Priya Prakash Varrier might only be two films old in the Malayalam industry ( her latest college romance Four Years having released last week). But she has already acted in the Telugu, Kannada and Hindi film industries. The actress rose to fame after her “” in a song from her Malayalam debut (2019) went viral. While the song fetched her a lot of recognition and love, it also came with its share of trolls and internet hate. In this conversation with Anupriya Raj, the actress looks back at her journey in the industry, and the role of the internet in it all.
Varrier asserts that if she had not entered the industry, she wouldn't have become the mature person she is today. The actress says, “The wink video went viral and I received so much hype when I was just 18 years old. But it was soon followed by some trolls. I didn’t even have the time to process what was happening. It was so unexpected and sudden that I was confused. But I understood that I couldn’t control these things. And step by step, over the years, I have learnt a lot and I’ve personally grown. It is not easy to get so much exposure at such a young age. At 23, now I am more mature to handle these things. Entering the film industry has broadened my perspective and personally, this is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
Having gained thousands of followers overnight, the song also paved the way for her to gain the “influencer status” on social media. But that was never the plan, she says. “My dream was never to become a social media influencer, but it happened unexpectedly. It is a new career path and a lot of people are doing wonderful things, but it is not my path. Cinema has always been my dream,” says Varrier.
The actress further acknowledges the lack of opportunities to perform. “I cannot blame anyone else for it. After my first film, no one has seen me perform and so people will be hesitant to cast me. It was Ranjith sir (Ranjith Sankar, director of 4 Years) who took that step. As an actor, I have learnt a lot from this film. I hope I get more such opportunities to prove my mettle as an artist.”
A few makers also think that she is too young to play certain roles. But that does not deter her. “I believe what is meant for me will come to me whether I am 23 or 30. My journey has only started, so maybe by 30, I will get more nuanced characters. The only way is to wait it out. The opportunities meant for me will come to me and nothing will be a barrier.”