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I'm a pan-Indian actress: Padmapriya

By Sandeep Sharma
New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) Actress Padmapriya Janakiraman considers herself a “pan-Indian actress” as she has worked in films in languages like Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali and Hindi.

Padmapriya, who made her Bollywood debut with “Striker” in 2010, returned to Hindi cinema after seven years with Raja Krishna Menon’s “Chef”, which released last week.

She doesn’t call it a comeback, but says she wishes to be more regular in Bollywood now.

“I have not tried enough to be in Bollywood. Siddharth (actor) knew me, so that’s how my first film happened (in Bollywood). I don’t think I ever went around looking for work here. I was busy working in films from other sides. I came in the industry by chance,” Padmapriya told IANS here.

“But I hope to do more Hindi films now. I have always been a pan-Indian actress with pan-Indian taste. I want to leave a deep impact of my acting in people’s mind. I want to be the Guru Dutt of the world,” she added.

Padmapriya, who has carved a niche for herself in the southern film industry, says acting happened by chance to her.

“With me, cinema happened by accident. It was not a choice that I made. By accident, my first film (‘Seenu Vasanthi Lakshmi’) became a big hit. Then I was forced to do my second film. I was in an alternate career. I said I don’t want to do films, I don’t believe in cinema,” Padmapriya said.

“Thereafter, the third and the fourth film happened. As I was being offered such amazing scripts, I couldn’t say no. Then I had to leave my job and I started acting full-time. Having said that, I feel it’s a great time for actors. I do see lots of good films being made in Hindi,” she added.

How did she get her first break?

Padmapriya said: “I used to do modelling part-time. That’s how I was offered my first film. I took a two-year break from films to pursue my post graduation in public administration. Today also, I work in the development sector.

“I won’t call myself an accidental actor. I started dancing when I was 3. I started doing theatre when I was 14. I did it just for fun as I love being on stage. Later, films happened by accident.”

The actress feels herself suitable for all type of roles thanks to her army background.

“I don’t have any particular identity that I hold on to. My father is an army officer. So, I have had the chance to travel to a lot of places. I am a south Indian. But, when I just go to a place, I just blend with their culture. That’s why I look like a Punjabi, Marathi or I can play a Bengali character. It is easy for me to adapt,” she said.

Padmapriya says she enjoyed working with actor Saif Ali Khan and director Raja Krishna Menon in “Chef”, which is an Indian remake of a 2014 Hollywood film of the same name by Jon Favreau.

“They both are very sorted. I love the way how Raja visualises his female characters. That’s something I have not witnessed down south,” Padmapriya said.

“I have seen Saif evolve as an actor since the time I was in the audience. I was literally a kid. When I signed up for this project, I didn’t know for a long time that Saif was going to star in it. It was a double bonanza to work with people whom I really like,” she concluded.

(Sandeep Sharma can be contacted at [email protected])

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