Until this weekend, no one had heard of Priya Prakash Varrier, an 18-year-old actor from Kerala. Promoters of Malayalam film Oru Adaar Love uploaded a 3.16-minute trailer on YouTube on Friday, catapulting Varrier to the status of what many have called “national crush”.
The video features the song Manikua Malaraya Poovi, with an ensemble cast playing uniformed school kids falling in love with soft-lit slow motion. Carrier, in a bit that lasts 30 seconds, locks gazes, raises brows and winks, at a classmate, flooring him… and seemingly the rest of India
The clip has done wonders for the Oru Adaar Love, but it’s done better for Carrier. Her role has been upsized. She’s now the lead opposite her flirting co-star.
Varrier also gained 3 million followers on Instagram over the weekend, the third highest single-day climb on the platform when 606K users followed her in a single day. Only Kylie Jenner and Cristiano Ronaldo have added more users in a single day.
Twitter has 80 fan accounts dedicated to her – some with close to 85,000 followers. And on Facebook, 251K users follow her official page.
Here’s a list of other Indian women who went from being unknown to becoming readily recognisable:
UP-based YouTube singer, also known as Dhinchak Pooja, has amassed 353k subscribers for her cringe-cool videos.
The 19-year-old Dehradun student remains most recognized (and reviled) as the Airtel girl after a series of incessant ads featuring her interrupting people to promote the carrier in 2015 and 2016.
The Kashmiri student, found herself in the spotlight after standing out in a group selfie with Shah Rukh Khan at her Pune college last year.
Sheril G Kadavan
Accounts teacher from Kerala appeared in a dance video to the song Jimmiki Kamal, which received 8 million hits on YouTube in September.