The Hollywood circles have been calling her “the other Priyanka,” but that’s about to change with her new film Lion generating so much Oscar-buzz. Lion tells the extraordinary real-life story of Saroo, a 5-year-old boy who gets lost on the trains in Calcutta and gets adopted by an Australian family. He travels all the way back as an adult in search of his birth mother, Kamala (played by Bose). Starring alongside Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara and Dev Patel, Bose is about to change the game with her unprecedented talent and an unforgettable earthy face. You may remember her from her small but powerful role in Gulaab Gang or as the lead in Italian arthouse film, Gangor. She also recently toured the theatres around the world with her thoroughly moving performance in the play Nirbhaya.
We travel to Mumbai to spend a balmy day with her shooting at Kiki’s beach-front café in Alibaug, and discussing her upward career graph.
Ogaan: How did you decide to pursue a career in films?
Priyanka: No one in my family is an artist, of any kind. My parents were fearful of their daughter loosing her way, so I just had to strive harder and prove them wrong. I had no plan B at all, so I had to stick it out. With no background, no contacts and just some dance training and amateur theatre to my credit, I'm still that hungry fiery person.
Ogaan: Who are your personal icons from literature or films?
Priyanka: I love children's literature. It’s dynamic and I feel alive reading it. Roald Dahl is one of my favourites. I love his deep rosy coloured text that makes me believe anything is possible. I also love Where the Wild Thing Are and The Little Prince.
Ogaan: And films?
Priyanka: I have a wholly different obsession with cinema. I watch all kinds of films, even the bad ones. There’s a certain release in watching glitches in films, even bad acting. I deeply adored Cinema Paradiso, Motorcycle Diaries, Wild, Monster but these are just from the top of my head.
Ogaan: Lion is getting so much love and attention. What makes the movie special for you?
Priyanka: It’s special because it’s a responsible film. It’s a real life story. It’s an ambition to find out who you are and where you come from. You think you may not survive the most dangerous and terrible things and yet you do. Garth (Davis, director) tells this story with so much respect, relying on his intuition completely.
Ogaan:Tell us about your role in Lion?
Priyanka: I’m playing Saroo Brieley's biological mother ‘Kamala'. The story revolves around Saroo separating and then being reunited with his mother and his self-discovery across this long, arduous journey makes the film. It was a challenging role that goes through a timeline of few decades and I loved it from the moment go
Ogaan: How has the experience been of taking this movie to film festivals?
Priyanka: TIFF in Toronto was my first time, and it was really well received there. We had a very grand reception and love came pouring in from all corners. Since then it has had its press runs all over the world. Out of which, I made time for Los Angeles and the premier in New York.
Ogaan: How would you describe your style?
Priyanka: It’s a whole lot of things. Depends on what I’m doing and how I’m feeling. Sometimes I feel all girly and obsess over floral maxis and vintage style clothing. Then there’s a no nonsense on-my-feet kind of a gangster side to me. But I almost always go back to my earthy, simple mul drapes and linens, whether it’s a saree or anything fluid like that.
Ogaan: Of the three looks we shot today, which look was your personal favourite?
Priyanka: I loved them all. Ridhima Bhasin jumpsuit, however, was my personal favourite. The style and the cut complimented my body and I love that pistachio green colour. The textures and the details were very vintage and with my hair up and the makeup on, it created an almost effortlessly glam look.
Photography: TARAS TARAPORVALA
Hair & Make-up: MITESH RAJANI
Location courtesy: KIKI’S CAFE & DELI, Alibaug, Mumbai