Priyadarshi Pulikonda

Priyadarshi Pulikonda

The overnight sensation on pursuing his passion despite parental opposition, first breakthrough, ‘#Pellichoopulu’ and goals

Who is Priyardshi Pulikonda? Well, that’s the question on everyone’s mind, who watched ‘#Pellichoopulu.’ Having made his debut with Srikanth-starrer ‘Terror,’ where his antagonist outing went largely unnoticed despite the promising reviews the film managed to garner, the lanky actor, a post-graduate from the University of Hyderabad, has made it on his own in the industry.

In a freewheeling conversation with Talkies, the actor admits facing lots of struggles like many aspiring artistes. “There were many hardships and struggles for sure. Having a thorough understanding of the medium is necessary for anyone to scale higher,” Priyadarshi opines and adds, “Rejection was an everyday thing for me. In search of exposure and experience, I did many underpaid jobs. It’s a very competitive and ruthless industry, so I was judged by my looks but not by my talent.”

His Telangana accent in ‘#Pellichoopulu’ has been receiving a lot of praise. Sharing about the effort behind the lingo, he informs, “I’ve spent all my life in Hyderabad, so it didn’t require any extra effort to master the accent,” he smiles, admitting that he didn’t expect his part Kaushik to receive such widespread praise.  “No! Not at all. I thought Kaushik would be just a funny bone in the film. But the overwhelming response to the part was unexpected.”

His punch line from the film “Naa saavu nenu sastha, neeku enduku?” is on the verge of becoming a cult dialogue. Even the likes of SS Rajamouli and Rana Daggubatti have mentioned about it on their micro-blogging sites. “It is the line that every youngster wants to say when their neighbours or relatives ask ‘What are you doing?’ But somehow they (the youngsters) mince their words and say nothing. In this rat race, we are not spared anywhere and Kaushik gives an apt reply to that question,” he laughs.

So, what is the best compliment that he got for his role? “Many compliments came my way and are continuing so, but I am looking forward to see my teachers Aruna Bhikshu and NJ Bhikshu watch and critique my performance,” he points out. Priyadarshi recalls that acting bug bit him when he watched Kamal Haasan-starrer evergreen classic ‘Sagara Sangamam’. “I watched the film in Class III and was so mesmerised with the performance of Kamal Hassan that I decided to become an actor one day,” he flashbacks.

Although his parents were cynical about his career choice, Priyadarshi followed his heart and pursued his passion. “My parents were sceptical about acting as a profession but that changed after ‘Terror’ released. It was the peer and societal pressure which they were facing. My father (an about to retire professor) was worried that his 27-year-old son is not doing anything substantial while his friends are well-settled with good paying jobs. Now things are different and they are proud of my career choice,” he exults.   

Moving forward, the actor points out that he wants to do a wide-variety of roles and doesn’t want to get typecast. “I know comedy is a serious business and being able to make people laugh requires some  talent but I don’t feel I am the best at it,” he admits, “I know that I’m too young for some roles but I want to be a character artiste and try out every genre from classic to commercial to period. I want to spread my wings to Tamil too.”

Priyadarshi will be soon seen in a web series called ‘Hankar’. About it, he shares, “It’s a crime thriller, a first of its kind for the web world. I play a Hyderabad drug dealer and it was a pleasure to work with Hindi talents like Ravi Iyer and Yogi Chopra. We are looking for a better distribution medium to make it reach a wider audience.”

Priyadarshi insists that he will continue to work for web series in future also. “I love the medium and that’s where I came from, so catering to a larger section of the fragmented audience is interesting and also as an actor, I can play a variety of characters. Some of my friends are starting the productions soon; I can’t wait to be a part of them.”