Though the Telugu film industry is one of the richest in the country regularly churning out blockbusters (look at ‘Baahubali’), one cannot fail to notice that all of them show a predominantly male-dominated world with heroines largely playing eye candy. What appears surprising is that the real world is not too different from the industry. According to The Hindu
, even though nine members of super star (he is called Megastar in the state) Chiranjeevi’s family are actors, when his niece decided to act in films she was met with opposition from her family and ‘fans’ of her uncle.
Niharika Konidela, the daughter of Chiranjeevi’s brother Naga Babu, is already a known face in Telugu television with her having hosted the dance reality show ‘Dhee-Juniors’.
That decision had gone well with the family
. So it was obvious that she’d take the deep dive into the big sea called cinema. The Hindu, however, reports that filmmakers wanting to cast her were warned against doing so by ‘fans’ of Megastar Chiranjeevi. “The film team has been receiving threatening messages from Mega Star fans accusing them of launching a girl whom they consider their sister and daughter,” a film team member reportedly told The Hindu.
Niharika with her cousin, superstar Allu Arjun.
Till date Supriya, the niece of actor Nagarjuna, is the only female from any of the powerful Telugu film families to have entered the film industry, but that was in 1996 and she starred in only one movie.
In that capacity, Niharika’s debut will mark a tectonic shift in the world of the extremely conservative film families of the Telugu industry. According to the report most of the ‘Mega’ (a term used to refer to Chiranjeevi and his relatives) family members were “pretty upset with her decision and did not extend the needed support”. Niharika’s father and brother, actor Varun Tej, however, supported her decision. A report in the IBT
says that she will make her acting debut in the Telugu and Tamil film industries with directors Rama Raju and Ayodhya Kumar’s forthcoming films.
While Niharika had to reportedly face opposition, daughters of Kamal Haasan – Shruti and Akshara – have already started cementing their footing in both Tamil and Hindi cinema.
Others who have already embarked on their film careers include Aishwarya Arjun, daughter of Arjun Sarja, and Thulasi Nair, daughter of actress Radha. Bollywood, on the other hand, is currently seeing a wave of celebrity daughters taking to cinema as a career. But this wave was triggered by one Karishma Kapoor, who faced a similar opposition from her own illustrious family.