Guwahati actor wins accolades for her role in Sushmita Sen-starrer Aarya

Actor Priyasha Bhardwaj, who hails from Guwahati, has been able to draw attention with her role in the web series ‘Aarya’ which is streaming on Disney+Hotstar. Priyasha plays Soundarya, sister of the protagonist Aarya, which is played by Sushmita Sen.

In an interview with The News Mill, Bhardwaj said that she may end up following the work method of the people she admires the most. “Maybe…you never know,” she said.

An admirer of the works of Irrfan Khan, Mira Nair, Naseeruddin Shah, Vishal Bhardwaj and Shabana Azmi among others, Bhardwaj said that she follows their work extensively.

“For example, when I watched a scene from Pan Singh Tomar, repeatedly with full attention to study that particular scene, then what happens these become part of my memory…and if tomorrow, I’m doing a scene similar to that…it may come out consciously or unconsciously…because I liked that form of acting… There are various forms of acting and you just connect with one. And you stick to it and you develop it more. And that’s how the craft can get better within you. Thus, you can become a better actor,” she said.

Bhardwaj is hopeful of working with Vishal Bhardwaj someday soon.

Bhardwaj said the web series has taught her many lessons. Aarya is a crime drama web series co-created by Ram Madhvani and Sandeep Modi based on the Dutch drama series Penoza which is co-directed by Ram Madhvani, Sandeep Modi and Vinod Rawat.

“An actor has to be a good listener. Working with three directors, I have learnt it to be a good listener. All the three directors have three different visions and it’s important to understand what the director wants you to play in a particular scene. So, it’s extremely important to go without a bias or preconceived notion…,” Bhardwaj added.

She said, “Even if one has come doing homework for a certain scene, he or she should be able to change that as per the director”.

Apart from that, “I can’t afford to say no. Had I said no to the audition calls, I wouldn’t have done it today”.

Working with Sushmita Sen

“…how insanely talented and beyond creative as a person you are! Thank you for your love and kindness, what a joy to work with you! Love you,” this is what Sushmita Sen had to say on Bhardwaj.

And yes, she deserves this. From admiring Sushmita Sen as a youngster to get to act with her has been a long journey.

Though she has played smaller roles before, but Soundarya’s role helped Bhardwaj to grow in confidence to take even challenging roles.

“We have always grown up admiring Sushmita Sen…we end up being very star-struck. But then when you meet on the sets, you both are professional actors. It shouldn’t look like that one is a star and other is a supporting character. And luckily, with all my scenes with Sushmita Sen, we kind of managed that,” an elated Bhardwaj said.

She added, “We were just two individuals – Aarya and Soundarya – the two sisters who love each other. Soundarya is somebody whom Aarya trusts blindly.  We were able to create that. Some people who have watched the series, told me that I actually look like a loyal sister to her (Sushmita)”.

Attending auditions

Bhardwaj, who hails from the family of theatre stalwart Sangeet Natak Akademi Award-winner Satya Prasad Barua, left no stone unturned to realize her dreams. Starting from attending almost every audition to picking up smaller advertisement projects, she has tried everything.

“It’s always been tough…very tough. I attended auditions almost every day…be it rain or flood. I can’t afford to say no…As Bombay (Mumbai) is an expensive city to live in, so at the same time I need to keep working constantly whatever I get whether small or big projects,” she said.

Early days and road ahead

In 2009, Priyasha got her first modelling assignment with Dove and featured in the Dove-Femina colab calendar. Then she worked with Deepika Padukone for Britannia Good Day advertisement. Following that she shifted her base to Mumbai.

She also featured in Amazon Prime’s Made in Heaven and Kaafir on Zee5 co-starring Dia Mirza. Later this year, she will be seen playing a completely different character in Amazon Prime’s Mirzapur 2.

About Abdul Gani

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Abdul Gani is a Guwahati-based journalist

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