With the utmost passion in acting, I want to return to Tollywood: Prashanthi Harathi


Prashanthi Harathi, who gained recognition by acting in key roles in super hit films like “Pellam Oorelithe” and “Indra,” settled in America with her family after getting married. There, she started a Kuchipudi dance school named Omkara. There was a long hiatus in her career as an actress. In today’s interview, Prashanthi Harathi said that she still has not lost her passion for acting and wants to return to Tollywood fueled by that passion.

“Our family used to live in Visakhapatnam. I have been fond of the arts since childhood and learned Kuchipudi dance. We didn’t watch movies much in our house. There was an atmosphere where there was no interest in movies, and they didn’t send me to watch movies either. After learning Kuchipudi dance, I did some photoshoots. After seeing the photos, some people approached me saying that they would offer me roles in some films. My family members did not agree to send me to the film industry at first. After some time, we shifted to Hyderabad. Seeing my interest in acting, they finally agreed. So, I made my debut as a heroine with the movie titled ‘February 14 Next Road’ directed by Srinivasa Reddy. After that, I acted in a film called ‘Rupai,’ produced by Mani Sharma. Meanwhile, Balaji Telefilms offered me opportunities to act in their serials. So, I went to Mumbai. Then came the offer for ‘Indra.’ I acted in that film, and my career continued.”

“After marriage, I moved to the US with our family. Since then, I have devoted time to my personal life. I started a Kuchipudi dance school called Omkara there. It is my wish that our dance forms reach the future generation as well. With this ambition, I have been teaching Kuchipudi dance to children interested in classical dance. Children there do not know Telugu. I used to explain the meaning of classical dance songs in English. Then they would understand and learn. My daughter Tanya learned Kuchipudi dance from me. With our daughter Tanya, we made a music video titled ‘Telugu Culture.’ The music video was conceptualized and produced by noted director V.N. Aditya. It was a pleasure to see a good response to ‘Telugu Culture.’ Our daughter Tanya is now 16 years old. Our family has no objection to sending Tanya to the film industry if there is a good opportunity suitable for her age.”

“I have not studied acting courses, but I became a classical dancer without knowing it. Emotions such as laughing and crying are natural to me, and they didn’t even need practice. I have done films and serials with this self-confidence. At that time, the influence of media was not as significant. There were no movies, then serials, no OTTs. Now, aspiring actors are getting a lot of opportunities with web series and OTT content. Seeing these opportunities, I felt that I should come back to Tollywood. I want to showcase my passion as an actress.”

“In most movies, we remember some characters who are more important to the story than the heroine. For example, look at the character of Sunil’s wife that I played in ‘Pellam Oorelithe’—she is very innocent. Still, the innocent wife character is what she is known for. I want to be pivotal in such stories and act in important roles. If we get good character offers like this, we want to act in OTT web series and short films along with movies. We hope that our family will also support this. I am available in Hyderabad. If there is any project work, I go back and forth from Bangalore to Chennai.”

“There is a lot of innovation in movie content compared to the past. Web series and movies are innovative. Lady-oriented movies and web series have increased. There have been great biopics like ‘Mahanati.’ We once watched Vishwanath’s films and were inspired to learn dance like Manju Bhargavi and Bhanu Priya. We have been able to pass down our art to previous generations. Such inspiring movies and series need to come even now.”