A wink into superstardom
Meera Suresh catches up with the latest sensation, the winking girl, Priya Prakash Varrier. The song Maanikya Malaraya Poovi from Oru Adaar Love became viral for Priya's expressions
From relative obscurity, Thrissur-girl Priya Prakash Varrier has shot to superstardom, thanks to a fame wave that shows no signs of subsiding. Four days after the first song from Oru Adaar Love was released, 'the winking girl' is still trending, not just in India, but in Pakistan and many Gulf countries as well.
Her Instagram followers count has touched 2.3 million in three days, countless memes have been given birth to, and the whole nation seems to be obsessed with her 'reactions' in the song. For Priya, all the fame is yet to sink in. She says she is clueless about handling it. "I am happy," she simply says. She adds that not in her wildest dreams did she think that this could happen.
"I just wanted to be an actor, and so auditioned for Oru Adaar Love. I got selected for a small role and was happy about finally making my debut," she says.
Director Omar Lulu tells us that Priya joined the cast as a junior artiste and that's when he noticed that her expressions were 'cute and striking'. "I knew she had to have more screen time and that's when I decided to break the schedule and rewrite the script, so she can have a more prominent role," says Omar.
And, then came the shoot of the song. Priya says her wink and eyebrow expressions were impromptu. "Omar sir didn't quite write what he wanted for the song. He asked me whether Roshan [Abdul Rahoof] and I could do the thing with the eyebrow. We tried and it came out quite well. Then, on second thought, he asked me to wink too. We never imagined this could be a life-changing expression," she laughs.
While she is overjoyed about turning into an overnight sensation, Priya is aware of the increased expectations now. "I am aware of the responsibility. Since there is so much hype around my debut, I am working on giving my best for the character," she says.
Surely, offers have begun pouring in? "Quite a lot, in fact from Tamil, Telugu and Hindi cinema. At the moment, I am only thinking of Oru Adaar Love. After I wind up my debut, I will work on other projects. I am thrilled at the prospect of acting in Tamil and Telugu. It has always been my dream," says Priya.
The secret behind the viral scene
Oru Adaar Love is Omar Lulu's third venture. His debut Happy Wedding was a sleeper hit, and his second film Chunkzz went on to be a super hit. But Omar says he had no idea that the song Maanikya Malaraya Poovi would go this viral.
"I knew Malayalis would love it. But this has come as a sweet surprise. People ask me about the magic behind this. But if the secret behind 'going viral' is decipherable, then I would have done it in all my other films too. I guess people loved the innocent love story portrayed in the song," says Omar.
While Priya has become a national crush, Roshan is a proud man. "It makes me so happy that the song from our film and Priya have gone viral," he says.
Does he feel ignored at all? "Not at all. I am getting a lot of calls. What more can I ask for? This is a moment of happiness," says Roshan.