Its not easy for non-Telugu actors to survive in Tollywood: Taxiwaala star Priyanka Jawalkar

Written by Gabbeta Ranjith Kumar | Hyderabad | Published: November 15, 2018 11:16:23 am

Priyanka Jawalkar will make her silver screen debut with Taxiwaala.

Priyanka Jawalkar, a Marathi girl born and brought up in Anantapur, is making her big screen debut with Taxiwaala, which is due in cinemas on November 17.

Interacting with the media on Wednesday, Priyanka said that she felt very good when social media was flooded with wishes for her debut under the hashtag #Anantapurpilla, which in Telugu means the girl from Anantapur. “I was happy. I think Im the only heroine in the industry from Anantapur. I think thats why people back there are so happy for me.”

Along with her computer science degree, Priyanka Jawalkar also holds a diploma in Fashion Clothing Technology from NIFT, Hyderabad. “I wanted to be an actor since I was a child. But you know how parents are? They pushed me towards academics. When I was in my engineering final year, I was offered a short film. I was impressed with the previous work of that filmmaker. So I agreed to do that,” she said.

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Her tryst with show business began with the short film titled Possessiveness about five years ago. “It went viral,” Priyanka recalled. She continued pursuing her academic interests. After she completed her eight-month statistics course at Harvard in the US, she decided to pursue an acting career. “In 2016, I joined the acting classes conducted by Bhikshu and Aruna Bhikshu. After four months of training, my photos were sent to Geetha Arts,” she said.

After landing her first movie, Priyanka Jawalkar kept the news from her parents for weeks. “I was worried that the filmmakers may remove me from the film anytime. But, after two or three weeks, when I got the confidence that I will not be removed from the project, I told my parents,” she recalled.

The actor said the completion and the release of the film took longer than expected. “I was scared and hopeless,” she said. She did not sign any other film in the last two years as she wanted to see the response she receives from the audience and the industry for her debut performance.

“When the film got delayed, at times, I questioned my decision to become an actor. But now I want the film to release and become a hit. This is what I want in my life,” Priyanka said.

Priyanka Jawalkars fluency in speaking the language and her identity as Anantapur pilla has already set her apart from other female actors from non-Telugu states. The Telugu girl identity is likely to work in her advantage as there is a growing clamor against native talents losing lead roles to female actors from north India in the Telugu film industry.

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Priyanka, however, took a balanced view on the debate. “Art is an art. As long as the final output is good, it doesnt matter, whether it was done by a Telugu girl or Tamil girl,” she opined.

That said, she also batted for more opportunities for girls from Telugu states. “It is not an easy task for them (non-Telugu actors) to come here, learn the language and survive.”

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