Harshika Poonacha is on a high, and she knows it. Discovered at the tender age of 15, the actress has since taken the film fraternity by storm — with films like ‘PUC’ and ‘Jackie’ in her kitty, and another string of potential successes in the pipeline, she’s tasting success like never before.
Metrolife caught up with the cheerful actress to find out more about her projects and experiences in the industry.
Acting, as well as the stardom that followed, happened entirely by accident, maintains Harshika. “I never thought I’d become an actor, so it came as a surprise to me when I got my first film. I did ‘PUC’ when I was just 15, and my second film was ‘Jackie’, where I was paired opposite Puneeth Rajkumar,” she says, adding, “I think that’s when my career started to grow. It was definitely quite a break for me.”
Her venture into the film industry, however, didn’t mean that she neglected her education. “I wanted to finish my engineering course as well. I had to manage both — it was difficult, but I enjoyed doing it,” she says.
Harshika’s second film, ‘Jackie’, catapulted her to an instant celebrity status, and the actress admits that she enjoyed every minute of it. “The movie had a big star cast, and even won two awards after it was released. The celebrity status was nice; till then, I’d just been a normal girl and then everyone started recognising me,” she explains. She adds that this new-found popularity also brought with it a sense of responsibility. “After winning awards, I’ve become more responsible. I know that whenever I come on screen, there are good producers and directors who are watching me. I want to be known not just as a glamourous actress, but also as a good performer,” she maintains.
She has two more projects in the pipeline: Crazy Loka and Advaitha. In fact, in Crazy Loka, she’s pitched in by assisting director Kavitha Lankesh as well. “It’s been wonderful, and I’ve learnt a lot from her. I wanted to do something a bit more electrifying than just acting, so I asked her whether I could help out and she agreed,” explains Harshika. So does that mean we can expect a few more directorial ventures from her? “I think I’m still really young for that. A director is called the captain of the ship — he or she has to maintain the entire cast and crew, and it isn’t easy. But in the future, I might,” she says.
Ask her what she spends time on when she isn’t in front of the camera, and she says, “I sit at home. I’m not a party girl, I think I prefer being at home. I listen to music and chill with my parents. Since I’m their only daughter, I’m very pampered — spoilt, but not a brat.” She admits, though, that it can be difficult making time for her family in between her busy schedule. “It can be tough, especially when I have two or three programmes in a day. But generally, either my mother or father accompanies me everywhere, so I don’t feel far from home,” she concludes.