Priyanshu Painyuli on delay in Pippa's release: 'Its cooking right now, is a difficult film'
Priyanshu Painyuli talks to HT about playing a cop in U-Turn, his next war film Pippa and what all followed after starring in Hollywood film Extraction.
Priyanshu Painyuli has grown up in a defence background and is finally playing characters he knows closely. He recently played a cop in the suspense thriller U-Turn and is looking forward to the much-anticipated war film Pippa, in which he plays an army officer. Priyanshu however believes in making sure his each project is different from the other though he still aspires to see himself on the silver screen in a rom-com or a comedy sometime. Also read: Extraction 2 trailer: Chris Hemsworth's Tyler Rake returns from the dead for another round. Watch
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Priyanshu opened up about his multiple projects, old and new, and also shared his reaction to Chris Hemsworth's Extraction 2 since he was part of the first installment. Excerpts:
Why is Pippa delayed?
It's cooking right now. Some things are cooked sooner in a cooker but take time on a gas. AR Rahman has given music for the film. It is in the editing and post production stage. It's a difficult film - a period drama with lots of action. We trained with army men, used tanks during the shoot. So the post production is very hectic. They are also in the process of choosing a suitable date. It's a great story of three siblings and their three journeys. Me, Ishaan Khatter and Mrunal Thakur play siblings connected to the same war - the 1971 Bangladesh war. I am the elder brother.
You play a cop in U-Turn. How did you make him different from cops in other films, shows?
It's always to find the human side of every character. The script has the story and what the character is seeing but what he is feeling is undermined. We forget to mention what a cop is feeling as he is burdened under responsibility. I come from an army background, I have seen how these guys hold back their emotions. They are very formal and can be expressive only towards their work. When this Arjun Sinha is in uniform, he is a very different kind of guy; but when he is off uniform, he tries to understand that the girl Radhika is trying to help and they connect. I wanted to play different shades of that character.
A filmmaker recently remarked that cops in shows and films are now mostly about makeup, tight uniform and an accent.
I also asked my director Arif (Khan), 'to mooch to lagani hogi na (I need to sport a moustache)?' Young cops are very fit, lean and clean shaven and are well spoken. They don't always have an accent. That's how I have played it and this makes it real for me atleast.
You played a crime lord in Extraction. Did you like the trailer of Extraction 2?
The trailer is brilliant. Many asked me if I was there in the second part. No I am not. We were shot in our heads very very clearly and we died in the first part, our stories ended there. Extraction 2 is all about Chris Hemsworth's character Tyler Rake, it's a different mission and different place altogether. Director Sam Hargrave and the Russo Brothers know how to do the best action. When I saw the trailer, I was like they have taken it to a different level. Extraction 1 had beautiful action but this time it is just way beyond.
Did starring in Extraction bring some added benefits?
It opened more doors, my international fan following increased a bit for the way I was introduced in the film. People from around the world send me messages - they call me the Extraction guy. Now I have an agent who is pitching international projects and we are looking for good projects abroad. I was getting a good opportunity last year but post pandemic, the timings of my Indian commitments overlapped with it and it spilled over as a second wave also came in. I couldn't commit to timelines internationally because I was committed to some projects here. I am not complaining, the projects here were very interesting like Pippa and many big ones. All of them were lined up so I missed out on some.
Your film Bhavesh Joshi Superhero didn't get its due at the time of release but is now being praised as a good vigilante film.
We were hoping for a big theatrical release which didn't happen due to many reasons which I didn't understand at that time. You realise it's a different ballgame of business which goes into marketing a film, pulling audiences from their busy lifestyle and making them come to the theatre to watch a film. Vikramaditya (Motwane), Harsh (Varrdhan Kapoor) and we all were young and were pitching such a big vigilante film. When we all saw it, we all knew it would be a hit. It's a material which will hit your heart in some way. It didn't become a hit at the box office but I knew it would somehow find its way into people's hearts and it did. Two months later, it came on OTT and TV and people still message us, who are not typical superhero fans and want to do something for the society. We showed it in a very real way that you can be somebody who can work for a good cause. Classes and masses love it now. People are also talking about the prequel or sequel and we keep on asking Motwane sir about it.
You have a decent present in the OTT space. As an actor, is there still a craze of the big screen?
Yes, at least for me. I did not come here to just do one kind of role. The projects I am doing are very different from each other. I got an opportunity to work with Taapsee, got to dance with her in Rashmi Rocket. That was a very mature love story. I do want to do some rom-com, comedy, masala films. Big screen is of course always beautiful. When I saw myself in Bhavesh Joshi Superhero, it was a different experience altogether. As an actor, the work is the same for whichever medium it is for. People will love you no matter on which platform they watch you. As an actor, you are very selfish that you want to be in all of them. Now I am more on OTT. I am waiting for my theatrical releases, one of which is Pippa which will come out this year.
You are an outsider and have slowly made an identity in the industry. Did you have it tough during auditions?
I love giving auditions. It's taxing in the beginning when you stand in a line for 2 hours. For one audition I remember I was in line for 2 hours and when my turn came, they said, 'arey shirt pahan ke aagaye, T-shirt pahan ke aana tha (you have come in a shirt, you were supposed to be in a T-shirt.' I remember changing my shirt then and there with the guy behind and gave the audition and even got the project. You need to keep working more so that the casting directors know you more.