Working their way up from the small screen, these actors sure know what they want
Pretty faces yes, but these young ladies are a quick study in front of the camera. From starring opposite well-known names like Dhanush and Prithviraj to landing roles in Bollywood, here’s looking at Parul Yadav, Mayuri Kyatari, and Rachita Ram — three actors who have a promising career ahead.
Text: Barkha Kumari & Nikita Puri
When director Pawan Wadeyar’s team was returning to Bengaluru from Mumbai, after having chosen someone for a lead role in his 2012 Kannada comedy, Govindaya Namaha, they spotted Parul Yadav at a hotel en route, and immediately reconsidered their casting decision. By then, Yadav had already worked in Tamil and Malayalam films, and that too opposite actors like Dhanush and Prithviraj. “Sometimes things just happen,” says Yadav, who won the SIIMA award for Best Female Debutant for Govindaya Namaha.
Yadav was spotted by an ad maker when she was just 15. “I was accompanying a friend to a fashion show and someone approached me for a chocolate ad for the Bangaldeshi market. I haven’t looked back since,” shares Yadav, who was first seen in the TV series Bhagyavidhaata. “I’ve learnt a lot of things after stepping into the industry. I didn’t have inhibitions about being on stage or in front of the camera, but I was never an outgoing person. And I didn’t believe in doing PR,” says the Mumbai-born and bred actor. After her first few films, shares Yadav, she knew something was amiss when she wasn’t getting more offers.
“I then realised relationship building was important. I used to think people would call me if I was good. But that’s not how it works. You need to approach it as a business,” says Yadav. Believing she’s more of an actor than a “heroine”, Yadav craves “performance-oriented roles, like the ones in Queen, Tanu Weds Manu and Mary Kom”.
She says that Ram Gopal Varma’s Killing Veerappan, which is slated for a November release, did satiate some of that desire. “The film is based on Operation Cocoon, and my character is inspired by someone who has never been in the media spotlight before,” she shares. Besides Killing Veerappan, Yadav will also be seen in Pawan Wadeyar’s Jessie, which is a love triangle with Dhananjay and Raghu Mukherjee.
“Sandalwood has been really sweet to me, and that’s why I’ve made it big in Kannada films, shares Yadav, adding, “Audiences have grown and they don’t want to see movies banking on just big stars, they want to see good cinema, and that’s what I want to be a part of.”
Mayuri Kyatari had no plans to be an actress. She wanted to be the hot-shot journalist asking questions. “Today, I’m at the receiving end,” she laughs. For Kyatari, one thing has led to another, growing from good to better with every passing year — from the success of her first TV show Ashwini Nakshatra to positive reviews pouring in for her Sandalwood outing, Krishna Leela, which released in March this year. The 23-year-old is in the thick of work. She’s just wrapped up the shoot of her debut Telugu film in Hyderabad and is getting ready for the first schedule of her second Kannada film in Malnad. Then she is mulling over a script for a Malayalam film. She’s also got an offer for a Hindi serial, but TV will have to wait. Kyatari spent her teenage years doing a lot of compering. So, she’s confident language will never be a barrier for her. She is fluent with Marwari, Hindi and English, besides Kannada and is even preparing to dub in Telugu.
She lets us in on her upcoming films. “The Telugu film is female-oriented. It revolves around a girl, who’s been raped. How she turns her life around forms the story line. It was quite challenging as I was supposed to do action as well,” says Kyatari. Closer home, she will be working with director Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar. “It’s a love story and I play the role of a talkative girl. It is based on an old Kannada novel. But, obviously, the story has been tweaked to make it relevant for today’s generation.”Kyatari is particular about the films she is signing at the moment. She looks up to Bollywood’s Kangana Ranaut for inspiration, would love to meet her and “be the Kangana Ranaut of Sandalwood someday”.
Bindiya Ram, better known by her screen name Rachita, is a busy woman. Currently she’s a part of Tamil director, M Saravanan’s Chakravyuha (opposite Puneeth Rajkumar), Sri Murali’s Rathavara, and will also be seen in Chethan Kumar’s next. “I’m planning on signing one or two more projects this year,” she says.
“People love me and I really feel excited about continuing to work in the Kannada film industry. I never dreamed of being an actor; I wanted to be a fashion designer or a KPS officer. Acting just happened and I am loving it,” says the Bangalorean.
Her elder sister, Nithya, was already a part of the TV industry when she was starting out. “But I have never used her influence. One day, I got a call from Tamil drama series, Arasi’s casting team, and I told them up front that I didn’t want to play a very sentimental or traditional character, because that isn’t who I am, and they agreed, so there was no reason not to take up the project,” shares Ram.
A technician she met on Arasi’s sets urged her to audition for MD Shridhar’s Bulbul, and Ram wasn’t sure of why they would pick her. “Nevertheless, I sent a few pictures to them, and they were all of low resolution,” she laughs. They organised a photoshoot for her the very next day, and the rest, as they say, is history. After that, shares Ram, fans started referring to her as Bulbul. “No matter where I go, people call me Bulbul, it makes me happy. Bindhya, Rachita or Bulbul — names don’t matter,” she adds.
Beauty, talent and brains get you places, but the industry is a hard place to be, especially for a woman, says Ram. “There are a lot of ups and downs that will come and go, and it is absolutely essential for
you to be strong, and always stay professional,” she advises aspiring actors.