Contrary to the notion telly actresses can never make it big on silver screen, Priya Bhavani Shankar, who became the household name with her mega soap on a TV channel, is the latest sensation in Tamil cinema. It may be just her luck or things may have changed for the good after Priya, who turned down a few initial film offers, chose Karthik Subbaraj’s Meyaadha Maan. That choice seemed to do the trick.
Her subsequent film Kadaikutty Singam with Karthi was also a blockbuster hit. Her kitty is full today with half a dozen films and she is making her debut in Tollywood as well. With Priya’s Monster is to hit the marquee this Friday (May 17), she speaks to DC.
On Monster where she teams up with SJ Suryah, she says, “Monster has shaped up well and is all about a rat and how it makes the hero’s life difficult. Director Nelson Venkadesan’s heroines normally have a solid role in the script and my playing Mekhala is no different. I play a girl who works in a jewellery shop. She is simple and intelligent. The hero thinks that this girl is very important in his life, but still there’s some reservation.”
How did this superb transformation from telly to mainstream cinema happen? “I won’t call it luck. Though I got some offers even as I was doing soaps, I didn’t take them and waited for the right script when Meyaadha Maan happened. Thanks to producer Karthik Subbaraj as the film gave me the right push.” She adds that she has crossed the stage when girls who move from TV to big screen are often discreetly scoffed at. “No, not anymore, “she says.
Priya admits that television gave her huge popularity and reach. “Be it an anchor or actress, you are right there in their homes and the audiences feel that you are part of their family. Cinema is altogether a different ball game and fortunately, since my films worked, I feel the same way.”
How do you go about choosing a film? “For me the production banner is very important and next comes a good script. I don’t look at who the hero is, as a good script will automatically command the kind of hero it needs.”...