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Sunday, April 21, 2024

 “OTT is a win-win for actors and audience”

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Actress Priya Mani on her career graph, and second OTT movie outing Bhamakalapam 2 currently streaming on Aha

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If variety is the spice of life, south actor Priya Mani has tons of it in her cinematic career of 20 years. Be it her National-Award winning role as a gang rape victim in Paruthiveeran, playing NTR’s heroine in SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster Yamadonga, or the girl who was part of Shah Rukh Khan’s all-girl squad in the pan-India hit Jawan, Priyamani has tasted success in her unconventional choices. She started as a ramp walk model in Bengaluru and caught the attention of south directors. She debuted in Telugu with Evarey Athagadu in 2003 and then there was no looking back. This year, she is excited about playing Anupama again in Aha’s OTT movie sequel Bhamakalapam 2 which hit the screens in February.
WOW! chats her up amidst her movie promotions.

ABOUT BHAMAKALAPAM 2 Bhamakalapam released in 2022 and garnered over four million views. The sequel, directed by Abhimanyu Tadimeti, features Priya as Anupama, an innocent-looking housewife and an enthusiastic YouTuber who embarks on a thrilling heist adventure.

WHAT’S ON THE PLATTER? Article 370 alongside Yami Gautam in Hindi, Neru with Mohanlal in Malayalam and Maidan with Ajay Devgan in Hindi during Eid, in April.

HAS THE JAWAN EFFECT PUT YOUR CAREER IN THE NEXT GEAR? Well, acting in a pan-Indian movie alongside stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Nayanthara and Deepika Padukone has given me visibility and recognition in the nothern belt, where I haven’t done much work. But, has it worked for me or given a push to my career? So far, nothing dramatic has happened, but I am still waiting for the role that would catapult me to another level. Fingers crossed.

THE OTT BANDWIDTH Across the world, OTT has truly given actors a better and wider playground. It helps actors reach out to audiences from anywhere in the world. Not just us, but even the audience gets to access new content in new languages, thus giving them a wider choice, and making it a win-win for both. As an actor, I am happy to have found my groove in OTT also.

ARE YOU AMBITIOUS AND WHAT IS YOUR WISHLIST AS AN ACTOR? I like to do ‘good work’ – work that I define as good, according to my standards and benchmarks. I am prepared to wait and not be desperate to be seen everywhere. I would be even happy to take a two-year break waiting for that one role. I’ve done it before, and I’m okay doing it again.

ANY ASPIRATIONS FOR A ROLE LIKE SHEFALI SHAH’S IN DELHI CRIME? It doesn’t really matter if I aspire for a challenging role like Shefali’s in Delhi Crime. It’s the filmmakers and casting directors who need to be able to map my talent with the role, right? I like to keep it realistic and don’t indulge in pipe dreams. For now, I am living the life of an actor, and there’s nothing more on the screen that I aspire for.

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