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Priya Bhavani Shankar is not your average artiste from television

Priya Bhavani Shankar   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Not many people remember Priya Bhavani Shankar from her days as a newsreader on a 24/7 Tamil news channel.

The actor, who has earned positive reviews for her portrayal of Mekala in this weekend’s release, the S J Suryah-starrer — Monster, became a household name after appearing as Priya Arjun in the teleserial Kalyanam Mudhal Kaadhal Varai.

Priya Bhavani Shankar is not your average artiste from television

Subsequently, she made her film debut in Meyaadha Maan (2017), and followed it up with a meaty role in Pandiraj’s rural family drama Kadaikutty Singam (2018). Excerpts from an interview.

You’re one of the few who’ve made a successful leap from TV to the big screen.

Yes, and I don’t want to be an average artiste who made that transition from television. But I owe much to director Karthik Subbaraj (who co-produced Meyaadha Maan). I don’t think any other producer would have promoted a debuting actor as much as he did.

On S J Suryah suggesting you could be the next Vidya Balan...

[Suryah] is a magnanimous person. It was a nice gesture. I don’t know what made him say that. But he believes that if I push myself a little bit, I have the potential [to emulate Vidya Balan].

Priya Bhavani Shankar

Priya Bhavani Shankar   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

What are your upcoming projects?

There is Kuruthi Aattam with Atharvaa. I’m also a part of Jiiva and Arulnithi’s rom-com movie. I’m paired with Arulnithi in the film. There is Vaan with Dulquer Salmaan for which shooting has yet to start. I’ve signed two more projects — one each in Tamil and Telugu, with big production houses. Official announcements on those films will happen soon. I’m also part of a sitcom produced by Kavithalaya for Amazon Prime.

That’s an impressive lineup. But you’d almost quit acting before Meyaadha Maan happened...

I was going through a bad phase personally, and I just wanted to keep calm. A lot of TV work can become monotonous beyond a point. At that time, movies were never an option for me, and whatever offers I’d received weren’t so alluring. I was pretty content with my life. That was when Meyaadha Maan happened and I just wanted to give it a try. But it turned out well [for me].

Priya Bhavani Shankar with Karunakaran (L) and S J Suryah (C) in ‘Monster’

Priya Bhavani Shankar with Karunakaran (L) and S J Suryah (C) in ‘Monster’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

You’ve been vocal about not showing skin...

I don’t want to regret or feel awkward sitting watching one of my movies with my in-laws, a few years down the line. I’ve worn modern clothes since college. But if skin show is what’s going to make me a dream girl, I don’t want it.

An actor or director you’d like to work with?

I’d like to work with Madhavan because I think he’s such a positive person. A director would be Gautham Menon. The women characters in his films have a brain! (laughs) He gives them a strong voice too.


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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 8:33:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/priya-bhavani-shankar-is-not-your-average-artiste-from-television/article27170197.ece

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