Padmapriya, whom you fondly remember as the beauty from Saif Ali Khan’s recent movie Chef got into a candid conversation with us.
In an exclusive interview with Umesh Punwani of KoiMoi she opened up about the failure of Chef, how she started her career and shared some interesting trivia about her personal life. Here are the excerpts:
You slayed the role of Radha with your hotness in Chef, in the original Sofia Vergara’s role was so different from yours?
Yes! Sofia’s role was very different from mine. We thought Chef was an interesting film, we thought it’s for our audience but it happens sometimes. We thought people would like it but it’s an independent film, it’s not from those hardcore commercial movies. But movies are doing fair job, I think it’s an interesting mix of films that have come out this year. Very different and experimental films have released this year, Rahul Bose’s Poorna started the trend. Even though a film like A Death In The Gunj didn’t do well at the box office but it got its audience and its attention. This wasn’t the trend few years ago.
Chef has been an amazing journey for you, missing it?
Yes! Very much. What do you guys see, there’s much more to it behind the scenes. Everyone has worked really hard for the film. Raja Krishna Menon (Director) and team did a lot of effort to maintain that comfort level throughout the shoot. It was amazing while we’re shooting it and when you see the film you see those special memories from my life. Chef has been a beautiful film that I’ve been a part of.
You saw the original Chef when you were offered the remake?
I saw it much more before Bollywood remake was announced. There’s a fun trivia I would like to share. I watched my Bollywood remake of Chef and the original one in the same Audi and same theater.
You are a Post Graduate in Environmental Law and also done Master’s in Public Administration, how movies attracted you?
I did MPA only now. I was working in films, took a 2-year break and then did Masters in Public Administration. Cinema happened first. I started learning dance when I was 3. I’m a trained Bharatanatyam dancer. I started dancing before I started studies. So before I learned ABC, I learned the 7 stages of Bharatanatyam.
What was that exact moment when you thought, screw everything I want to become an actor?
I really don’t know! Today also I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.
No one knows!
(Laughs!) I was a typical middle-class girl with no aspirations of being an actor. I was a dancer and a theater actor. I had this fantasy of getting into Femina. I also ended up being in top 30 in Miss India contest but then I thought I don’t want to do this. Post then I used to do modelling assignments on weekends just for pocket money. Suddenly a director saw my face and offered me work, I declined it saying I’m not interested. I still remember I went for an audition for an Ajith Kumar film. I got an offer for his film, I went to give the screen test just to see him. I went there and I didn’t get to see him so I was saddened by it. I walked out of the audition sensing I’ll not get to see Ajith. So that was my attitude towards acting. Because the makers have paid for my flight tickets they asked me to stop and audition for a Malayalam film. Post the audition I went to the director, who’s one of the best directors now, and said “Kya bakwaas movie bana rahe ho?” (Laughs!) I had no idea what etiquette is, how auditions are executed. I went on with my life after this then one my friend was making a Telugu film which was a remake of National Award winning Malayalam film. I had 10 days off so I thought let’s do this. I was very excited, there was free travel package for me. So like this I did my first movie and then I got flooded with many offers. There was this Malayalam movie with Mammootty which released in 2004, Kaazhcha. When Saif Ali Khan won his National Award for Hum Tum his competition was Mammootty. Back to now, I am very happy I got a chance to play the part of a contemporary woman in Chef and I don’t think we’ve seen a character like Radha in recent past.