The Gulaab Gang actress, who recently returned from Toronto, cannot stop gushing about her new film, Lion
Priyanka Bose had our attention, draped in an ornate-pink Sabyasachi sari, at the Toronto International Film Festival last week. “It was such a gala affair. The reception was overwhelming. There were people standing for four blocks to get a glimpse of the stars as well as get last minute tickets to our show,” says the Gulaab Gang actress. Talking about her latest outing, Lion, which premiered there, she says, “I was seeing the film for the first time, so it was a very special experience. Ten minutes before the film was to end, our escorts called us silently to go backstage, so we could be on stage for the audience.” But the Mumbai-based actress shares that she, along with (co-star) David Wenham, snuck back in, as “the end of the film is the most invigorating experience. I couldn’t have missed it for the world”.
The film, directed by Garth Davis, also stars Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara, and is based on the real life story of Saroo Brierley (played by Patel), who got separated from his Indian parents at the age of five and was then adopted by an Australian family. At the age of 30, he tries to find his parents with the help of Google Earth. Bose plays the role of Brierley’s mother, Kamala. “It travels a certain trajectory, this character, and it is feral and yet vulnerable, unlike any journey I have taken. I know the audience will be moved by this journey, too,” says the 34-year-old,who, along with Patel, met the real Brierley and his mother in Madhya Pradesh, to prepare for the role.
The first step
Bose, who has been trained in ballet when she was young, says, “I did a lot of amateur theatre in Delhi (where she did her graduation); I wanted to learn more, speak parts and not just dance,” she says, adding that she decided to pursue the line and started her career with a small role in Johnny Gaddaar.
Next on the plate
The Nirbhaya actress, who owns a production house, PaapiPet, will next be seen in a thriller by Abhijit Kokate, starring Sanjay Mishra. While she is tight-lipped about her international projects, she does share that she is keen on exploring genres like dark comedy and horror. An avid traveller, language was never a problem for Bose who has worked in Hindi, Bengali, English, and even a Marathi film, Half Ticket. “I love cinema. I love the stage, too. But I love to take my time, and other mediums, like television or even web series, don’t allow that,” says Bose, who has done theatre, short films and features. Talking about her dream project and fascination for dance, she says, “I have a one-woman show I want to do, based on movement. I am looking for a very good playwright and a facilitator.”
On world cinema
I think world cinema content is varied. I have seen fantasy and realism all at once. Human relationships have also been a focal point in many. It has got depth.
Takeaway from Lion
When I met Saroo in Australia, we became instant friends. He shared many intimate things, but one that stands out is the fact that as a child on the street, while scrounging in garbage with his brother, he would find `1 every now and then. As he was growing up in his Australian home and environment, his eyes would automatically search the ground and invariably find dollars. It’s like when you know survival of this nature, you fear nothing.
At TIFF, I watched American Honey. It’s such a wild and raw coming-of-age story. The casting blew my mind. Why don’t we make stories like this and execute them here? We have such amazing talent.
Lion is slated to release worldwide on November 25.
— Saloni Sinha