Priya Bapat will soon be seen as Poornima Gaikwad in the third season of City Of Dreams. The Nagesh Kukunoor directorial, which also stars Atul Kulkarni, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Sushant Singh, Eijaz Khan and Rannvijay Singha, is set to release on Disney+ Hotstar on May 26. The Free Press Journal caught up with the actress for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
How does it feel to see the third season of this path-breaking show in your career?
It feels great to be honest. I was overwhelmed to see the kind of response to the second season and I am really curious to see how people will react to the third season. For me as an actor, the third season was the most challenging after the first since I was new with my character Poornima back then. After I lived it for 10 episodes, in the second, you just have to take it further.
The third season has a lot of layers to my character, not only as a politician but also as a human. To get to perform and for someone like Nagesh Kukunoor, who trusted me that I could pull this off feels amazing.
Your character broke so many stereotypes in the show. How challenging was that?
I never looked at Poornima with the perspective that she breaks stereotypes so I’ll play it. The most exciting thing for me is that Nagesh Kukunoor could see this kind of potential in me. I have always been tagged as a girl next door and to play a shrewd politician was a challenge. Poornima is relatable as a sister, friend and yet can be a political figure. Also, I feel, only an actor’s contribution doesn’t work, a role like Poornima had to be written in a certain way.
Do you feel that writers are penning more female-centric stories on OTT?
It’s a very good change. When I did Kaksparsh (2012), my Marathi film audience was surprised to see me in the film and they started taking me more seriously as an actor. What City Of Dreams did to me was that people could believe that I could do something like this. I am happy that I am born in an era where powerful women roles are being written. One actress who has been inspiring me since childhood is Shefali Shah.
Do you agree that your life has changed for good after the City Of Dreams franchise?
Firstly, people got to know about me and I don’t blame them since I have been working in Marathi films for a long time. How can anyone gauge my ability as an actor in the rest of the country? Now, directors and casting directors know me. They all have seen my work in City Of Dreams. It has given them the trust in me and my calibre. I no longer audition just for the sake of it. Roles are being offered where they know why they are coming to me.
What kind of genres are you looking to explore after playing Poornima?
I think I want to challenge myself in comedy. It is tough to make people laugh. I want to work with a good director, who can bring the best in me. I want to see that if I have that timing sense. I totally believe that crying on-screen is a lot easier than doing comedy.
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