Interview: Actress Priya Bapat talks about fighting patriarchy in Hotstar Specials' City of Dreams
After her successful stint in Hindi and Marathi film industries, actor Priya Bapat is now set to explore the web space in the latest Hotstar Specials City of Dreams. This time around, the Mumbai-born actress is playing a character that allows her to question patriarchal norms and standards. “This show is quite different from my previous work. It’s a political drama where two siblings are fighting to be the heir. But that’s not it. There are more layers that cover misogyny, castism and politics - a lot of social issues to explore and understand,” says the 32-year-old.
Directed by Hyderabad-born Nagesh Kukunoor, this 10-episode series that premiered last week has been receiving mixed reviews, but Priya has been applauded for her portrayal of the fearless and intelligent Poornima Gaikwad. “The challenge was to understand Poornima because we’re two different people. I’m talkative and an extrovert, while my character is calm, composed and smart. She talks less and acts more. All this apart, I didn’t grow up in a home where boys and girls were treated differently. But I knew inequality exists in society. I had to internalise that, to be able to pull it off,” she shares. After all, it’s this challenge that she says excites her to take up any role. “The best part about being an actor is to do roles that put you in a new environment, sometimes, an uncomfortable one.
What’s the thrill in doing regular characters,” she quips. Ever since her debut in 2000, Priya is known to have taken up roles that challenge her acting skills and also the ones that stay with the audience long after you leave the theatres. In 2018 Aamhi Doghi, she plays a 15-year-old who is figuring life out with her new step-mom, while in Vazandar, she fights body shaming. “For Vazandar, I had to put on weight. That’s when I understood how society treats an obese person and how it affects their mental health. These are the little details that help me portray my character better. That’s what I’m looking for in every project,” she signs off.
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