The Bangalore boy who proved that if you stick it through then even Bollywood movie casting directors can come knocking at your door. Had you asked this theatre actor even three years ago if he fancied acting in Bollywood films he would have probably scoffed at the idea. But after years of theatre, and acting in popular commercials for Sprite, IPL Hotstar 2016, Bru Coffee, Ponds Men and many more, Akhil Iyer got a call for a role in the recent Bollywood film, Leker Hum Deewane Dil. Akhil went on to receive sound critical acclaim for his role ‘Mahesh’ in the film.
I decided not to take up the job I got during the campus placement and do theatre full time instead to learn and improve my craft.”
Akhil who harbored a childhood fantasy of being a movie star, like any one of us, let his dream take a backseat as a regular life took over. But this dreamer’s life took a curve when he enrolled himself in engineering college. Always a performer, be it dancing or stage, Akhil finally decided to take acting more seriously. Graduating from a good engineering college, he had a chance to make big bucks, but since he was determined to buck up on his career for acting, this performer decided to take the twisted and rough road: “I decided not to take up the job I got during the campus placement and do theatre full time instead to learn and improve my craft.”
This major Bollywood film is not the only film that Akhil has made his mark in. He has also acted in two Tamil films last year, Nijama Nizhala and Iruvar Ondranal. These opportune films didn’t just happen for Akhil. They were a result of pushing on even when rejections came his way. He says, “Every time I felt I should have got a particular role, I only got rejected yet again.” But giving up was never an option, so with a brave smile, Akhil says, “It has not been easy. I try to reinvent myself. I try to stay focused and cross the barriers in my own mind to move forward.” About his current career situation Akhil says, “I have not ‘made it’ in the industry so far, but I am having a great time trying.”
Before Bollywood and Kollywood happened to him, Akhil had many extensive theatre experiences, “I have been in about 8-10 theatre productions with groups such as Dramanon Bangalore, Artists’ Repertory Theatre,” he says. Out of his many favorite productions he has been a part of, he says, “My favorite productions was a stage rendition of Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs”.
It has not been easy. I try to reinvent myself. I try to stay focused and cross the barriers in my own mind to move forward.”
With parents for doctors, this critically acclaimed actor says his parents were very skeptical at his choice of career. But after a long and detailed discussion with them, Akhil says, “They were extremely kind and supportive to understand where I stood now and where I wanted to be”
Aiming to look forward, Akhil has decided to stick it in the entertainment industry, stating: “I aim to go forward, to get better and evolve.” Working towards his big dreams, Akhil has hopes to work with acclaimed directors like Imtiaz Ali, Raju Hirani, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan and Mani Ratnam who inspire him.
With an extraordinary talent to shine in whatever he set his mind to Akhil Iyer has been brave and bold with his choices and tells everyone around him to be just as brave and bold, and if you still fall short, he says, “Just be yourself.”