Shabiha Nur Khatoon
Popular actress Priya Wal chose writing over acting as she is disillusioned with hackneyed TV shows that don’t offer the creative mind enough freedom to flourish
Priya Wal shot to fame after essaying the role of the red-haired tomboy in the popular show ‘Remix’ telecast in 2004. After earning considerable popularity, Priya went on to showcase her acting skills in shows such as ‘CID’, ‘Yes Boss’, ‘Sun Yaar Chill Maar’, ‘Aek Chabhi Hai Paddos Mein’ and ‘Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii’.
However, the actress has taken a break from the small screen to don the hat of an author. At present, she is busy writing a web series, and simultaneously shooting another series in which she has shot gags comprising funny takes on an actor’s life as well as funny incidents that take place on the sets. Hard working — in a word that is what Priya is.
But why did the actor choose to turn an author? “I got tired with the content of TV and didn’t want to be involved with shows I disliked. So, there were several new things I was trying my hands at. Last year, I was supposed to do a cameo in &TV’s ‘Gangaa’ for a month or two. However, I exited the show midway due to health issues. Now, I am planning to tread a new path,” says the actress.
“Television channels that are majorly youth-centric are shutting down. Channel V and Star One are examples. Most youth shows these days are pretty much useless. There is acute lack of individuality, and the content is poor. We want to focus on urban shows, but there is no market for them. Probably, I am the only actor around who wants to become a writer. I am not satisfied with the recent changes that have taken place in the television market. So, in a nutshell, I switched to writing as I was unsatisfied as a TV actress,” says Priya.
“I don’t know why we can’t produce shows like ‘House of Cards’ and other American TV dramas,” observes the actress. “I have decided to write urban-centric stories and I am looking forward to the web series because of its current popularity. I am happy with the way things are shaping and lots of people are experimenting. Hopefully, I will get a break soon,”
In front of the camera, we have seen Priya playing the character of a tomboy. But is she even remotely like that in real life?
“I really don’t understand all this. There are people who have told me that I am very different onscreen. I know every girl doesn’t look like a Barbie Doll. I have absolutely no resemblance with my onscreen persona. When I play a character, I try to get into its skin. I am, however, a very different person off-screen. I am not at all boisterous, and certainly not tomboyish,” states Priya.
If not an actor, what would you have become?
I would be writing poems. I have also played national-level tennis. I also once wanted to be a part of some travel show.
What would be your response to future offers you receive from TV producers?
I would surely say “Yes”. I love to act. When we were shooting gags, all the pleasant memories got suddenly refreshed, and it seemed as if I was acting once again. I would like to act, but not to make a mark or please anybody. I want to do things that are relevant and real.
Favourite actors: Alia Bhatt, Konkona Sen Sharma and Kalki Koechlin
Hobbies: Travelling, trekking, camping, playing tennis