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Exclusive! Shanthipriya: No two actresses were friends in the 90s

The yesteryear actress is making a comeback on a bigger project, after her recent outing with the web series Dharavi Bank

Exclusive! Shanthipriya: No two actresses were friends in the 90s

Last Updated: 11.25 PM, Feb 25, 2023


Making her debut in the Hindi film industry in 1991 alongside Akshay Kumar in Saugandh, actress Shanthipriya was among the popular actresses in the 90s. However, after a sabbatical, when the actress decided to return to the big screen, she had to deal with a new set of challenges, as she never had friends in the film industry.

In a special conversation with OTTplay, Shanthipriya, who played a pivotal role in the web series Dharavi Bank, which also starred Suniel Shetty and Vivek Oberoi, opens up about her upcoming project and why despite working successfully with celebrated actors like Akshay Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty, Sunny Deol, she was struggling.

Talking about not having industry friends, Shanthipriya said, "We live in a different time now; the equation between actresses was different back in the 90s. There wasn't much banter between lead heroines in the 90s; it was very competitive. So, I never had friends in the film industry. I am being very blunt about it. These days, I see young actresses hanging out together and going to parties, etc. But back in the day, two lead heroines were never the best of friends."

She added, "Also, I was a South Indian girl in the Hindi film industry, so my social circle was not industry people in Mumbai. I faced constant struggle back when I was acting actively. When I did a successful Hindi film, people in the South film industry thought that I was not interested in doing Telugu films. And then when I willingly took a break from films to start a family and have kids, and decided to come back, getting work became quite hard."

Between 1991 and 1994, Shanthipriya acted in seven films as the female protagonist.

According to some media reports, the actress met her first hero and Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar in 2016, but did not hear from him when she expressed an interest in returning to films. With Akshay, the actress did two films - Saugandh and Ikke Pe Ikka.

When we asked her if this is true, she said, "Yes, it is true that I met Akshay and the incident is out there in the public forum that he was cordial with me, but I never heard from him again. I think that's what's weird about the industry. I have met casting directors and a talent agent, who were all nice to me and said that I am a good actress, but no one has given me a project."

Shanthipriya is currently shooting for the biopic of Indian politician and poet, Sarojini Naidu.

Dharavi Bank is streaming on MX Player.

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