Interview By: Hasti Doshi

A model turned actor is all she wanted to be. Pia has been entertaining in the south industry all this time. She debuted in Bollywood with ‘Laal Rang’. We had a brief chat about her upcoming film ‘Mirza Juliet’ in which she seems bold and fearless, and so is she in real. She has a lot to say to us about her unconventional journey. Read on…

“I talk about my journey with a proud feeling”

Firstly the trailer is totally an attention seeker, how did you get on board?
I was shooting for ‘Laal Rang’ and Jogi the casting director called me. He gave me a kind of short narration of the character and Darshan was already finalised for the film. My audition was on the next day and when I got back home and thought about the film and I really wanted to do it. So I was trying to get all the universal powers to get the film (smiling). The role is very entertaining and the co stars were also great so if I did this film my work would be appreciated. Then I auditioned and they liked it so I was finalized and I got the film.

You seem to be very bold in in the film. Was it difficult or came naturally?

Actually my character is very innocent. So when she uses the bad words in the film she doesn’t even know that those are bad words and are not supposed to be said. That’s the reason when I use such words in the film those won’t hurt you or make you feel bad as they are not said with those intensions. She used the word Sex and also other abusive words smoothly like butter in her daily life as that is her daily lingo.And it was not difficult for me because if you remove few abusive words from her language then that is who I am in real, so I was comfortable playing the character. Julie is a small town girl who thinks she is the only one and behaves such and even I am from a small town in UP and I was brought up as a tom boy. I used to drive bikes and Jeeps and get into fight with the boys. So I had some things similar with the character which didn’t make it difficult for me to act.

Darshan seems to be a shy in the film, was that also in real? How was it working with him?

Darshan in real life is also shy and same as you see his character. As he is introvert so I had to make him feel confident in the start, but we had really good bonding as we were shooting together for 57 days. We used to eat, sit, work together and help each other with the lines and stuff like that made it easier for us to bond and feel comfortable around each other. And it was really good working with him.

The film’s director Rajesh Singh is known in the industry for making different kind of films. So you think that might help you in this film?

I don’t know much about his films but I know his serials more and he is known for them. He has really done lot of good serials like ‘Mata Ki Chauki’, ‘AgleJanamMoheBitiya hi Dijo’ and all these have a different kind of touch to which masses connect. When he can do so well with the serials then the film will be on some other level and I knew he will be the right director for this kind of film. And it would also help me because everyone is trying to do very different on their canvas. In that process when people are so busy competing with each other, this film is a very simple story which connects to people and they will like it.

You have made your own way to this industry. Tell us about that.

My journey is really very interesting one and not the regular which people say usually. My immediate family or extended families are far away from this field so I am the only one who wanted to do it and made it happen. I had to start everything from the basics and starting a life from zero after coming to Mumbai. I went to Delhi first and used to take Tuitions for coming Mumbai as I had asked for some time from my parents to prove myself so couldn’t take help from them. I even worked as a receptionist and it was difficult yet interesting part of life. I have ups and downs with the emotions but I stood up and focused on my work and goals. Then I came to Mumbai and got some work in dubbing studios later got few commercials and gradually got south films and I wanted to do a Hindi film so I came back and struggled in Bollywood and I got ‘Laal Rang’ and till it wasn’t released I got ‘Mirza Juliet’. Now I talk about my journey with a proud feeling. People say don’t watch big dreams but I will say watch bigger dreams and work on them, and if I can do it then anyone can do it.

How much do you personally connect to Juliet?

When I was playing Juliet I was missing Pia of Etawa. Now over the years I have changed a bit but the rawness and innocence of me and Juliet was all same and I try to maintain that in me as longer as I can.

What comes on your priority list south films or Bollywood movies?

I am very clear about it from day one and I want to do Hindi film as that is my mother tongue and I connect to it.Even my parents couldn’t understand my films of south and I used to feel as if I work and I myself watch the movie and no one else was watching it from family. But I would say whatever I have learnt is from the south films so that’s was really important part of my career but it’s just that I couldn’t share it with anyone due to language barrier.

You have done many south films. What is that one change you feel while working there and in Bollywood?

One change for me is only the language. Personally I am very spontaneous actor and I couldn’t  do that in south because I couldn’t  speak the language and here in Hindi films I can innovate and improvise things as I know the language.

What kind of roles would you like to play further?

I want to see what kind of roles people want to offer me. I am open to all and would like to work with all kinds of genres, roles.

What is your next project?

I have not signed anything yet. But there are few calls but I have kept them on hold till the release of this film. But I am sure whatever next happens will be bigger than these two films and that is how I work.

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