She has just wrapped up her next release in filmmaker Goldie Behl’s thriller web series Marry Me Stranger, starring Gaurav Chopra. (Her third web series after Social and Rain). She is the beautiful Bengali actor who wowed you on screen as the young girl in Jazbaa, as the vivacious female lead in the Karanvir Bohra starrer Humein Tumse Pyar Kitna, and in scores of ad films including those in which she starred opposite Bollywood filmstars Varun Dhawan and Parineeti Chopra. With over 18,000 followers on Twitter, Priya Banerjee is fast becoming a force to reckon with.
Prod her to share a few insights into the making of the “dark and twisted story of urban India” in Marry Me Stranger Priya says, “Marry Me Stranger is a very interesting project, quite unlike anything that I have done earlier as an actor. The formats of media have evolved radically now. For instance, Humein Tumse Pyar Kitna being a mainstream commerical Bollywood movie was tremendous fun to work on, the demands of a web series are only slightly different.”
Kiss of good fortune
It has been a long journey since she debuted in the Telugu romantic comedy KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) in 2013, opposite Adivi Sesh, beating over 150 girls in the audition to make it to the first choice. For the Canada-born model, it was a tremendous headstart in the acting industry. “Call it a sheer stroke of good luck. I shot for KISS within a few months of landing in India, and that too in a new language, Telugu, that I had no idea about. But it was an amazing learning experience and made me realise simply how much I loved being in front of the camera and acting my heart out,” laughs Priya.
Then came along Jazbaa, in 2015, that marked the screen return of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, followed by Humein Tumse Pyar Kitna, and Asura. Priya admires the acting prowess of Shabana Azmi (whom she co-starred with in Jazbaa) and Tabu, and believes there is much to learn from her seniors. Including style tips from the iconic Rekha. Priya herself sports a stylish visage though, having been crowned Miss Photogenic at the Miss World Canada beauty pageant in 2011.
A booming platform
The alumnus of Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares Academy confesses that the dynamics of acting have changed tremendously with the unfurling of the web series format.
“Owing to the booming web and digital platform, I firmly believe that there is greater diversity in the work projects, with more interesting scripts coming up. I feel it is a great time to be a part of this industry as web series do bring in an innovative approach to the project,” she quips. So what does she look for in a role before signing on the dotted line? “At this point of my career, only the script attracts me, or the complete cast of the project.”
Priya clearly had a Plan B in mind as she netted a degree in international marketing and computer science for herself before trying her luck on the silver screen.
Ask her if she prefers Canada over India and she laughs, “That is such a tricky question! Canada is home and India is work for me.” With reason enough as the actor has rocked the silver screen in Dheet Patange, opposite the popular television actor Shivin Narang, and in Angel Eyes as well.
She has also starred in music videos of singer Raghav Mathur... Priya’s last movie, Chithiram Pesuthadi 2, that saw her starring for the first time opposite actor Ajmal, along with Radhika Apte, got a good response.