In an exclusive interview with Hyderabad Times, Niharika Konidela gets talking about making her debut on TV, her family, movies and more
Sitting in a coffee shop wearing a denim and a Tee, Niharika Konidela, looks like a bubbly teenager out to have fun with friends. But Niharika is the daughter of Naga Babu, the first girl from the 'Mega' family to make her foray into showbiz. And as her show is live now, she is soaking in the adoration as two lakh fans follow every move that she makes. "My mother saw a post where somebody expressed his love for me. She came running to me wondering if I really know that guy. I had to clarify that I don't even know him and that she shouldn't take all this seriously. It's been crazy. Frankly, I don't really know if I deserve so much attention," she reveals.
Saying 'Yes'to TV
She began hosting a dance reality show, Dhee-Juniors, earlier this year and in under three months, she confesses that her confidence has soared. "Initially, I was working on another concept for a TV show along with my friend and I was keen on hosting it; however, Dhee is such a big platform to make a big entry on TV that I couldn't say no. Incidentally, I didn't even tell most of my family members about the offer before taking it up. My father told me that he will support me whole-heartedly, if I really want to do it and it was just between him and me. I was confused for a bit because I wasn't sure if I can make an impact, but it's been pretty good so far," Niharika reveals. So what was the first reaction from her cousins? "After the first episode was aired, when I met my cousins Ram Charan and Allu Arjun, they kept teasing me that I had become a big shot, now that I am hosting a show," she chuckles.
First day on the job
"I was a bundle of nerves on the first day of the job and I had both Deepthi and Shyam Prasad Reddy, the makers of the show, telling me to calm down and treat it like my own production house. I didn't even realise that I was that nervous and I think that's when it hit me all of a sudden about how big a responsibility it is. I love music and dancing and more importantly, I am really fond of kids. There's a young boy who keeps telling me how lovely I look every time he sees me. Stuff like that totally makes my day," Niharika reveals.
Life on a silver platter
The 20-year-old is well aware of the fan following. "I know that I have life on a silver platter, but I don't take anything for granted. Before my TV foray, I used to work in a theatre group and I acted in a play, apart from doing marketing and promotions. And I had also worked as an intern in a TV channel to understand what goes into making TV shows. I did some voluntary work in a school and even worked at a coffee shop. I know the value of money and how hard it is to find your ground in the industry since I have seen all my cousins work quite hard at what they do. In a way, I'm really lucky that my entire family came out in support of me when I decided to turn anchor. My brother (Varun Tej) keeps giving me tips about how to face the camera, body language; etc and my mother is thrilled whenever her relatives tell her that they watch the show for me," she says.
Acting with Akhil Akkineni
Prod about her photo with Akhil Akkineni, which has been doing the rounds on the Internet, she reveals, "Even though I had acted in couple of short films, I wasn't serious about acting. Then, I was asked if I would act in a short film with Akhil, which was going to be directed by Rajamouli's son, Karthikeya and the photo is from that shoot. Honestly, that was the first time I began thinking about acting on a serious note because it was shot very professionally and I felt really good while facing the camera."
Impulsive to the core
Ask her if she is planning a career in acting, she says, "I am impulsive by nature. There are days when I wake up and tell my mother that I want to study psychology, much to her surprise. I didn't know if I would be hosting a TV till recently and here I am, learning the ropes. Earlier, I used to say no to the notion of acting in films without a second thought, but now I guess, I wouldn't mind it. But at this moment, I don't think I am ready yet," she smiles.