Remember the poised, no-nonsense Poornima Rao Gaikwad from City of Dreams, the web series aired on Hotstar in 2019? That was Priya Bapat. She is well-known for Marathi films like Vazandar, Happy Journey, Aamhi Doghi . Now she is all set to make her international debut with Aditya Kripalani’s Father Like. Priya has just finished shooting for Season 2 of City of Dreams and is ecstatic about the experience. Talking about her role in the political-drama, the Mumbai-born Priya says, “As an actor it was more difficult for me in Season 1 than shooting for Season 2. In Season 1, everything was very new to me. Poornima has so many shades and layers that it took me time to get into the skin of the character. While shooting for Season 2 it was easier for me to relate to Poornima. I was even able to insert my own angle and approach to it.”Priya says director Nagesh Kukunoor held her hand through the series and his sheer dedication and guidance are what the audience see in Poornima in Season 1. “But this time it was fun, we both collaborated to bring alive the character on screen,” she avers.
After spending so much time together while shooting, the team becomes like a family, feels Priya. “The City of Dreams team has become family to me. Especially Nagesh Kukunoor and Elahe Hiptoola, the producer. She makes sure of the actors’ wellbeing. As for Nagesh, I think he chose me to play Poornima because he thought I am more like the character – quiet and reserved. But when he found out I am the opposite, he was pleasantly surprised. He caught me doing masti with my co-star Atul Kulkarni in his van, it was then he came to know my carefree and jovial nature,” shares Priya. While 2020 hasn’t been pleasant due to the pandemic, it has taught Priya the importance of life. “2020 taught me that nothing should be taken for granted, especially health and people. The entire year, I was working out, not to lose weight but to be fit. We were stuck inside our houses with limited supplies. The less expectation one has from life, the livelier and more peaceful life becomes,” believes Priya. While City of Dreams has won Priya fans beyond Marathi cinema, she is looking for something more substantial. “Offers did come from various movie industries, after the success of Season 1. I am taking my time to choose the best,” she concludes.