Mithila Palkar, a personality to reckon with in Hindi and Marathi, turns her attention to Tollywood with her Telugu debut as a female lead in Ori Devuda opposite Vishwak Sen. The film is a remake of the Tamil romantic comedy blockbuster film Oh My Kadavule directed by Ashwath Marimuthu who directed the original as well. Mithila, who was also a YouTube sensation has shared the screen with legendary actors like Irfan Khan, Kajol, Dulquer Salman and Abhay Deol. Her popularity with the youth and audience has enabled her career graph to go on the rise. In conversation with Lipika Varma, she talks about her Tollywood debut and her journey so far.
How did you bag a debut role in the Telugu film Ori Devuda?
This film is the remake of the Tamil romantic comedy blockbuster film Oh My Kadavule. The director of the film, Ashwath Marimuthu called me and asked me to watch the Tamil version first, then we could take the conversation ahead. I watched the film and it was indeed a fun watch. It was a meaty role. I always like to be part of a film which has a good story and a good character. I enjoyed the film, the character and watching the film as an audience so I said let’s do it!
How did it feel working in the South industry, especially as it was your first time?
Ashwath my director, told me for the first time that there are people who will speak Hindi and English, it was great being on that set and that’s where I got lucky. The crew was from the Tamil industry and they didn’t speak Telugu. But there were a bunch of people who spoke Telugu so obviously, we heard Tamil, Telugu, English and Hindi which were the languages majorly spoken on the sets. Hyderabad folks speak Hindi in their dialect and I enjoy it when people speak different languages. I didn’t feel alienated at all.
You have worked in all industries from Bollywood, Tollywood and Marathi, how did you manage it all?
I have been lucky to have worked with like-minded people in these industries and on these sets as a newcomer. This is my big screen release after Karavan, although, I am new to the industry, I have gotten a lot of love, respect and support and I feel very privileged.
How has your journey been? You have caught the public eye as a YouTube sensation and have worked with Dulquer Salmaan, Abhay Deol and the late Irrfan Khan.
It’s been incredible, surreal, and beyond my imagination. I have been extremely grateful for everything that has happened professionally. I have learned so much from everybody I have worked with. So many people I meet say, oh my god, you have worked with Irrfan sir and that feels like something else. I am grateful to work with an actor who did unknowingly teach me so much with a very child-like curiosity without having any air about who he is. He was always willing to learn. I know he was going to start working on some digital project and he knew that’s the space I came from. He would sit with me and ask me questions about wanting to learn/understand it better. He never felt why I should learn from this little girl, he just wanted to get all the information. We dearly miss Irrfan sir.
Abhay continues to be a friend. Everyone knows he is extremely genuine and honest. He is there for me no matter what.
I was nervous the first day when I was working with Kajol. Having grown up watching her and then, sharing the screen with her, and playing as her daughter, I had to pinch myself. I was so nervous, but she gave me her infectious laugh and that’s it, I was so comfortable after that. I am grateful for this journey.
Recently, I watched two of Dulquer’s films- Sita Ramam and Chup. I met him after watching his work. I am glad these are people who are still accessible and not that they have worked with me and forgotten me.
How was your experience shooting in Hyderabad, what would you like to say about the city?
I was in Hyderabad for more than 6 months and it just felt like home. I am recommending places for people to eat the food I love. It is such a clean place. I have had the best Andhra food from Vishwas’s mother. The entire cast and crew sat together and had a community meal, no one went to their van to eat. Hyderabad is a mix of Nizam and Andhra-Telangana, you get the best of both worlds. I relished biryani and had the best sambar, chutney, idlis and dosas. I am a huge foodie, and being in Hyderabad was heaven.