BENGALURU : Ask Priyanka Upendra about her earliest memory of Bengaluru, and she casually recalls the time when she first came down to the city for the muhurat of her film, H2O, at Palace Grounds in 2003, which was followed by frequent visits for her shoots. When it comes to talking about making the city her permanent residence, she adds, “I started residing in Bengaluru after I married Upendra. We met in Hyderabad where he was shooting and I tagged along with a friend who wanted to meet him. I went on to have a chat with Upi and I was doing a movie with J D Chakravarthy back then. He asked for a photograph and went on to cast me for the movie, Raa, and the story continued from there on.”
Born in Kolkata, Priyanka emphasises on Kannada being one of the first things she had to learn after making Bengaluru her home. “I was familiar with the language since I had worked in Kannada films but at the same time, I was doing Tamil, Bengali and Hindi films so I wasn’t proficient enough in the language. I picked it up rather sooner and it was a change for sure, with the food and climate being on the cooler side,” she says.
Reflecting on life with Upendra, who has a vibrant on-screen persona, Priyanka states that his off-screen persona is more on the quieter side. “He is very sensitive and quite idealistic as well. He has a distinct thought process where you never know what he’s thinking, along with different perspectives on things. Otherwise, it’s a regular husband-wife relationship where both of us have routines,” she adds.
Priyanka is set to star alongside Mahat Raghavendra and Yashika Anand in the Kannada-Tamil bilingual, St Marks Road. “I have a special role where I play twins for the very first time in my career. My characters revolve around two sisters and it was a new experience, given the various languages. We have completed shooting and are probably looking towards a release in December,” she says, adding that a psychological-horror-thriller and a cop story is also in the works.
Priyanka expresses her love for festivals in the city which she claims has been a significant part of her life and family, and further adds that the charm of the city has really grown on her. “Bengaluru is changing and I have been here for 16 years. Certain factors like pollution are alarming and we should put an effort to take care of roads and waste management instead of complaining about the situation. Another important duty is to vote, since polls have seen a low turn-out in Bengaluru,” she says.