Akhila Bhargavan, with Mamitha Baiju and Naslen in a scene from the film 

Akhila Bhargavan, with Mamitha Baiju and Naslen in a scene from the film 

Akhila Bhargavan is enjoying the attention coming her way post-Premalu, by way of requests for selfies or just to speak to her. “I like the feeling, it is nice to have people say good things about Karthika [her character in Premalu] and the film in general,” says the actor over the phone from Kannur.

She confesses she did not expect Premalu to be such a big hit. “I knew it would do well because it is a Bhavana Studios production helmed by Gireesh AD…what could go wrong? Having said that, I didn’t expect that it would do this well, on this scale,” she says. Though Akhila made her way to films via IG Reels, and has since acted in Poovan and Ayalvaashi, it is Premalu which catapulted her to fame. 

Akhila is one of those actors in Malayalam who made their way to the film industry with content on Instagram. It was Instagram Reels (ar_reels which she runs with husband Rahul PP) and her first short film, Anurag Engineering Works (AEW) by Premalu co-writer Anurag Josey, that got her the first feature role in Poovan, directed by AEW co-actor Vineeth Vasudevan. “When I started making those IG Reels, I was doing it out of a love of acting. Did I think I would get to act in a movie? No, not until Anurag Engineering Works.” Gireesh too was familiar with her IG content when she was asked to audition for Karthika’s role.

Akhila Bhargavan

Akhila Bhargavan
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Akhila, 26, agrees that being a newcomer, she does not have the luxury of picking and choosing her roles.  “The offers are coming, but I am choosing carefully within the space I have. I factor in the character’s relevance [to the story], the director and the production house before I commit,” she says. Varied roles have been coming her way “and, fortunately, the films have been doing well, which works for me!” The actor who holds a post-graduate degree in Microbiology has no intentions of relocating to Kochi as her husband is based there.

Right now she is in talks for future projects, none of which she can reveal.

So, does she get the time to post Reels as before? “Yes, of course, I do. I enjoy making and posting them, and will continue to do so.”


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