We had a chat with rising actress Priya Banerjee, and here are the excerpts.
As someone who grew up in Canada, what is it like moving to India and balancing those two cultures in your personal and professional life?
Initially when I first moved to India four years back it felt like I don't belong here as I wasn't as fluent in the language as everyone else and my family was still in Canada so first few months were unsettling but then I got used to it pretty quick. I guess I can adjust and mingle anywhere very soon and since I always loved visiting India, the food the culture, I started enjoying it here sooner than I expected. It wasn't too difficult balancing it as growing up in a Bengali household, my parents always made sure I was very close to my roots. I have grown up watching Indian movies and eating Indian food so it wasn't hard at all for me. Now I can say Mumbai is a home away from home for me.
When were you discovered?
Discovered! I'm not sure if that would be the right word (haha). I guess I’ve discovered a lot about myself living in this country. I learned about my love for acting and the camera. I never thought I would make a profession in the entertainment industry but now I don't see myself doing anything else.
When did the acting bug hit you?
I have always been very interested in films and acting. My mom says that as a kid every time a song or movie would be on I would perform it in front of the TV and make my family sit there and watch me so I guess I was always a dramebaaz (haha) but as I grew older I discovered my love for acting more. I’ve also taken part in theatre, singing and dance competitions growing up and had always won them.
Is there a role you would like to play in a film?
Yes, I would love to play something like Priyanka Chopra played in Aitraaz with shades of grey or what Rani Mukherjee played in Black. I want to do such challenging roles.
From South films to Bollywood, how has your experience been so far?
It's been amazing. I’ve enjoyed working in both the industries and I wish to continue working in the south while I work on Hindi films. Since my first movie was in Telugu, it will always have a special place in my heart.
What are some of the working experiences that you would like to highlight?
Working in films isn’t easy at all. I used to always think wow it's so glamorous and looks so good like I'm sure most people do but I would definitely like to highlight the fact that it's not a piece of cake. I have worked 18-20 hours nonstop and sometimes you lose the sense of day and night. But yet when you get a good shot it's such a wonderful feeling.
Earliest childhood memory?
I have so many memories, can't think of one. I was a complete tomboy. I only had guy friends and I used to beat guys up, in fact, I was like a little gundi and then I don't know what happened post high school. Next thing you know I was running for Miss World Canada.
What do you like the most about yourself?
I'm very adaptable to any place to any situation. You could put me anywhere with anyone I'm always happy. I guess I'm a very positive person.
What is your favourite hideout?
My home. Back in Canada with my dog Abby. My best hideout I can completely cut myself off from the world there with her.
One beauty product you must travel with?
What music pumps you up for a shoot?
Depends on my mood and the shot I'm about to give. If it's a fun and relaxing shot I prefer hip hop and new upbeat songs but if it's a Melo and sad scene I would prefer anything that brings my mood down and makes me sad (haha). Music plays a huge part in my mood.
Describe a typical day’s schedule for you, when not working?
On my days off I am a complete couch potato. I like to sleep in and watch TV shows, catch up on my favourite shows or watch movies. I also try and go for runs. Catch up with friends. Mainly just laze around as much as I can (haha).
What do you like to do for fun?
Watch movies. I can sit and watch movies all day! I'm a complete film buff. When I am back home in Canada I like going out for hikes and stuff it's much easier there than here.
Is there a man in your life?
Oh! C’mon, tell us…
(Haha) no, I’m very much single. Busy with work and I like it that way for now. I think I'm really picky when it comes to men.
What are some places we can see you?
Umm YouTube? Lol, well my movies that have released aren't on YouTube yet. My Telugu movies are out so those you can catch them and my web show RAIN and SOCIAL are also out. Also, I’ve 3 more releases in Hindi in 2018.
In ten years, where do you see yourself? What are your goals?
10 years, wow that's a long time I'm not a great future planner and I do believe in living the moment to the fullest. Right now I love the work I'm doing. And I'm hoping even after 10 years I get to do what I love the most and people enjoy and love watching me as well.
Any last words?
Thank you for the wonderful questions and I hope to answer more questions for you in the future.