Priya Prakash Varrier. Does the name ring a bell? Well, she’s the girl from the song Manikya Malaraya Poovi (from the film Oru Adaar Love, directed by Omar Lulu) whose flirtatious wink made her an overnight Internet sensation — and it took just a few seconds of screen time in the song sequence. On screen, Priya’s wink completely charms her schoolboy admirer. On the Internet, she’s the Valentine’s Day date every boy wants. Standing at the threshold of her acting debut, Priya is getting non-stop requests for a date, she tells us.
“I am very happy. Don’t know how to handle so much love. It’s completely surreal,” Priya says. “I’m falling short of words trying to express myself. Never expected this.” Thanks to her fame, the 18-year-old, who was earlier signed on for a small role in the upcoming Malayalam film, will now play the lead in it, opposite Roshan Abdul Rahoof (the boy who is also seen in the video). Interestingly, her character’s name is also Priya.
Priya’s fan count is increasing by the minute. The thing she does with her eyebrows, ending in a wink and then a shy smile, is perfection. She says, “The director wanted me to play with my eyebrows in a certain way. It’s a mappila song (rhythmic songs in the north Kerala tradition) that has been recreated for the film. And there’s a scene where this girl and this boy converse through expressions — and the director wanted a certain mannerism. I just followed his instruction,” says Priya, shyly admitting that her mailbox is full of messages from men asking her out for a date on Valentine’s Day. Some have even proposed to her.
Does she already have a special someone in her life? “There’s no one special in my life. My studies and my dream of becoming an actor are the two focal points of my life. On Valentine’s Day, I’ll have to go to college because attendance is a problem. I’m not thinking much [about getting mobbed] — after all, I go to a girl’s college,” laughs the first-year Commerce student from Vimala College in Thrissur, Kerala.
Several jokes, one-liners, GIFs and memes are all over the Internet, and which are the ones she likes? “That the Indian government has declared me as a national crush was quite amusing. I remember someone had said that I look ugly without make-up, and reacting to that, this boy had written how people use a variety of filters to look good, so it’s time we appreciated natural beauty,” she says, adding that Malayalam film star Tovino Thomas has conveyed his good wishes to her.
Priya shares that she has also come to know about many fake accounts in her name on social media. She is on Instagram and Facebook, but not on Twitter. “There are 90-plus Instagram [accounts] and don’t know how many fake Twitter accounts,” she gasps.
Feeling blessed to be a part of ‘Oru adaar love’.This wouldnt have been possible without you ikka @omar_lulu_ 💛Cant thank you enough.And also special mention to my wonderful co-actor @roshan_abdul_rahoof 💙
A post shared by priya prakash varrier (@priya.p.varrier) on Feb 11, 2018 at 3:01am PST
Her friends have been drawn into this whirlwind of fame, too, and are enjoying it thoroughly. “My friends are more excited than I am,” says Priya, “and they’ve been receiving message requests from people who want to get in touch with me. They’ve been sending me screenshots of these messages. In fact, my father’s colleagues also took an interest in my photos, and they were talking about it till he decided to tell them [on Monday] that it’s his daughter!”
Channa mereya…cant get dis song out of my head…so yeah❤
A post shared by priya prakash varrier (@priya.p.varrier) on Jan 20, 2017 at 8:59am PST
Priya, a trained Mohiniyattam dancer and classical singer, also has her eyes set on Bollywood. She has even sung her own covers of the hit tracks, Channa Mereya (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, 2017), Tum Hi Ho (Aashiqui 2, 2013), and Instagrammed the videos. “Working in Bollywood is a dream. My favourites are Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh,” she signs off.
Interact with Shreya Mukherjee at Twitter/@Shreya_MJ