The “Oh! My god Oh! My god” fever is everywhere. From Twitter to Swiggy and even Netflix catching on and making hilarious use of the phrase, the one-liner that appears in nearly every video from Team Bhargav is going places.
Funbucket Bhargav, the mastermind behind the videos, has risen to become a social media sensation overnight though he's no longer with the YouTube channel Funbucket. His partner in crime, Nithyashree or the “Oh my God” girl as she's known, is already a familiar face to the Telugu audience. Having made her debut in the 2018 hit movie Care of Kancherapalam, the 13-year-old seems to be enjoying her stardom.
The duo’s videos on TikTok and YouTube have over a million views and as Bhargav puts it, more than half the followers on social media are not even from India, let alone the Telugu states. Recently, Nithya on her Instagram page shared a video of a bunch of foreigners acting in a spoof of their most popular ‘French fries’ video. In the original video, Nithya refuses to eat the potato fry that her mother makes for her. However, when her brother puts the same thing into a MacDonald's cover that he takes from the dustbin, she immediately goes, "Oh my God! Oh my God!" and says that it's her favourite French fries.
How did a 25-year-old guy and a 13-year-old school-going girl manage to grab attention from across countries? Well, Nithya and Bhargav are still trying hard to find an answer!
Where it all began
Bhargav, a tenth-class pass, first came to Hyderabad in 2012, in the hope of acting in movies. Having acted in a few films as a junior artiste, the young boy wanted to create a portfolio for himself to grab a chance as an actor. But what Bhargav didn’t have back then was a smartphone with which he could shoot and upload videos.
“I was working in a mobile shop and the first smartphone I ever used was sponsored by my friends after they all pooled in money. My friend Ram and I used to message every other celebrity on social media asking for a chance, until one guy responded and called us to Hyderabad," he recalls.
This helped Bhargav bag a chance to act in a small role in a popular Telugu comedy show, Jabardasth.
“I used the chance to my full advantage so much so that I even started using it as an identity for myself. I managed to find a place for myself to stay after I told the owner that I was an actor in Jabardasth,” Bhargav laughs.
During his constant attempts to find a chance to act in the movies, Bhargav worked as an office boy in a director’s office for around six months. It was then that he thought it would be wiser to return to his village in Vizianagaram.
“It made no sense to mouth dialogues on Dubsmash. What filmmakers needed was a portfolio with original content. And every time someone asked me to send a video, all I had were Dubsmash videos,” Bhargav says, adding, “I went back to my village and with the help of a local politician, I shot a short film titled Cinema Loki Daredi. The film became popular and that’s when I got my first offer from the YouTube channel FunBucket.”
While acting for FunBucket, Bhargav got his second offer from Vigo Video which turned around the young man’s fortunes overnight.
“It was only after I started making videos for Vigo that I bought a smartphone on my own. This time I bought an iPhone, not because I adored the brand, but because I knew I needed to produce quality videos. All I had till then were my friends who helped me in shooting and editing content,” the 25-year-old says.
Bhargav no longer works for Funbucket but the moniker ‘Funbucket Bhargav’ seems to have stuck.
Meeting the “Oh! My god” girl
Nithya met Bhargav a few months ago in Vizag through a common friend. Nithya by then was already a star, having made her debut in the Venkatesh Maha film Care of Kancherapalam.
“We shot for the film in 2016 when I was just 10 years old. I had previously worked in two others films but Care of Kancherapalm was the first one to release,” Nithya shares.
Nithya’s mother Shailaja too acts along with her in the videos. She's also made an appearance in Kancherapalam, playing a school teacher.
However, Nithya believes that it was the viral French fries video which brought her into the limelight, and people began identifying her as the “Oh! My god Oh! My god” girl. The 13-year-old gives full credit to Bhargav for coming up with the punch one-liner, and he, in turn, praises Nithya for taking the phrase to places.
“We had used the same dialogue in another video but no one noticed it until Nithya delivered it for the first time in one of our early videos,” Bhargav says, adding, “I noticed how in the comments section everyone was going gaga over 'Oh! My god'. I realised the dialogue had finally managed to tickle people’s funny bone and from then on, it has been the USP in creating our videos.”
Nithya and Bhargav’s videos are hilarious and offer a satirical take on everyday situations. The ideas are born out of situations the duo comes across in their daily lives.
“For example, French fries are nothing but potato fries in a more attractive package. We pull faces when our mothers cook them but make zero fuss while eating them from a plastic cover. We made a script out of this, and people laugh because they relate to it all too well in their real lives,” the young man says.
A star both on the big screen and online, the “Oh! My god girl” is flooded with film offers, and Nithya says she is in discussions for various projects. “My entire family is quite supportive and they love watching me act on the big screen,” she adds.
Bhargav is definitely enjoying his new-found stardom with even a couple of fan pages celebrating the star. We ask Bhargav what his future plans are and the young man has a heart-warming response.
“It was my friend Ram who introduced me to acting. It has always been his dream to visit Goa, that too in a car. I have recently partnered with an online game platform for their promotions and with the money I earn, I would want to buy a car and take him to Goa!”
On the acting front, Bhargav says he doesn’t aspire to be a hero. “I am ready to do characters that have substance and people recognise me for the roles I play. And most importantly, I hope to learn to speak English properly. Language gives you more confidence and I believe more than studying further, I can connect to a wider audience if I overcome the language barrier,” he signs off.
(With inputs from Shilpa S Ranipeta)