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    Priya Mani Interview

    Wednesday, August 04, 2004
    Priya Mani made her debut in Tamil as heroine in Kangalal kaithu sei. Though directed by Bharathiraja the film did not do well and Priya Mani shifted over to Malayalam films. She is currently acting opposite Prithiviraj in Sathyam directed by Vinayan. Her second Tamil film is with Balu Mahendra `Oru kana kalam'' with Dhanush as hero. She is banking on this film to do the trick. Excerpts from a brief chat with her.

    Your grandmother Kamala Kailas is a celebrated classical singer. Did you also take up singing?

    I like music and used to sing.I never took it up as a profession. Right from school days I used to model and this led me to films.

    How did you enter films?

    I used to model for textiles and jewellery shops. Seeing my photos, many approached me with offers but I rejected everything.

    I wasn't interested in films. Soon after my 12th Std, when I was offered the heroine's role in Bharatiraja's film I could not reject. He is known for discovering many talents like Revathi, Radhika, Radha etc. Being in a Bharathiraja film is like being in quality film.

    Your first film experience?

    A streak of bad health pulled me down very badly . The first schedule lasted for about 32 days and the songs were picturised in Switzerland. For this entire schedule I was laid down with fever . The second schedule was in scenic Sri Lanka and I was down with an attack of typhoid but still continued to work.

    Your experiences in Balu Mahendra and Bharatiraja's films?

    Both are two different personalities.Bharathiraja is an extrovert . He is very sensitive and emotional in nature. Where as in Balu Mahendra's set you will hardly see any of the usual scenes that you will see during the shooting. There will be complete silence on the sets of Balu Mahendra. He is quite intense and serious.I am very lucky to have acted with two great directors.

    Have you seen Malayalam films?

    Yes of course. Even though I stay in Bangalore, I was born in an Iyer family at Palakkad and my mother is from Thiruvananthapuram. My father is Vasudeva Mani who owns an automobile factory. My mother Latha Mani was an international badminton player and was also working in UBI as an assistant manager but took VRS when I came into the field.I am very familiar with Malayalam films.I like KPAC Lalitha very much. Then my favorites are Mammootty, Mohanlal and Dilip.I had interviewed Mammootty once for a magazine . Lal first signed me for Albhuthavilaku opposite Dilip but it got shelved and now Vinayan signed me for Sathyam opposite Prithiviraj.

    What are your favorites?

    Music, dance, ice creams, chocolates, puppies and kittens.

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