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Graceful debut

Priya Mani debuts in tinsel town this Pongal and she's raring to go places

Pics:K.Ananthan.

SHE IS only 19 and has no movie background to boast of.

The big plus is - she is full of beans. A fact that quite a few directors noticed.

Meet Priya Mani, a model from Bangalore, who is making her maiden appearance in Bharathiraja's `Kangalal Kaithu Sei', due for release this Pongal.

The movie, made under the banner of Lakshmi Movie Makers, has A.R. Rahman wielding the baton.

The second year Arts student from Bangalore University says working with Bharathiraja was a wonderful experience. "Since this was my debut, I was apprehensive about how I would fare. But, my guru made me feel comfortable."

Priya says that being the master director's find has resulted in her signing up quite a few movies. "This kind of dream start has boosted my confidence."

Bharathiraja, a known taskmaster, apparently gave her full credit during the movie's audio release, saying "She has acted like a heroine with over a decade's experience."


The shooting of the movie that began in May 2002 ended last month. The crew travelled to Sri Lanka, Switzerland and Ooty for filming the movie.

Besides `Kangalal Kaithu Sei', Priya also stars with Mithun in `Ullam', directed by Arun. `Romeo and Juliet', with new face Roshan, and `Athu Oru Kana Kalam' with Dhanush are a few of her latest bookings.

In Bharathiraja's flick, Priya's co-star was another new face - Vaseegaran, who hails from Palladam.

"We shared a good rapport because both of us were newcomers," she says.

What saw her getting into acting? "I am basically into modelling and have done lots of print advertisements and commercials," points out Priya.

The actress, a niece of singer Malgudi Subha, admits modelling and acting are totally different fields.

"Modelling is a one-day affair. A smile and a pout suffice, but acting involves two to three months of hard work. And, performance counts here."

As for dancing, the newcomer says she is "comfortable with western jigs". And, her inspiration is her parents. "If they had not encouraged me, I would not have come this far."

Priya started her shoot with Dhanush last week for Balu Mahendra's flick. "He is a fabulous guy and has already earned a big name. I'm looking forward to the shoot.

RAYAN ROZARIO

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