Priyasha Bhardwaj of Aarya fame is all set to wow us with her performance in the upcoming web-series Love J Action, which will release on March 12 on SonyLIV. Team VibesMojo caught up with the actor to know some BTS moments of her new project and much more.
“I was sitting with my koka (grandfather) this one rainy afternoon in Guwahati in August 2020 when I received an audition call with the script and character brief for Nayan, primary cast for this series,” said Bhardwaj. It was a call from the casting director Taran Bajaj, who had worked on Udta Punjab and Hindi Medium. The actor started her preparation, and within a day, recorded her audition video and sent it. Weeks later, the highly-awaited call came, and this project called her back to Mumbai after a long break in 2020. The team started their shoot on September 1.
“I play Nayan, who is a mysterious character and has some big plans up her sleeve which no one can figure what, until the climax. She is full of surprises and adds to the suspense of the show,” said Bhardwaj when asked about her role in the series. Nayan works in the medical profession and so she had to do some research on it. The challenge was to make this character of Nayan “very distinct” from her previous character of Jamuna from Mirzapur 2 as both hail from Uttar Pradesh. “So I worked on her body language and tone of speaking,” added the actor.
Bhardwaj describes her cinematic journey to be a “beautiful accident.” What started as a simple modelling assignment in her college days propelled her to dream further and sharing screens with talents like Sushmita Sen, Pankaj Tripathi, Deepika Padukone, etc. “I got my first modelling assignment, as part of a contest with Dove and Femina called ‘Beautiful Hair, Beautiful You’. The contest was held in Ansal Plaza Delhi and I got selected among 12 girls across India,” said Bhardwaj.
After seeing her face in big hoardings all across malls and highways, the actor thought to herself: “I don’t need anything else anymore.” She was content with her ’20-seconds of fame’, and life continued with her taking up banking and then hospitality sector desk jobs while pursuing wedding choreography on a freelance basis. However, in 2015, she quit her desk job to focus on choreography.
In 2016, she got a call for an ad film directed by National Award-winning Ad film director Anupam Mishra. The team needed few dancers, and so she headed for the shoot. “But luckily, I got another part which needed me to perform as an actor instead. I was so excited to be in front of the camera again. My co-actor was Pyaar Ka Punchnama actor Raayo Bakhirta from Mumbai. We were shooting in Delhi for a montage ad for Honda BRV. I am visible for two seconds, but I was so happy that day. The director was happy with my work as well. I felt confident that I can get paid to do this. My first paid acting/modelling gig,” she added.
Bhardwaj has left her mark in web-series like Made In Heaven, Aarya, Mirzapur 2, Kaafir, and ads for UNICEF India, Goibibo, ICC Cricket World Cup Hotstar, Britannia Good Day to name a few. Talking about her experience while shooting for Aarya, Bhardwaj says she is a huge fan of Sushmita Sen. So much so that during her younger days, she would try to look and act like the former Miss Universe. She even shares a behind-the-scene moment during the shoot and that too of her wedding scene.
The team had to shoot the entire wedding sequence in a day at Chomu Palace in Jaipur. The same night they had to shoot the sangeet sequence as well. “I was dolled up as a beautiful Rajput bride, and in the evening I was given a beautiful Mediterranean Kaftan dress. Everyone, including my favourite, Sushmita, complimented me,” says Bhardwaj.
She added that the entire shoot felt as if she was getting married.
“Sushmita Sen (Aarya) and Chandrachur Singh (Tej) were attending my wedding, sitting in the front row watching the ceremonies happen. My beautiful mother Sohaila Kapoor (Rajeshwari), and father Jayant Kriplani (Zorawar) were with me around the sacred pyre. There was a real Pandit Ji who was reciting. It was real, yet surreal, and I forgot to act. I became Soundarya that day. I will never forget that day. I was so overwhelmed,” she adds.
When asked if she had ever been side-lined in her career because she is from the northeast, she said, “Well, since I don’t come across as a ‘north easterner’ at first glance, not really.” However, when the actor would converse in Hindi, she would be criticised for a foreign accent and trying to sound ‘anglicised.’ “But we all know that it’s natural for us to speak that way. It pushed me to work on my Hindi accent, and today I can speak it far more fluently,” she adds.
Bhardwaj is also a trained Bharatnatyam and Kathak dancer, and apart from acting she has always enjoyed dancing and performing. She is also a keen learner of various dance forms, including Hip-Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Bhangra, and Garba.
The actor admits that 2021 is looking super-exciting for her as she has three releases. She adds, “Apart from Love J Action and another project for Disney+Hotstar which I can’t name yet, I have a beautiful part in Call My Agent co-starring Rajat Kapoor, Aahana Kumra, and Soni Razdan. Call My Agent is in the post-production phase at the moment.”