Language not a barrier

Language not a barrier

Long Term

Language not a barrier


She had everything going for her in a plush job in the IT sector. But Padmapriya knew where her heart lay. The first time a career in cinema happened to chance upon her, she threw away her job and jumped headlong into the world of marquee.

And Padmapriya sure has mastered the language of cinema. In just about five years, Padmapriya has now set her foot into her fifth language in cinema — she has signed up for a Kannada movie Thamassu, after a successful stint in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films. “I always had a flair for the arts (cinema). I don’t believe in anything short term. I am glad that I’ve been able to do substantial roles in such a short time,” Padmapriya said.

In her debut in Kannada, she has been cast opposite Shivarajkumar where she plays Shanti, a doctor who dislikes violence. She is also in constant conflict with her husband, played by Shivarajkumar. “It’s such as interesting and a unique role,” she says.

Padmapriya strode into films with Malayalam film Kaazhcha where she played the mother of three children, who struggles to accommodate another child, a victim of the Gujarat earthquake. Her debut performance won her an award. From then on, it has been laurels all the way.

She again won critical acclaim in Tamil films like Veeralipattu and Satham Podathey. The latter was a psychological thriller, where she enacted the role of a helpless wife, who gets kidnapped by her former husband. In Naalu Pennungal, directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan, she dons the role of a roadside prostitute. In the much hyped Pazhassi Raja she plays a tribal woman, skilled in tribal warfare. 

With more than 35 films to her credit, Padma is unstoppable. She has eight films in five different languages, including the Hindi debut vehicle Striker, lined up for release early next year.

“At a time when new heroines have only a song and a dance sequence and smaller roles, I am fortunate to have had the chance to act in great films,” she says.

There’s no one character that Padma wants to play and says she doesn’t cherish any particular role that she has essayed. “It’s hard for me to pick and choose from among my films and say this is my best one because nothing is disintegrated from time and space,” she observes.

She’s unhappy however that there aren’t too many woman-oriented films where the woman is given a strong substantial character.

“Actresses are reduced to dancing and running around trees. I have always wondered why can’t women portray the same characters as men do?” she asks.

Considering the roles that Padmapriya has very consciously chosen, she says that people will think twice before casting her in commercial cinema.

“It’s not that I haven’t done commercial films. But it’s the more meaty ones that remain in people’s mind,” she says.

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