Mumbai: All thanks to the sensual, hot women clad in bikinis, posing against exotic backdrops, Kingfisher Calendar has attained a legendary status. Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, Yana Gupta, Ujjwala Raut and Nargis Fakhri among others have featured on it.
The calendar is back with a new edition and this time has a Keralite gracing the pages — Priyanka Karunakaran. Though a Malayali, Priyanka has been born and brought up in Mumbai, which she calls home. A model and an actor, Priyanka had been trained in Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi, and travelled all over the world performing at various stages.
She has studied theatre and drama at the New York Film Academy, returned to India and entered the world of modelling. That paid off and Priyanka found herself modelling for some big brands — national and international. “Being a part of the Kingfisher Calendar is every model’s dream and it certainly has been mine too!” she says adding, “My agency informed me that the audition for the calendar was taking place. It was the first time that I would be donning a bikini and the first question they asked was if I wanted to do it? There was no second thought — I had seen and heard of the calendar and decided to give it a shot. The audition was the next day. I didn’t eat anything that night.”
What Priyanka later came to know was that there were 50 girls walking in everyday for two months for the auditions. “What was required was not to look sexy, but to be ourselves and to talk and smile. I guess they were looking for character than the oomph factor.”
Priyanka soon left for London and got busy with her assignments. “I featured in GQ Italia, and after two months, I came back to India and was at a shoot when my agent called and congratulated me.”
Mistaking that for another modelling assignment, it took a message from her agent at night for her to comprehend that she was a part of the Kingfisher Calendar.
The exotic location was Croatia. She says, “If you look at the photos of the beach, they all look sunny but the water was cold at 5°C. All four of us were freezing and we did not want to take off our bathrobes. So we had hot coffee and eventually entered the freezing water. But once I started with the shoot, my mind automatically switched off from the cold and focused on what needed to be done workwise. I was working with the best like Atul Kasbekar, Kapil and Allia. Atul has this way of making you very comfortable.”
Priyanka has acted in a web series and also has films on her mind. “I do not want to predict my future — my goal is to act and grow as a performer. In this field things are not going to happen overnight, but the idea is to enjoy that journey.”