selfie. She is also taking up a biggie in Telugu, which she says she will reveal soon.
However, the road to the ‘silver’ screen was a struggling one for the pretty lady. She had no clue about the industry as she had plans to study further, and start her own business.
“Thanks to my inspiration and sole supporter in my life, my mother, dance was always a part of my life, even during school. Thanks to one such performance, a manager who was impressed with it offered me a film. I was sceptical but gave it a try and was sure to return to real life shortly, but eventually chose films as my career,” she adds.
But it was tough for her in the initial days, says Hariprriya. “Had I planned it well, I would have waited for a bigger film to launch myself. When I started, I picked a good story, with a single heroine roll. Now, things have changed, and I get to choose characters, which fortunately creates a huge scope in terms of my performances. All thanks to my mother who has been my guiding light, and the many filmmakers who recognised my potential as an actress.”
Talking about negatives, Hariprriya says that similar to various other fields, there is bad and good in the industry, referring to the casting couch subtly. It is excessively glamorous, and the attention is huge. “I never came across any such experiences, nor did anyone asked me out, as I feel that it is solely based on how one reacts to a certain situation. I always mind my work, and once I fulfill my duty, I am never seen in the circle of any strange company. I have my own set of personal friends whom I hang out. My mother still travels with me to every place I shoot, or work in.”
She does add, that rumours do make rounds, and it is common in the industry, and a few have disappointed her in the past.
“Ultimately, we have to answer to our conscience. If I am loyal to myself, and lead a guilt-free life, I can go to bed peacefully. I am lucky that my upbringing has been my greatest strength to face any situation in life,” says Hariprriya.
On the big question of marriage, the 26-year-old actress says that her mother has been bringing it up for discussion lately, but she will not rush it into and definitely will marry within the next five years. More importantly, she has yet to come across a ‘deserving’ one in her life!...