Priya Anand on Kayamkulam Kochunni co-stars: Both Mohanlal, Nivin Pauly are amazing, natural actors
The Malayalam films being made are very realistic and authentic. I have tremendous respect for them in this aspect. - Priya Anand
Priya Anand is one of the very few actresses who worked in all major film industries across India. “I quickly learn new languages and it has been a big plus in my journey so far”, said Priya who is currently busy shooting for her upcoming Kannada film.
Besides the language factor, the actress feels that the filmmaking process remains the same in all the industries. “For me, there wasn't much of a difference in going into Bollywood as most of the technicians are from the South”, she said.
Known for choosing content-driven films, Priya says Kayamkulam Kochunni is a very special film for her. “Kayamkulam Kochunni is a very special film for me. I have always wanted to be a part of a period film so, I feel happy to be associated with Kayamkulam Kochunni, which is a well-researched script. Kochunni is a character that most people are familiar with because of Amarchitra Katha”, said the Ethir Neechal actress.
Caste discrimination comes as a driving factor between Nivin Pauly and Priya’s relationship in Kayamkulam Kochunni but the actress said that it wasn’t tough for her to understand the practice. “Kayamkulam Kochunni is a true story and it has things that actually happened in history. I've travelled the world and love experiencing new cultures so it's not very difficult to understand human experiences”, said Priya.
In Kayamkulam Kochunni, Priya’s character required minimal makeup and unlike the routine commercial films, the costumes isn'y glitzy. So, when asked whether she had any apprehension to sport a realistic look, the actress says, “There was absolutely no apprehension to play Janaki and be a part of this project. The team has invested a lot of effort and researched for the project. Further, I’m not someone who prefers to wear loud costumes in my films”.
Priya also heaped praise on her director Rosshan Andrrews, “Rosshan is an amazing director to work with because he really knows what each character should do and is specific about their performances. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him and it was a great learning process”.
The Vai Raja Vai actress said that one common thing about Mohanlal and Nivin is that both are great performers. “What Lal sir and Nivin have in common is that they are amazing actors and very natural. Though Kayamkulam Kochunni is a grand film, the expectations are skyrocketed with Lal sir’s addition”, said Priya.
Today, Malayalam film industry is producing some of the finest films in India and the recent National Award winners list speaks volumes about the number of genuine talents from Mollywood. Talking about the Malayalam film industry and the audience, Priya said: “The biggest difference from other film industries and Malayalam cinema is the expectations from the directors and the audience. They do not entertain and encourage non-performers based just on their market. The films being made are very realistic and authentic. I have tremendous respect for them in this aspect”.
In her upcoming film LKG, Priya will be seen sharing screen space with RJ Balaji. Generally, actresses would feel skeptical to feature in films where comedy actors make their heroic debut. “I have never focused on the image of my costar. When I worked on Ethir Neechal, people asked me similar questions about Sivakarthikeyan and look at him now. I'm happy to have been a part of his journey and same is the case with Balaji. I think it's unfair to box anyone into a particular category. I chose my projects based on the story and there is nobody who can pull off LKG like Balaji. It's too early to talk about my character but I'm really looking forward to it”.
Priya also added that in Tamil cinema, female-centric films are being made based on the market of the actresses. “Yes, there have been more films being made that are based on female protagonists but having said that, it also mostly features Lady Super Star (Nayanthara) because she has the market to pull it off. But Kannada cinema is making women-centric films with newcomers and still delivering successful products like U-Turn and Shuddhi”.
For those who don’t know, Priya Anand missed Vijay’s blockbuster film Thuppakki for her role in Sridevi’s English Vinglish. She signs off by saying, “Everything happens for a reason. I'm not sure what Thuppakki would have given me but I know what English Vinglish has given me. I worked with my childhood idol (Sridevi). She has been an inspiration for so many other actresses and sadly with her untimely passing, I’m the only one who got the opportunity to work on a film with her. But yes, your market depends on the films you do. So when you do films with bigger heroes, your market grows as well. I have been blessed to have always had quality cinema come my way regardless of how many films I choose to do, what language it is in and who are my co-stars are. Once the audience accepts you, it's all love”.