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The Comeback Kid

She had not really left the showbiz scene in Nepal, but she is back and that too with a mission to succeed.

priyanka_karki.jpgI have an agent back in the U.S.,” she said and no she wasn’t bragging. When Priyanka Karky uttered those words, I was happy with the fact that a) she was the first Nepali I heard say that and b) the proof that Nepali youngsters are now following their passion, regardless of what the ‘people’ or the ‘society’ says.

But then again Priyanka is not just another youngster. She was Nepal’s first Miss Teen in 2005 and from then on has become a darling of music video directors and photographers alike. This beauty made her mark in the Nepali media when she started working at Kantipur Television, after which hoards of music video offers came her way. “I never actually thought that I would get into movies. Miss Teen happened when I was 17, and I had no intention of winning or actually coming to media at all,” she shares. Infact participating in the pageant was just a way to utilize her time wisely as she was on a holiday from school. “Right after Miss Teen Kantipur happened, I took the offer as I was free at the time as my A Levels had just finished.”

It was then she realized that she had a passion for media and showbiz. “I fell in love with it. I loved being infront of the camera.” But even then Priyanka hadn’t decided to take it up as a career. “I was actually studying to be a bio-technician but when I went to grad school in the United States, I changed my subject to Filmmaking and Acting.” She graduated in May this year and is now back to Nepal to work in Nepali media itself.

The Actor
Priyanka first and foremost identifies herself as an actor. “For now I would definitely want to be known as a full-fledged actor because that is what I am truly passionate about.” She says dancing, acting and being on stage is in her blood. “It just comes so naturally to me,” she exclaims.

This passion in acting has led her to do numerous music videos and movies not only in Nepal, but had her hands full back in the states as well. “I did a lot of theatre when I was there, and also did a movie based on the plight of Bhutanese refugees,” she shares. When asked about her experience on working in the movie she says, “More than a dramatic movie, it’s a historical one and I did it not only because the story was good but also because I knew it would help me grow as an actor and would look good on my portfolio.”

The Filmmaker

An actor first and then a director. That is what she would want to be known as. Having completed her undergrad in Filmmaking with focus in Direction, she hopes to be a bonafide filmmaker one day. “When the time comes, probably when I have to retire from acting, then I will opt for filmmaking. For now I want to exploit the actor in me first!” But what if she gets a good story to direct? “If I get a good story then let’s see. I haven’t worked on a script as such but if a director collaborates with me when I would definitely want to make a psychological thriller one day; I want to go for stories that gives you goosebumps,” she shares.

She does have her doubts though, “But honestly, although I am educated in filmmaking I don’t want to make a fool out of myself. I don’t think I have it in me yet, the knowledge and the experience to work in the field with people like Bhusan Dahal and Alok Nembang,” she aptly points out.  “I have been out for four years, so I think it is important for me to understand the industry first and know how things work. I don’t want to make my first move and be declared a major flop – so I would rather wait.”
Dream Project
It may come as a surprise to many, but Priyanka loves psychological thrillers and would consider working in that genre her dream project. “I want to work on roles that are impactful – that leave a lasting impression in my audience,” she says. “When I did theatre back in the States, I did more Shakespeare because that it was out of my comfort zone. I want to something that is hard to do like a psychological thriller or ones where I have to play the bad guy.  I love roles that are challenging.”

When asked which co-stars would she like to work with she said, “My dream would be to work with Johnny Depp one day! I think he is one phenomenal actor.” And in Nepal? “I would want to be paired on screen with Aryan Sigdel. I see a true actor in him as well,” she remarks. 

Controversies

The dusky beauty has had her share of controversies though. From being linked with various people to the false news of her getting married even before she really was, has made the rounds on and off for a while. So how does she handle it? “If the things that people write are not true and it hurts my family, then it bothers me because a lot of things that get printed are not true,” she explains. But having been in the industry for a while now she understands how these things work. “Now I take it this way – if they are bothered to even care or write about me, then I am already better than them.”

Marriage

Another news that people (still) don’t stop talking about is how Priyanka got married at a fairly early age. She met her husband, Rochak Mainali in the U.S. where they went to the same college. “I got married to somebody who lets me be me, lets me work and respects what what I do,” she says of the speculations people make. “Although he comes from a complete different background – he is in IT –he really understands my field and says that it’s just a profession like any other profession and is always encouraging me to explore and work more,” she further states.

The Future

She has the education, the passion and the life partner to get to the top. So what’s next for Priyanka? “When I left, the future of the Nepali movie industry wasn’t very promising. But now I see that a lot of people are trying to make different movies with a good script and are focusing on new line cinemas,” she says of the prospect of the Nepali movie industry. So is she back for good to work in Nepal? “I am done with school for now, but I do plan to do my Masters as well. I won’t say that I will not go back but for now I want to devote my time here and do something in Nepal for Nepal.” Currently shooting for a movie – Mero Best Friend and doing couple of music videos, her determination doesn’t stop there. She also plans to work in the U.S. and hopes to make a name for herself  there someday in the field.

Priyanka is one of the very few Nepali people who have gone abroad and come back home to work in her country. At a time when the face of our country is changing, it is reassuring to see that talented Nepali youngsters are coming back to their country and want to make a difference. “I see hope and I hope a lot of people who have gone out come back and do something for Nepal, because it’s about time we stop complaining and did something. A lot of people dream to have a life like hers, but she instead opted to be back home. “Right after my graduation, I got to work with some designers in the U.S. but the only thing I got to do was runway, but that is not what I want to do. I want to act and be known as an actor. So I came back thinking I would rather be an actress and if it’s in Nepal then be it here.”

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