Extraordinary story of an ordinary woman

‘The Family Man’ tells the story of a middle-class man (Manoj Bajpayee) secretly working for National Investigation Agency, and Priyamani plays his wife in the show

After ruling Tollywood industry for years, Priyamani made her digital debut with Amazon Prime web series 'The Family Man'.

In a recent interview with Millennium Post, the Chennai Express actor recalls her shooting days, bonding with two directors on the set, experience of working with a senior actor like Manoj Bajpayee, relevance of her character in the show, and much more. Here are few excerpts from the interview...

What convinced you to sign a project like 'The Family Man'?

Firstly, my character in 'The Family Man' is not something you would have seen earlier. It is not just another ordinary story of a married woman. Suchitra is a multitasking woman – she is wife of an NIA agent, a mother and a teacher. She has her own story to tell.

Secondly, my husband encouraged me a lot to take up this project as we both were very much convinced with the story. The most important factor while selecting this project was that it is a complete package of entertainment as it has all the elements including action, drama, and comedy.

As you said, you are potraying the character of a multitasking woman who is a mother, lecturer, and a wife. How challenging was it to portray different emotions and take up different tasks?

I am not a method actor and hence I can't retain the emotions after the scene. That's the reason it was not very difficult for me to portray a multitasking woman in 'The Family Man'.

But I feel fortunate portraying the character of Suchitra as they have highlighted her views too.

What helps you getting into the headspace of the characters you play?

(For this show) Usually, after coming on the set, I used to read my scripts a couple of times, which helped me get the gist of the character. Also, I always tried to act as natural as possible keeping in mind that how I would have reacted in real life if something similar happened. I just tried to bring some nuances to the character.

You have earlier worked with big names of Tollywood and Bollywood. How was your experience working with Manoj Bajpayee for this project?

Oh! He is a fantastic actor and it was absolutely amazing working with him. He is very fine in his work that while shooting you can never predict what action he is going to take, how he is going to react to it. So you always have to be on your toes if you are working with him because you have to match the level to make it look as real as possible on the screen.

Since two directors have worked in this project, how was your bonding with them. Were there any difficulties when it comes to coordination?

Not at all! In fact, I have never seen two directors who understand each other so well. One is going to tell you about the character and the other is going to focus on the shot. Both of them were open to suggestions.

When it comes to bonding they are the coolest directors I have ever worked with. From the very first day of the shooting, they made us extremely comfortable.

So they let actors experiment with their characters…

Of course, they let us experiment with the characters. Since I played a Tamilian woman in the series, I asked them once if I can add a Tamil line to my dialogue to make it more realistic, and they were absolutely ok with it.

After giving so many hits in Tollywood, what made you move to the digital world?

Firstly, Amazon prime is coming up with really good content and secondly, who would refuse the opportunity to work with directors like Raj sir and DK sir, as well as an actor like Manoj Bajpayee.

Would you like to take up more web projects?

Yes of course, if it is substantial enough and have good content then I will definitely take up more projects for the digital platform. And I hope people across the industry will notice my work through this web series.

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