Born and raised in Nagpur, Priyanka Lalwani started off as a model and was a runner up at a beauty pageant. She did regional films, ads and is also a host. While in college, the actor joined an event management firm started by her friends. Given her inclination to showbiz, she and the team shifted base to Mumbai and started managing popular singers. But Priyanka wanted to give acting a shot again, and the journey has not been a smooth ride.
“It was and still is a struggle. I don’t belong from a film background so when I had moved to Mumbai initially, I didn’t know a lot of people. My event management contacts and a few friends in the city guided me. If you’re from Mumbai or know someone from the industry things become easier for you. So it took me time. You’ve to consistently give auditions without expecting much in return. And to top it all when you do a project and it doesn’t release, that’s a different story altogether. It happened to me, so I know how much it breaks your heart,” says the actor, who has done the TV show Jamai Raja, web series Spotlight 2 and films Vaaesar e Gum and Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se.
There are other actors who are her namesake. Is she bothered by too many Priyankas in the industry? “Remember that William Shakespeare saying, What’s in a name? I believe in that as well. It doesn’t really bother me. Each one of us is unique in their own way,” says the actor, who is also a hand model.
“I remember going for an ad audition and they asked me if I would want to do hand modelling. After I agreed, they took a few pictures of my hands and I got selected. I did some ads for Cadbury, Manish Malhotra’s Love and Care, Nutribullet and others,” she shares.
Priyanka got her first break on TV with Jamai Raja. She shared her pictures with some casting directors, and one of them was working on Jamai Raja, which she was not aware of. She was soon called for an audition and bagged the part of an interpreter in the show.
But why didn’t you take up more work on TV after that? “It’s not like I haven’t given auditions, but things didn’t work out. Sometimes I didn’t like the part, sometimes I got rejected. And, in some shows I only did cameos,” she adds.
Priyanka has also done music videos. Her debut was called Oh Muhinji. “It’s a Sindhi song sung by Shaan and Manjushree. The song has been doing really well. In between I did the Sindhi web series Sindhi Wedding Bells. The response was so good that the makers did a part two of the same,” she says.
While things were going fine, the pandemic did disrupt the set up but Priyanka is not the one to lose hope.
“It’s been a tough two years for all. Amid the crisis, I’m grateful for having a roof over my head, food on my plate and a healthy family. I tried not to feel low and kept myself occupied. I stayed close to my family and friends. This situation has taught me to be more compassionate. It has also made me realize that we all should save a little for the rainy day and that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And more than anything else, life is small, so we must live in the moment,” she concludes.