There are multiple reasons that excite Priya Anand about her Kannada film debut. For starters, Raajakumara has her working with one of the biggest stars of the industry — Puneeth Rajkumar, under the direction of Santosh Ananddram, whose Mr and Mrs Ramachari she immensely enjoyed. While the track record of the production house and the fact that it is a multi-starrer that got her to work with a large chunk of the industry also worked in favour of her taking it up, Priya also believes that the release could not have happened at a better time.
“The Kannada industry has been the most surprising for me out of all the industries that I have been a part of. It is truly changing and I don’t think people saw it coming. I didn’t think it would grow the way it has. There are a lot of new-age filmmakers coming in with different concepts, because of whom a lot of interesting and nice movies are getting made. And what I love about the industry is that there are a lot of female-oriented films that are being made. and it’s not with the biggest stars. If you look at, for instance, the Tamil film industry, you don’t see people making a female-oriented film unless it is backed by, say, Nayanthara. In Kannada you have films like U-Turn, or this upcoming film Shuddhi, which has a foreigner and Niveditha in the lead. Female centric author-backed films are being made with good actors and not big stars,” she says and adds, “This is a very positive direction and time in the industry, and I look forward to being a part of it in a bigger way,” she enthuses, adding, “Kannada is the fifth industry I am being launched in, and this is, honestly, the best platform. I couldn’t have asked for a better start.”
And as luck would have it, Priya’s debut here has her do more than just song-and-dance routines. “Santosh has a knack of handling family entertainers well and Raajakumara is no different. I have worked with pretty much every supporting actor from the industry. The film is a family drama that goes from me going to Australia, meeting Puneeth, and then revolves around our families. Barring the fights, I am a part of Puneeth’s journey in the film,” she says. But was the language ever an issue for the actress? “Kannada isn’t very overwhelming because I speak Telugu and it sounds similar. I can speak a smattering of Kannada now, even though my grammar is all over the place,” she says.