#SerialChillers: Tejasswi Prakash: I do not believe television is the limit for me
The sixth and final actor in the first season of #SerialChiller series is Tejasswi Prakash, who talks about being unaffected by the noise, foraying into new mediums, and her love language.
The quality of always striving to do better separates the best from the rest, and it is exactly what makes Tejasswi Prakash one of the biggest names in the Indian television industry today. How do I know this? It's because the Naagin star's sheer will and desire to improve as an actor rubbed off on me during a warm chat. Here’s a star who won’t stop and is eager to explore what she could achieve. She knows if she works harder, her fans, that run into millions, will love her even more.
The sixth and final actor in the #SerialChillers series, Prakash talks about her wish to work in a Bollywood film, being the country’s favourite 'naagin', how she stays motivated and driven, her relationship with Karan Kundrra, and much more. Here are the excerpts from her exclusive conversation with Cosmopolitan India.
Cosmopolitan India: With such a large fan following, how do you deal with the highs and lows?
Tejasswi Prakash: I keep myself unaware of the noise and not let the love that I’ve been receiving from the audience and my fans, get into my head. I’ve always taken it as a blessing and kept it at that. They appreciate me for the kind of work I do, and I’m very grateful to receive such an abundance of love. I feel low when I’m not working on a project or when a show doesn’t do well.
I give my 100% to my job and do what my director asks of me. I always believe in working on myself—physically, mentally, and emotionally—and improving my craft by watching good content. I do not believe television is the limit for me; I want to work on other platforms. I have been working towards paving my way to work in Bollywood. I’ve already done a Marathi film and am looking for more, varied opportunities.
CI: What do you do to shut off from the noise?
TP: It’s easy. I do not go through all the comments on my page or profile to see what people have to say—this way I don’t get to see the good ones or the bad ones. I believe in the idiom: ignorance is bliss. If I’m happy with what I’m doing, then I don’t really care what people say. I feel, no matter what you do, people will always throw their opinions at you. A lot of time, the comments at the top are positive and if I continue scrolling (I am lazy to do so), it feels like I’m looking for a negative comment. If I do come across those, I see what’s being said, who’s saying it, and if it makes sense. If they have a point, I take it into account because I believe, people genuinely mean well for you. A lot of my fans want me to do bigger projects, and I love that. I’ve got a lot of love and attention from Naagin, the longest-running edition of the show, which the channel doesn’t want to let go of.
CI: Considering how well 'Naagin' has been doing, do you divide your career as a ‘before’ and ‘after’ the show?
TP: Honestly, I look at every project that way. The previous five seasons of Naagin had done amazingly well. I took it to myself to do something different with the same production house and channel. I was the novelty factor and had to show that difference, which is difficult because people think it’s going to be the same as previous seasons. At the end of the day, all I could do is give my 100 per cent and play the role with conviction because it’s tough to make audiences believe in a supernatural character like this. Thanks to the show, people look at me differently, while I know I’m very much the same.
CI: How important is it to be real on social media? And how do you ensure your fans see nothing but the best version of you?
TP: I put up whatever I feel like and when I feel like it. Influencers are professionals and have to regularly put up posts and make things interesting. I earn my bread through my shows and acting, which is why I don’t have a deadline to put up a post. That said, it’s amazing to get so much love by just being yourself.
CI: How do you keep yourself grounded and motivate yourself?
TP: I feel blessed to be in a profession where I’m driven; there is never a day when I don’t feel like going to work. On my off days, too, I want to do something—for instance, this interview. I’m very happy working and I hope everyone feels this way. I don’t get the weekend off, and I am okay with it because I love my job. I’m always looking forward to what I’m going to do next. Despite the show going on forever, the love keeps me going.
CI: We’ve seen you in music videos, in the OTT space, and foraying into new mediums and formats. How important is it to adapt?
TP: It was always about experimenting and never about the platform. I look forward to seeing myself on a good OTT platform or the big screen. In each of my past projects, it’s a lot about the character I play, and it's something I will stick to in the future. I look at how much substance it has and how challenging it is for me. I would not want to do something only because It's for a bigger platform; I rather do something that pushes me to do better. As an artist, people are going to watch your project irrespective of how you sell it.
CI: What have you learnt from each format? Do you take the lessons into the other or does each medium works differently?
TP: Ultimately, we’re all actors who are performing. There is a difference in terms of the style of working; in TV, things are quicker; in music videos, there’s a lot of expressing through eyes and lip-syncing or dancing; for web series, the stories are crisp and it's a different target audience. I don’t think any platform is lesser than the other and I don’t look at it differently.
CI: Your relationship with Karan Kundrra is serious couple goals. How do the two of you bring out the best in each other?
TP: By being honest with each other. If there is something on his mind or has a different opinion than me, he never sugarcoats it. We tell each other how we can be better, and if it makes sense, we work on it and improve. Since I have done what he’s doing now (TV shows) in the past, I can tell him what to do. We are honest when it comes to what we think about each other’s work, and it’s equally important for the other person to take things sportingly. You should know and believe your partner always wants the best for you and is on your side.
CI: Having won so many hearts, and being in a healthy relationship yourself, could you tell us what's your love language?
TP: It depends. For now, our love language is communication. With time, these things change. You understand them, do new things together, and make them feel special in different ways. If you’re looking at a long-lasting relationship, there is never just one formula for making it work.
CI: What’s next for you?
TP: I’d like to thank my fans through this interview for standing by my side. I do think and believe I’m made for better things in life, which is why I’m hoping, looking, and walking on that path already. My fans can hope to see me in Naagin on a grand scale. I’ll be looking to do projects where I can push myself.
Cosmopolitan India's series 'Serial Chillers' shines the spotlight on six spectacular TV actors who, with each passing day and every exciting episode, prove they are indeed a force to reckon with.
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