Success, full circle

Harshika Poonachha talks about her foray into films, her association with Udaya TV and more

From being a teen talk-show host to becoming one of the most-sought-after actresses in the south, to making a guest appearance for a television serial on Udaya TV, life has indeed come a full circle for the talented Harshika Poonachha.

Her career started off with the two talk shows — Nimmindha Nimagaagi and Hrudayadinda — both for Udaya TV. The shows opened doors for her entry into films and she made her silver screen debut with PUC. She went on to act in many Kannada films, including Thamassu with Shivarajkumar for which she won the Karnataka State Film Award as the best supporting actress.

Harshika also acted in a Kodava film, Ponnamma, and a Konkani film, Kazar,besides acting in Telugu films such as Edukondalavada Venkataramana Andaru Bagundali and Anandha Thollai inTamil to name a few.

She talks to Metroplus about films, TV and more.


How did films happen?

By accident. I never dreamt of being an actress. As a child, I wanted to be a veterinary doctor as I loved animals. As a teenager I loved the American accent, so wanted to complete my masters and settle abroad.

I was good at studies and completed my masters too. The talk show for Udaya happened during my summer holidays after my class 10 exams. I wanted to earn some pocket money and was asked to host it.

One thing led to the other, and now I am here in the film industry. My parents had no clue that the talk show was happening and finally they accepted it. But, it took a lot of convincing for them to let me get into films.

How different is the Kodava and the Konkani film industry from the Kannada film industry?

There is a lot of difference. They are regional and smaller compared to Kannada and Tamil films.

The films made in Konkani and Kodava are considered as art films and not commercial films. Budget-wise too there is a lot of difference.

But it was special to be a part of the Kodava film as I am from Coorg. Konkani was also special as they accepted me.

You made it a point to complete your education with distinction and continued acting simultaneously…

I loved to study and excelled at it. So my parents were shocked when I was getting film offers. I never settled for anything but the best. It was my goal to get the first or the second rank. But once I finished studies,I had to make a choice. I chose films so I could give it my full attention.

About your foray into Tamil and Telugu films…

They give you more exposure as an actor. The Kannada industry is big. But it does not hurt to be exposed to other regions as well. This also includes a non-Kannada speaking audience.

Tell us about your special appearance in Udaya’s serial Sariyu.

I play myself. I come into the story as a friend of the lead actor.

I made my entry into the serial on August 4 for Varamahalakshmi habba. Now the surprise is whether the makers will extend my stay in the coming episodes or not.

How was it coming back to Udaya TV?

It was wonderful and felt like going back home. When I was doing the talk shows, I was treated as a child. People there would buy me chocolates and gifts.

But this time, the same people treated me with such pride and like a star.

They celebrated my entry and pampered me to the core. It was sweet and made me feel emotional when I faced the camera again for them. Being a part of the Udaya family after eight years was a lovely feeling.


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