Here is a little something about Mithila Palkar, the quintessential cute girl, and her journey to fame. Growing up with her grandparents, in a strict Marathi household, acting was not considered to be a career choice. But the young girl was out to prove her point. The icon rose to fame in 2016 with the cover of the Marathi song, Hi Chaal Turu Turu. She reinvented this song with the “Cups” rhythm that Anna Kendrick popularized in her movie Pitch Perfect. This video garnered millions of views and led the YouTube sensation and theatre actress to enter Bollywood. Mithila Palkar’s training at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in Los Angeles, combined with her flair in Hindustani classical music and Kathak dance, have molded the young Mumbai girl into a pretty actress.
Mithila Palkar was born in Mumbai, India, on January 11, 1993. A regular nerd, she discerned her love for dramatics only after she represented her school at an inter-school drama competition. The standard VII student of IES Modern English School, Dadar, was an au naturel on stage. Since then, she began to focus more on fine arts than her regular curriculum.
Mithila Palkar graduated with a Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM) from MMK College, Bandra. After graduating in 2013, Palkar gave her first audition to Quasar Padamsee of Quasar Theatre Productions (QTP). Sadly, the audition did not get her the role, but Quasar gave her a job backstage, managing their theatre festival, Thespo. It was Mithila’s soft entry into her dream world. As she watched the backstage hands and actors, it further strengthened her resolve to become an actress. That was just the beginning…
Mithila Palkar, the YouTube celebrity
In 2014, Mithila Palkar made her acting debut in a Marathi short film titled Majha Honeymoon. The movie got screened at the 16th Mumbai International Film Festival. Success was close on her heels. In June 2014, she bagged the supporting role as Imran Khan’s sister in the Bollywood movie Katti Batti. Though the film did not fare well, even in her limited role, she got noticed.
What followed were opportunities to act in advertisements for Maggi, Tata Tea, and Zomato. Her chirpy, adorable, and immensely expressive self was reaching out to the masses through these ads.
Then came Filter Copy’s satire show on YouTube called News Darshan. By March 2016, her version of the cup song, in Marathi Hi Chal Turu Turu, won her many hearts. The cup song went viral on YouTube with more than 6 million views. Later the same year, on May 1, Labour Day, she released another song on YouTube called Maharashtra Desha in association with Bharatiya Digital Party (BhaDiPa). Mithila Palkar had become another YouTube celebrity.
Getting on the OTT bandwagon
Mithila Palkar’s greed to be an actor got her on the OTT bandwagon. Mithila’s first web series called Girl in the City (2016) had her play the role of a dreamy intern. In 2017, she went on to play the character of Kavya Kulkarni alongside Sehgal in the series Little Things. The series achieved popularity and also published as a book by Penguin Random House. Netflix purchased the franchise of Little Things in 2018 and premiered Season 2 & 3 on October 5, 2018, and November 9, 2019. In 2019, she acted in another Netflix original film – Chopsticks, where she played the role of an under-confident girl named Nirma (after the washing powder brand) whose life changes when she meets a con man, played by Abhay Deol. Mithila’s recent Netflix film called Tribhanga, directed by Renuka Shahane and featuring Tanvi Azmi and Kajol was released on January 15, 2021.
Stage to Cinema
While Mithila continued to be the YouTube star, she gave performances on stage – her first love. In 2017, Mithila, the stage actress, appeared in two plays, Tunni Ki Kahani (a children’s musical) and Aaj Rang Hai (a Hindustani musical) with the theatre group called Aarambh.
In the latter half of 2017, Mithila Palkar got her first big break in the Marathi movie Muramba, alongside Amey Wagh.
August 3, 2018, Mithila’s Hindi Bollywood film called Karwaan was released. Here she played a lead role alongside Irrfan Khan, Dulquer Salmaan, and Kriti Kharbanda. (Earlier in 2015, she had appeared in a small supporting role in the movie Katti Batti, but the film had received a lukewarm response).
Karwaan put the cute Mumbai girl on the big Bollywood map!
The Young Achiever Mithila Palkar – Awards and Honors
- Named in Forbes India 30 Under 30 list of young achievers.
- Best Actress (Comedy) at iReel Awards.
- Most Popular Actress in a Web Series at MTV – IWMBuzz Digital Awards.
- Best Actress (Comedy/Romance) at Critics Choice Shorts and Series Awards.
- Best Actor (Female) (Comedy Series) at Filmfare OTT Awards for Little Things Season 3.
- Appeared on Entrepreneur India’s 35 Under 35 list.
The Khatti-Meethi Kahani Continues
For a girl whose grandfather opposed her acting, for the fear of the proverbial casting couch, she has proven there are other ways to Bollywood. With her hard work and determination, Mithila has also paved the way for hundreds of millennials to achieve their starry dreams. Today she has over 153K YouTube subscribers and a bigger fan following on Netflix.
Accordingly to Mithila, “Even when I was starting out, I knew there were certain things that I didn’t want to do or wanted to do. Now that I have been working for a couple of years, there is more clarity about what I definitely want to do. So yes. I am consciously selective of the work that I do.”
Mithila Palkar, we love you see your work on stage or screen – so let the khatti meethi journey continue!