When the Upendras were having some touristy fun in Los Angeles last week, they were in for a starry surprise. The entire family got to meet the cast of Riverdale, much to the delight of Aishwarya and Ayush, the children of actor Upendra and his wife Priyanka. Talking about the unexpected encounter, Priyanka Upendra says, “We’d gone on a 20-day trip to USA for summer break. It was the last day of our vacation and we were hanging out at The Grove in LA. There’s a beautiful theatre there, where movie premieres happen and there was a poster of the film The Sun Is Also A Star, starring Charles Melton. My daughter saw it and got excited.”
Soon, the actors of the film stepped out and so did lead actor Melton (who’s famous for his role as Reggie Mantle in Riverdale). “My daughter, who’s a fan of the show wanted to get a picture with him and we headed towards the actors. We asked Melton’s manager if Aishwarya could take a picture with the star and he asked us to wait. I was holding the ice creams that we’d bought, so I couldn’t take a picture, but Melton was sweet enough to take a selfie with Aishwarya. He hugged her and she got super emotional. He then gave us four tickets for the premiere of his film and his assistants helped us get there. We got to meet the rest of the cast of Riverdale too, who had come in to support Melton,” reveals Priyanka.
Apart from the actors of Riverdale, they got to meet Josie and the Pussycats and a few famous YouTubers. “All of them were sweet and took pictures with the kids. The Hollywood premiere experience was different, especially for the kids, who’ve seen premieres that happen here. Earlier in the trip, we’d taken them to watch a Broadway show and a Criss Angel show in Las Vegas, but we weren’t expecting this. It was really sweet of Melton to call us for the premiere, which was meant only for friends and family,” shares Priyanka.
The conversation veers towards her films and the actress reveals that she’s awaiting the release of her Devaki, which might hit screens by the end of June. “It’s a psychological thriller about child trafficking. It’s one of the most intense films I’ve done. It’s a new genre in Kannada — I hope people enjoy it. I play a single mom whose daughter goes missing,” says Priyanka, who got nostalgic while shooting for the film in her hometown Kolkata.
But what makes the movie even more special for her is that her daughter is making her debut with this movie. “As a mom, I was very protective of her as it really isn’t a kids’ film. We had long hours of shoot in the night —Aishwarya would be excited, nervous and sometimes tired. But she’s done well — she’s very natural. I didn’t want her to miss school, so the director Lohith was sweet enough to wait till she had holidays,” reveals the doting mother.
So, do her kids have filmy ambitions? “It’s too early to say. Right now, they’re into sitcoms, Netflix etc. We expose them to all kinds of cinema, but currently, they’re more inclined towards English films like the Marvel series etc. They both have a keen interest in music and art. Let’s see where it goes,” smiles Priyanka....