Destiny’s Child - Manasa Himavarsha

Although she intended to study medicine, destiny had other plans for Manasa Himavarsha, who chanced upon an audition for a reality dance show, and was the only one selected amongst 400 contestants! One thing led to another and she bagged a role in Pawan Kalyan’s next film – Katamarayudu. Read on to learn how Manasa reached this stage of her life and what plans she has for the future.

What made you decide to join the film industry?
There were absolutely no plans of being in showbiz at all. All I was aiming for was to get through a medical college! But yeah, destiny had other plans for me. It was after my 12th grade that I auditioned for a reality television show, as I was a good dancer. That’s when director Omkar took my first video clip and insisted that I had the talent to take up acting as a profession. Somewhere those words stuck with me, and after the show aired, offers started pouring in and that’s when I picked my first film.

Tell us about your stint in television, on the dance show Challenge.
After giving an entrance test for medicine, I tried my luck by auditioning for the show alongside around 400 contestants from all across Vijayawada. I never thought I’d be the only contestant to be picked. It was a super proud moment when I got to see myself on TV and received numerous phone calls of appreciation from friends and family. My Facebook friend requests skyrocketed and it was like I was in dreamland. But it was something I always wanted right from my school days... participating in a dance competition on such a grand scale. But this one decision of going against my parents and taking this up as a challenge has brought me a long way. Rather than being one amongst the flock, I feel great to have made the right decision and have gotten the desired results.

How did you bag a role in Pawan Kalyan’s next film?
In 2015, I signed a movie with Sunil Krishnashtami under Dil Raju’s production. Unfortunately there were some last minute issues due to which I had to step out of the movie. Vasu Varma, the director of that film, suggested that I met Dolly Kishore, who was his very close associate. There wasn’t much auditioning to be done, though; in just five to ten minutes of a casual meeting, Dolly sir understood that I had the perfect expressions for the role, and everything else fell into place.

What was the first day of shooting on the sets of Katamarayudu like?
I was quite anxious on the first day of shooting, as it was a star-studded set. But to my surprise everyone was very relaxed and made me feel comfortable. It was like I was working with my friends. In fact, I started making jokes on the set alongside Ali garu, and even made Dubsmash videos with the rest of the cast! Such was day one on the sets of Katamarayudu!  

Starting off with romance, what genre would you like to work on next?
I feel that I should have picked another genre to debut in because I don’t want to restrict myself to just romance. I feel that I’m more suitable for empowering roles; I’m waiting for the right role to play next.

What other films are you currently working on?
I started shooting for Katamarayudu towards the end of 2016, and this will continue until the end of March. I’m also working on the sequel of Ladies Tailor, which is being directed by Vamsy and stars Sumanth Ashwin. Both these films are keeping me busy at the moment. I’m also in talks with the makers of a Tamil and Kannada movie that will commence in June.

So what about when you’re not working?
When I’m not shooting I take care of my grandparents’ family business; that’s one thing that interests me the most. With the kind of challenges we face with tackling the manpower issues, everyday is like a test. And the rest of the time I pamper myself by dabbling in home decor and art. I’ve also started vegetable farming on the outskirts of the city. That’s one thing I absolutely love doing, as it takes another level of skill. Playing football with my amazing gang is a stress buster, as is my Kuchipudi practice.

Who is your role model?
There isn’t any particular person I call a role model. To me, it’s a clichéd concept. I get to meet so many people every day, and being an ardent observer, I learn something from all of them. I pick one good thing from each person I meet, and collectively put it to use when the situation rises. And that’s what everybody should do. Soak in the positive energy around you.

Which actor or actress would you like to work with next?
I’m looking at working with different directors, but no actor in particular.

If you were part of any remake or sequel, which one would you like it to be?
I love Gautam Menon’s movies. If Ye Maaya Chesave is remade, or there’s a sequel, I would do anything in the world to be part of it. Gautam has the ability to create magic. Roopa from Anand is another character I relate to. I absolutely love such characters.                                --- as told to Niharika