Peeya Rai Chaudhary, who married Shayan Munshi in December last year, speaks to TWF correspondent Vickey Lalwani about her first film after marriage, 'The Bong
Connection' and lots more..
Q: How does it feel to be in the same film 'The Bong Connection' with your husband?
A: (Laughs) It feels great. While Shayan was shooting for 'The Bong Connection' in Kolkata last month, I would drop by on the sets and share a private chat with him. Little
did I know that I was destined to be in the same film.
Q: Are you aware that Riya Sen was supposed to do this role first?
A: Of course I know that. I was in Kolkata when the press conference was held to announce the film. That time, Shayan had shot a lot of his portions with Raima (Riya's
sister) who also stars in the film. Because of her Mukta Arts commitment 'Sapna Apna Money Money', Riya could not adjust her dates.
Q: So did you expect that producer Joy Ganguly will approach you?
A: I was not expecting this. I was in Mumbai when Joy called and asked me if I was interested. But I liked the way he made it clear to me that I was one of the names under
consideration. When I showed inclination, he said that he will get back to me and let me know either way.
Q: What's The Bong Connection all about?
A: Starring Raima Sen, Victor Banerjee, Shayan Munshi and of coutrse myself (laughs), 'The Bong Connection' directed by Anjan Dutt is based on the lives of Bengalis living
in India, as well as abroad. I can't reveal my role, as that would tantamount to giving the story away. The film is 25 per cent in Bengali and the rest in English.
Q: Do you know Bengali?
A: My father is a Bengali and mother is a Sindhi. Right from childhood, I spoke Hindi or English or Marathi at home. After marriage (Shayan is a Bengali), I have learnt
speaking Bengali pretty quickly. I understand it fully now. It's not as difficult as it sounds. After I am through with this film, I'm sure that I'll be speaking Bengali as well, and
mind you, fluently.
Q: At the same time, it must be a sad feeling that you and Shayan do not have a single scene together?
A: Not at all. Work is work. In fact, we won't be shooting even in the same country. While I'm required to fly to the US for about thirty days, Shayan's portions have been
completed in Kolkata. 'The Bong Connection' has two parallel stories going.
Q: But considering the fact that you married just two months back, won't you miss darling husband?
A: Of course I will miss him. But I am at work in the US, and it's just a matter of month. Then again we'll be together and I'll be travelling a lot with him for the promotion of
the film. So, it's okay.
There have been days after marriage when he was shooting for this film in Kolkata and I wasn't with him there. So it's not the first time after
marriage that we'll be staying away from each other.
Q: How was it working with Ram Gopal Varma?
A: A great learning experience. I got to work with Ram Gopal Varma in 'Bhoot'. I got to play a small cameo as Victor Bannerji's' dying daughter, then I got 'Darna Mana
Hai'-that was nice. Then I got 'Vaastushastra' -there was Sushmita and Chakravarty- both really good actors. I had a blast doing that film.
Q: Still, we haven't seen much of you in Hindi films, despite 'Bride and Prejudice' creating waves and you being appreciated to a good extent?
A: I was getting many offers, but didn't take them up. Most film-makers wanted me to play very similar to the youngest Bakshi daughter I did in 'Bride and Prejudice'. 'The
Bong Connection' role does have a similar spunk, but there is no similarity in terms of character.
Q: Did you always want to become an actor?
A: I always did want to become an actor but the first opportunity happened by chance. My brother's friend who worked with McKenn Erickson had my picture on his office
board-the director happened to see the pix and asked him to call me. She called me for an audition. And I got 'Hip Hip Hurray'. Then I did Chanel V and hosted TV shows for
about two and a half year.
Q: Did you enjoy the channel V experience?
A: Tremendously. It takes you a while to get used to the camera but once you have got used to it, it is very easy. It was great exposure and the fact that you make good
friends with the camera. That lead me to the whole social circuit- partying meeting people dressing up being cool-it was all great but after a while you want to move on.
Q: How does it feel to be married? Was there any parental opposition to your relationship with Shayan?
A: Never. Both the sides were cool about it. It's a God blessed relationship.
Q: What's your plan now? You want to do lot of films?
A: I am looking to nosedive into films now. I hope there are producers like Joy who are willing to repose their faith in me as an actor.