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Priya Bapat: Took 20 years to shed the Marathi-actor label

Updated on: 12 June,2023 07:05 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Mohar Basu |

Garnering attention for City of Dreams 3, Priya Bapat calls out Bollywood for bracketing artistes

Priya Bapat: Took 20 years to shed the Marathi-actor label

Priya Bapat plays a politician in City of Dreams

Does talent alone assure you a successful run in showbiz? Priya Bapat rues that it doesn’t, although it ideally should. The actor is having a busy summer, with the third season of City of Dreams having dropped on Disney+ Hotstar last month. Next up is JioCinema’s con drama Rafuchakkar. While she has become a frequent face in OTT offerings now, Bapat notes that talent is not the only factor determining an actor’s inclusion in a project. “I feel disappointed because eventually what lasts is talent. If you can’t work on your craft, how long will you stretch yourself? Five projects, maybe? People should have faith in the actor. Everything else is immaterial — be it which region you belong to, or what your first language is,” she states.  

The actor, whose filmography includes a mix of Marathi and Hindi offerings, observes that the Hindi entertainment industry is quick to label artistes. “I was labelled a Marathi actor for the longest time till Nagesh Kukunoor saw merit in my work, Sameer Nair [producer] backed him, and City of Dreams happened to me. I want people to see my worth as an actor. Language is not even a barrier anymore; it’s merely a tool for expression.”

Shedding the label was challenging, but Bapat had faith in her craft. That filmmaker Sanjay Gupta cast her in Visfot after watching the second season of City of Dreams further boosted her confidence. “He was blown away by my performance. Then came Rafuchakkar in which I play a lawyer from Delhi. I hired a coach and worked on my diction. I have been working since 2003; I did a role in MunnaBhai MBBS. But it has taken 20 years to shed the Marathi-actor label and be cast in meaty roles.”

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