Priyanka Upendra: I have worked on the way I look in Devaki
The actor, who shares screen space with her daughter Aishwarya in the film, opens up about the Lohith H directorial
As an actor who remains in demand as a protagonist even after marriage and kids, Priyanka Upendra says she feels lucky that filmmakers continue to approach her with good roles. During an interaction with Cinema Express about her upcoming film, Devaki, Priyanka said she especially gets a high when she gets to be part of a subject that is realistic and a thriller, something that she herself enjoys watching as a viewer.
“I've always liked horror and enjoyed watching such films with my siblings. I prefer topics around the supernatural, and films like The Conjuring are my favourite. Having said that, I don’t mind watching mainstream cinema, though it doesn’t move me. Now that I am more into world cinema, I have developed some maturity about the kind of films I would want to do,” she said.
The actor is of the opinion that cinema should come with a variety, which is picking up slowly in Kannada film industry. “There are more middle-aged heroines, who are balancing different kinds of cinema. The more options you have, the better it is for the audiences who are at various stages in their life. The target audience for mainstream films has comprised teenagers who will watch the films again and again. However, there is a set of viewers consisting of women aged between 25 and 40 years, and not many movies are made for them. I want to cater to them,” Priyanka added.
The actor is working with director Lohith H for the second time, after Mummy Save Me. Though Lohith is much younger to her, their thought process about cinema is very similar, she said. “That’s where we get along very well. He understands what I like and vice versa, and we keep in touch regularly. He knows the kind of performance he can take from me, and what would work for me,” explained Priyanka, who is also happy that producers are coming forward to invest money in these kinds of films. “It is a risk, but at the same time, you set a trend too. Having faith and doing a film with conviction with a project like this, creatively, is really good for the industry,” she added.
It was a challenge for Priyanka to portray Devaki. “When people have known Priyanka Upendra for a long time, it becomes a task for us to make the character believable,” explains Priyanka, who feels that the emotions in Devaki will still be relatable for the viewers, as it shows the bond between a mother and a child.
“When something big happens, we always get into a survival mode, especially when it comes to our kids or someone we love. Automatically, if you think of a situation like the one in the film, you don’t even want to know where you come from and who you are. The human instinct kicks in and does whatever you can to protect your child. That’s the law of nature. Irrespective of which language she speaks or where she resides, a mother’s emotions will always remain constant for her kid. In fact, I have worked on the finer characteristics and the way I look for the role,” she added.
In Devaki, Priyanka shares screen space with her daughter Aishwarya, who is making her debut, and plays a similar role on screen too. “It is very tricky and intense. It is not one of the regular thrillers,” said Priyanka, adding that she is not aware whether Aishwarya wants to continue acting or pursue something else in the future since it is too early to talk about it. “Working in Devaki was a good experience for her. In fact, she wanted to do it, and Lohith waited to shoot her portions. Though she was committed on the sets, Aishwarya was not interested in promotions, and I didn’t want to force her,” she revealed.
Priyanka also made a special mention about working with actor Kishore, who is working with her for the first time. “It is a unique and fresh combination. I hope people like watching us together,” she said.