Way before Akhil Iyer even knew the meaning of acting, he was sure of one thing - he wanted to become an actor. "I was a big fan of Akshay Kumar, I wanted to grow up and be Akhil Kumar. I had even named myself after him," recalls the Bengaluru-based actor. Close to three decades later, he is finally living his dream.
While talking about his recent film, HIT: The First Case, the actor says, "We shot the film towards the end of last year. There were a lot of delays because of COVID, but it has finally happened. In the movie, Rajkummar Rao and I are cops, who work for a group called the 'Homicide Intervention Team', and we are investigating a missing person's report."
Actor Sanya Malhotra is playing a forensic expert in the movie, and her character also goes missing. "It is very fastpaced with a series of gripping events concerning the disappearance of two women," he says. When Iyer was around five years old, he told his parents that he wanted to become an actor. However, this dream faded away as he got into the grind of education.
Growing up, he was always part of something or the other, which led him to be on stage. While he was pursuing engineering, he started exploring the world of theatre. "I worked a lot with this group called 'Dramanon'. During that time, a lot of ads were cast out of Bengaluru, and I was lucky enough to be a part of some. The moment I got a taste for it, I was quite clear that this is what I wanted to do," he says.
After completing engineering, despite getting a job at Wipro, Iyer wanted to pursue his dream of being an actor. He comes from a family that places emphasis on traditional education rather than career options like acting.
"After I finished engineering, I pursued theatre full-time for two years. I had the luxury of working with some established theatre actors like Prakash Belwadi, Arundhati Raja, and Sharanya Ramaprakash. There was a moment on stage when I realised that this is what I wanted to do. I then moved to Mumbai a couple of years later when I got a movie opportunity," he says.
Although he was interested in theatre, he wanted to try out the silver screen and filmmaking. "Everybody who chooses this profession comes with the hope that they will easily get a role in a Yash Raj or Dharma film. But this is easier said than done. This is precisely why I did not want to move to Mumbai without a film in hand," he says.
Mumbai could be work ground for Iyer, but Bengaluru is home for him. "I make sure I visit my mom once a month at least. And I can't wait to have dosaes and filter coffee from Rameswaram cafe," says the Bengalurean.