Before she could even process what was happening, Priya Varrier had become an overnight sensation. The wink girl had turned into a national crush! She became the most searched celebrity on Google. Her Instagram followers touched over 70 lakhs. “Not every journey is easy,” says Varrier of her sudden stardom. Luck can make you a star, but it takes more than luck to thrive in the world of glitz and glamor. You need hard work and dedication. Priya Varrier, who is back in Ranjith Sankar’s Four Years after a hiatus in Malayalam, talks about her journey to Manorama.
How did you bag “Four Years”?
“Four Years” was quite unexpected. One fine day I received a call from Ranjith Sankar. He said he had a character in mind for me and was wondering if he was interested. I gave my audition in one day. He later told me that they tried different stars and newcomers for the role. Since this was such an unexpected offer, I was overjoyed.
Is “Four Years” a love story? Or is there more to it than romance?
“Four Years” is not a typical love story. The film explores the highs and lows of a relationship with a lot of transparency. Sarjano Khalid plays the male lead. And since this is a Malayalam film, there are no language restrictions either.
You have acted in other language films. Are there more fans for Priya Varrier outside of Kerala?
Of course I have many supportive fans outside of Kerala. But then I also have supportive fans in Kerala. It’s not that I made a conscious decision to only select films in other languages. After my first Malayalam film, I got more offers from other languages. I have made films in Hindi, Telugu and Kannada. I am currently making a Hindi film. Two Telugu films were released. The Kannada film will be released next year. I hope that Sridevi Bungalow will be released very soon. However, it is not a biopic of the late Sridevi.
How has your life changed after becoming an actor and model?
Not everyone will be lucky enough to turn their passion into a career. But I was lucky in that regard. And I’m very happy about that. I was only 18 when I made ‘Oru Adaar Love Story’. Since then, this job has given me financial security. I also enjoy the freedom that comes with it. That doesn’t mean I overspend or waste money. But the freedom that gives us financial independence is something else.
But besides these photoshoots, you have also been a victim of cyberbullying. How do you deal with that?
I think it’s high time we normalized the word brave. That’s a choice. Unless my family and friends care, I don’t see why people should care so much about what I’m wearing. I have experienced a lot of cyberbullying. Especially around my photo shoots. At first I was very upset and I asked myself how I should deal with it. But now such discussions or barbs do not bother me. I accept criticism. Take what matters and move on.
At the age of 18 you became a national crush. Then modelling. To sing. And you have dabbled in different fields. How do you rate yourself as an actor?
I got a lot of hype for my first film and song. This was a character I got by pure luck. I was lucky that the song got noticed. After that it got difficult. It wasn’t easy surviving here. Neither then nor today. I think I have miles ahead of me as an actor. In the midst of all this, the modeling also took place. I also became a singer and trained from childhood. I’m actually confident in my singing abilities.
Has cinema always been your dream?
Playing great characters on screen will always be what I look forward to. Being part of good movies and playing good characters has always been my childhood dream. I haven’t thought about anything else since I was a kid. Cinema has always been my dream since childhood. I still dream of cinema. And that’s something I want to say to everyone who longs to be part of cinema, to keep dreaming and to work towards fulfilling their dreams. That will eventually happen.