I don’t need anyone to validate my work: Priyanka Upendra
In a chat with CE, the actor, who is opting for unusual characters, says she is consciously looking at not being typecast
Priyanka Upendra is at a stage in her career where she isn't looking for anyone's validation of her talent. “I have always been here, and there is no question of me making a comeback,” says the actor, who recently completed the shoot for Lohith’s upcoming directorial, Howrah Bridge, which also features her daughter (Aishwarya) in a pivotal role.
According to Priyanka, the film is now in post-production stage, and the makers are looking to release it in April. “It is a psychological thriller. Lohith has worked hard on the content, and just the preparation for the film took one-and-a-half years. His kind of dedication is hard to find,” she says.
Talking about her upcoming projects, Priyanka reveals that she has been getting a number of offers but is yet to give the green signal to any. The actor also shares that a Tamil film is in the pipeline, and she will talk about it once the deal is sealed.
“A Mummy sequel is also in the planning stage, but I have decided to make a move only after the release of Howrah Bridge. I first want to know how this film will be received by the audience,” she tells us.
Priyanka has also been making a conscious effort to not be typecast. “Today there are a lot of interesting films being made, and I feel that the demarcation between a hero and heroine is slowly fading. Secondly, I don’t want to get typecast into playing the role of a mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law or just a hero’s wife. If a film has a good plot, and if there is an interesting role among the main characters, I will consider it. There are certain genres which give certain characters importance. And I am looking at those,” says the actor, who cites the example of the recent Hindi movie, Andhadhun. “These days, films are either hero or heroine-centric. But there are also those ‘in-between’ genres, and this is what is catching my attention,” she says.
To her advantage, she is also a producer, and Priyanka says good content is the key. “I have always considered myself as an artiste and not just a heroine. I don’t mind not having much work, but I don’t want to do substandard work. I wouldn’t like people saying ‘Why did Priyanka do this?’ When I was young, I took up anything and everything I was offered. That’s because I wanted to establish myself. Now, the focus has shifted to work I really enjoy. Today, I want to do films for my fans, and what my family likes to see me in, and roles where I can explore my creativity. I don’t mind doing a short film or something for TV or digital platforms. All this, so long as my character is appreciated,” she explains.
Discussing Upendra's entry into politics, Priyanka says, “I am trying to stay up-to-date with Uppi’s work. At this point, he needs my moral support. With my children in high school, things are intense. There’s a lot of juggling to do. A lot of people have been asking me why I haven’t contested elections. But I feel, I need to have knowledge and commitment. I also know that Uppi doesn’t want me in politics unless I am ready to give my 100 per cent to it. Moreover, I still have a lot of things to do as an actor.”