After being part of blockbuster Raajakumara, which marked Priya Anand’s debut in Sandalwood, it was natural that her next would be a carefully chosen film. So, when she signed Orange, directed by Prashant Raj and starring Ganesh, it didn’t come as much of a surprise. Ahead of the film’s release this week, we caught up with the actor, who was on her way to the city from Chennai, has her fingers crossed about her upcoming film. Excerpts.
‘Raajakumara gave me the option to be choosy’
“Raajakumara directed by Santhosh Ananddram was a surreal experience. The way the audience connected with the film, the songs, the reach...it was all so fabulous. Even my grand parents were talking about the film and said that they watched it more than once,” explains Priya, who after delivering a hit felt it okay to be selective in her choice of films. “Raajakumara gave me the option to be choosy. When I signed Orange, I knew that anyone can watch it, and it would be a complete package,”
‘My introduction to Kannada was through Ganesh’s films’
The one-film-old actor in Kannada explains that when she chooses a film — irrespective of language — she does her homework in terms of knowing the actors and team involved. “My introduction to Sandalwood was through Ganesh’s films music. At one point, every song I liked in Kannada were tracks from his films. I researched about the director, Prashant and when I found out that both of them worked together in Zoom, I decided to take the plunge,” she says.
‘Everybody in life needs a bit of Orange’
Priya says that she hasn’t laughed so much in her life, as she did on the sets of Orange. “This film came into my kitty just when I had completed shooting for a serious film Kayamkulam Kochunni, for 8 months. And so, shooting for Orange felt like a holiday, since I was laughing both on and off screen. It was amuch needed break,” says Priya, adding, “Everybody needs some Orange in life. After all, the colour represents brightness.”
‘Prashant is a bindaas director’
To Priya, Prashant came across as a bindaas director, who stood out with his tees, which had witty wordings and logos. “What struck me on the first day was that Prashant was laughing in front of the monitor even while the camera was rolling. He’s one director, who enjoys
being shot,” she says.
‘Ganesh is very involved with any film he does’
Having had the opportunity to work with Puneeth and Ganesh, Priya says that she been “totally spoilt”. “Puneeth was so friendly and so was Ganesh. The minute he enters the room, everyone would start smiling. He was very attentive, and involved in the film, both in his role, and those of others.”
‘Being yourself on screen is a talent in itself’
“In general, being natural is an effort too. Many a time, an actor’s performance goes unnoticed, because she tries to be herself. Actually, being yourself on screen is a talent in itself. It is very easy to overact. For a rom-com, chemistry is everything. A lot has to do with the writing,” says Priya.
‘Prefer doing women- centric, content-driven films’
At this point in her career, Priya feels she is at the cross roads. Her ambitions and choices are completely different from what she wanted when she started off and at present. “I would want to take on women-centric, content-driven films with a message,” she says.
When Priya joined the industry, she says she was a total stranger. Coming from a foreign country, she had no one but her grandparents here. “No one can say that I was given work on recommendation. No one take my hard work away. And my parents allowed me to make mistakes and learn from them. It gives me immense pride that these are things that define and shape whom I am,” she signs off.