Priyamani Reveals Her Love For Shah Rukh, Coffee And Her Curiosity To Live Like A Royal In This Exclusive Interview
His Story actress Priya Mani Raj talks about her life, career and her experience working with Satyadeep, Charu SHankar and others in this interview on Unboxed with ZEE5.
Priya Mani Raj, the National Award-winning actress, is soon going to star in the upcoming series, His Story on ZEE5. Priya Mani Raj has made her place prominent in multiple film industries, like Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi, and has been loved for all her roles. Also, she received a lot of acclaim for her role in the OTT film Ateet on ZEE5. Now that she is going to star in the upcoming web series, His Story, we wanted to know more about her life and her experience working in the show. Take a look at what all she shared.
Are you a morning person or a night person?
Priya Mani said that she is a morning person.
What are your top 3 favourite songs?
Priya Mani mentioned that after recently watching Dhwani Bhanushali’s Radha, she has begun loving the song and it has become addictive to her. She also said that she also loves a lot of South Indian songs.
Tea or Coffee?
The Ateet actor mentioned that she loves coffee and has an affinity for South Indian filter coffee and black coffee.
Ever used your star status to get away?
“No, I have never used it for anything. But in the South, people always recognize us and always tend to give us a priority,” Priya Mani shared.
One thing that makes you angry?
“Injustice to animals. Animals don’t have a voice so I am proud to be a voice for those voiceless beings and raise a voice for any injustice done to them.”
Do you also have pets?
“I do have a dog, we named him Mocha – he was a gift given to me by a friend, 10 years back. And also a cat, which we had adopted – they both are in Bangalore. And in Mumbai, there’s a stray cat that keeps coming to our house often to eat and rest,” she shared.
What was the last lie that you said?
“I just lied to you right now, but what was the lie, I will not tell. I have also lied at times to avoid meetings.”
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What is your cheat meal like?
“Chaat, which I also very recently had. I have actually given up on eating junk like pizza and burger and I actually prefer a healthier version of those, which are now easily available.”
The most romantic thing you’ve done for your partner or vice versa?
“He (Mustafa Raj, her husband) has done a lot of romantic things, like taking me for a quick getaway or cooking a fabulous meal, like a good dal khichdi or a pasta.”
Worst comment you received on social media?
“There are always nasty comments, like body shaming and comments that call me ‘aunty,’ or say, ‘you’ve become so old.’ It is upsetting because in one place people will put up all kinds of big talk like ‘respect women,’ or ‘beti bachao, beti padhao,’ and then also post nasty and disrespectful comments for women.”
And what was the best comment you received?
“The comments from people who appreciate work, or the characters, are always great – like recently after I put up the trailer and my character intro of His Story, a lot of them commented saying they were looking forward to it – these kinds of positive comments keep us motivated and inspired.”
We have seen you in all kinds of different roles, but who are you as a person, in real life?
“A very simple person by heart, I like simple things, I like staying at home. I don’t like stepping out much. I like being at home and binge-watching stuff. I like the simple life. However, one day of fancy stuff, like having some fancy food is okay, but at the end of the day, the simple life is what I prefer. And I love spending time with my family.”
Favourite quote you live by?
“Live everyday as it comes.”
Biggest lesson life has taught you?
“That you need to have a lot of patience. I am generally an impatient person but life has taught me that I need to keep patience, and the results will come one day, for sure.”
A celeb you would want to get stuck on an island with?
“Shah Rukh Khan – I am a huge SRK fan and I am sure we will have a lot to talk about regarding cinema and films. And if not talk, we will just keep dancing on 1-2-3-4 (their song from Chennai Express), and I will teach him all the steps from the South.”
One thing you’re guilty of?
“Being on my phone and iPad.”
The strangest rumour you have heard about yourself?
“Somebody asked me if I was going to star in an upcoming film with Chiranjeevi. I wish that was true, but as of now, it is not.”
Do you have any regrets?
“No, I do not have any regrets.”
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One thing you’ve learnt from your mom?
“Whatever be the situation, just keep fighting, be brave and don’t give up. And secondly, never to let success rise onto the head because you never know how hard you might fall.”
If you could switch places with someone for a day, who would it be?
“I always wanted to see how the Royal life is so maybe one of the Royals. Not necessarily the queen, but one of the members, like Prince Harry or Prince William, just to see how their Royal life is.”
What was your initial reaction when you read the script of His Story?
“I did not know how much my contribution would be to the project, because like the title suggests, it is ‘His’ story, so I thought the maximum amount of the story would be between Satyadeep and Mrinal. But it is also told from the point of the woman, how she is handling life, and what all she is going through. This woman (her character) is married to the guy for 20 years, and everything is normal but one day she finds out her whole life is a lie, so how she handles it all and manages the family, is also what the story is about – when I was told about all those factors, I felt it was great and felt like I have to be a part of this project. In my whole career I have not done anything of this sort, a work that supports the LGBTQ community, because even I support the community with all my heart. So that’s why I wanted to be a part of His Story.”
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How was the experience shooting during a pandemic?
“It was great – we all were shooting in a hotel. Everyone’s temperature was checked and COVID tests were done every 15 days. All the precautions were taken. We made sure the entire unit was wearing masks and never took the pandemic lightly. Though we shot amidst the pandemic, we were being taken care of by the production team very well.”
One His Story co-star you would like to work with again?
“Charu Shankar, because I have a great equation with her. She is cool to work with and we just hit it off really well. She is someone who gels very well with all age groups.”
Which medium excites you the most now – OTT, films, TV – since you have worked in all of it?
“I am just glad and happy that I have been accepted so far in all the mediums and that people are still looking forward to my work. I do promise them a lot of more interesting work is coming up. And even language is not a problem with me. I have been in the industry for 20 years and I think I have only been getting busier in my work. I am a little new to the web platform but I think it is great, a lot of people are getting to tell their stories, and great content is coming up on it. And a lot of talented people are also coming up.”
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3 reasons to watch His Story?
“We recently got another same-sex love story on the platform, which was The Married Woman, which got a lot of appreciation. And now we are coming up with His Story immediately after that. And normally people would think that there would be a lot of bold scenes in the show but I can very safely say that it is a very beautifully told story about two people who are in love – a story from the point of view of the man, who has to choose between his wife and his lover, which is not an easy thing, and from the point of view of his wife, too, which is rare. When it is a story of same-sex relationships, it mostly revolves only around the lovers, but His Story also talks about the situation of the character’s wife. And at the end of the day, we just want to say that love is love, be it with a man or a woman. Also, it is a story about two lovers who belong to the LGBTQ community, and the show tells how they also have every right to love. And thirdly, it has got some fantastic actors.”
His Story premieres on ZEE5 on 25 April.
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