India – September 30, 2023
In this week’s enlightening Big Interview, Priyamani opens up about her remarkable journey in the Indian film industry, her experiences working with Shah Rukh Khan in the hit movie “Jawan,” and her perspective on the evolving portrayal of female characters in cinema.
Reuniting with SRK on the Sets of “Jawan”
When Priyamani met Shah Rukh Khan on the sets of “Jawan” after a ten-year gap, the Bollywood superstar greeted her with an infectious smile and a warm hug. “He just saw me and flaunted the biggest smile and gave me the tightest hug and said, ‘Thank you so much for being part of this film,'” Priyamani recalls.
Attracted by the Story and SRK’s Presence
Priyamani was drawn to “Jawan” by both the captivating story and the opportunity to work with Atlee and Shah Rukh Khan. “Mainly, it was the story that worked for me. And then the film being an Atlee directorial, acting with Shah Rukh Khan was the icing on the cake,” she explains.
The Spectacular Zinda Banda Dance Sequence
The highly-talked-about dance sequence in “Jawan,” titled “Zinda Banda,” featured around a thousand background dancers from various cities. Priyamani shares her excitement about this sequence and how it left the girls awestruck. “The girls were enamored looking at Shah Rukh sir and me because they looked up to me a lot,” she says.
Priyamani also recounts an incident during the rehearsals where Shah Rukh Khan insisted that she stand next to him, emphasizing his chivalry and respect towards his co-stars.
Social Issues in South Indian Films
Priyamani believes that addressing social issues in films is not exclusive to actors involved in politics. She notes that films like “Jawan” have successfully tackled real-life issues such as farmer’s suicides, the importance of doctors, and the oxygen tragedy. These issues, she asserts, resonate with people from all walks of life.
Two Decades in the Industry
Reflecting on her two-decade-long career in the film industry, Priyamani acknowledges her growth and the increasing ability to request what she needs. She emphasizes the importance of mutual respect in the profession, stating, “If you give respect, you get respect.”
Shah Rukh Khan’s Dancing Skills
Having worked closely with Shah Rukh Khan in both “Chennai Express” and “Jawan,” Priyamani commends his dancing skills. She describes him as a phenomenal dancer who gives his all, making even the most challenging choreography look effortless.
Shah Rukh Khan’s Chivalry
Priyamani is all praises for Shah Rukh Khan’s chivalry and respect towards everyone. She believes he sets an exemplary standard in treating not only women but every individual with kindness and generosity.
Being SRK’s Lucky Charm?
While some suggest she might be Shah Rukh Khan’s lucky charm considering the success of “Chennai Express” and “Jawan,” Priyamani remains modest and suggests directing the question to the superstar himself.
Future Hindi Film Projects
Priyamani assures her fans that they can expect to see more of her in Hindi films soon. She asks for a little more patience as she has exciting projects lined up.
Bollywood Crush: Shah Rukh Khan
When asked if she ever had a crush on a Bollywood actor, Priyamani candidly admits, “The only person I had a crush on is Shah Rukh Khan, and I got to work with him. I am happy about that.”
Portrayal of Female Characters
Priyamani acknowledges the evolving portrayal of female characters in Indian cinema. She observes that today’s heroines play more substantial roles, contributing significantly to the storyline and engaging in actions and conflicts, rather than being limited to song and dance sequences.
Blurring Geographical and Cultural Lines
Priyamani welcomes the blurring of geographical and cultural lines in Indian cinema, which has led to a cross-pollination of stars and technicians. She believes it’s a positive development that recognizes talent from different regions.
South Actors in Hindi Films
Regarding South actors’ involvement in Hindi films, Priyamani respects each person’s opinion and choices. She believes it depends on individual preferences and opportunities.
Comparing Manoj Bajpayee and SRK
Priyamani distinguishes Manoj Bajpayee and Shah Rukh Khan, highlighting their unique acting styles. She praises Manoj Bajpayee’s improvisational skills and dedication to his craft, emphasizing that he goes the extra mile to make his performances exceptional.
Priyamani’s insights into the world of Indian cinema, her experiences with legendary actors, and her perspectives on gender representation provide a fascinating glimpse into her journey as an actress. Her admiration for Shah Rukh Khan and her promising future in Hindi films add an exciting dimension to her already illustrious career.