Watch: An interview with YouTube sensation Mahathalli
Hyderabad-based Jahnavi Dasetty started out as an accessory designer right after graduating from NIFT, Bhopal. However, her passion to act and entertain took her down another career path. To get there, she started out with short films and pretty soon became an internet icon to reckon with. The 23-year old then bagged her signature series Mahathalli produced by a media company called Wirally South, which concentrated more on social and contemporary issues. The web series drew inspiration from YouTuber Lily Singh, aka Superwoman, the billionaire internet sensation. Her role in the web series was just to be her fun self with her inborn quirks. With more than 3,50,000 subscribers on YouTube, and video formats like IPL Mahanubhavulu, Actual Date vs. Honest Date which made her very relatable to her audience, Jahnavi soon became a common name among youngsters.
How did you go from fashion to acting?
I was always interested in acting but I never told anyone because they would laugh at me and call me names. Since I was the shy kid, I never confessed to anyone about my love for acting. Even at NIFT, I would get bullied a lot because I was the reserved kid. When I was sitting for placements I got a job in Mumbai and decided to go for it. I started working as a marketing agent and jumped into merchandising, but I was not too content with where my career was going. I wanted to come back to Hyderabad, the city that was home for me. So I called my father and told him that I would come back and start a brand here in Hyderabad. Simultaneously, I started searching for auditions on online portals, which turned out to be quite tacky. Finally, I realised that I needed to build a portfolio which would eventually lead to making short films.
How did Mahathalli happen?
After watching two of my short films, Ram Mohan who produced films like Golconda High School and Ashta Chamma, called me to be an assistant director and stylist for his upcoming film. So I was assisting the director and styled the costumes in the movie Thanu Nenu. At that time, Tamada Media Network was casting for Magathalli Mahanbavudu, an upcoming web series for virally, and I got a call for the role. That's when we got an idea to do Mahathalli, inspired by the famous youtube Lily Singh aka Superwoman.
You strongly supported the #MeToo moment. Were you also affected at any point in your life?
I was always for the moment because women aren't in the world to be objectified by men. And I've had an incident when I was in school, travelling by bus for a tournament. An elderly man sat next to me and tried grabbing, I was too young and too scared to even raise my voice. I came from a very conservative family so there was no sex education. Now that I think of it, sex education is important as it helps you know what is right and wrong