Poise and Promise - Pragya Jaiswal

After pursuing a degree in law and doing a few modelling assignments on the side, Pragya Jaiswal realised that modelling was her true calling. Little did she know that she would bag a role with a director like Krish, and work in a sensational film like Kanche. By now she has won several awards at prestigious shows, including Filmfare South and SIIMA, and has been touted as a promising new face. You & I caught up with her recently, and here’s what she had to say...

From pursuing law in Pune to modelling and now films… how did the transition happen?
It was very organic. I really don’t even know how and when it happened. I just followed my heart and kept doing what I felt was right. I was always a performer, a dancer, and trained in martial arts, but I didn’t think I could ever take up modelling or acting as a career option. But while I was in law school it became evident to me that law was not my passion. So I started modelling as a
part--time gig. One thing led to another and now here I am.

Was modelling always on the cards?
Not really! I came to Pune and discovered that modelling is something I could do. I was fortunate to get some wonderful opportunities when I was studying in law school. I was selected as a wildcard entry for various pageants, which motivated me to give modelling a serious shot.

Who supported you the most at the start of your career?
Honestly, it was a tough decision to leave law completely and move to Mumbai. But my family, despite not being particularly happy with my decision, stood by me and believed in my dream; they supported me through everything.

How did you bag the role in Kanche?
I had actually given an audition for Gabbar is Back, which was directed by Krish. He saw potential in me and offered me Kanche instead. And that is how I got to work on this amazing film.

You’ve won several awards for your work in the film. How does that make you feel?
I feel really blessed, grateful, and fortunate to have been a part of this wonderful film. Kanche will always be special and memorable for me. It was a labour of love.We all put in all we had. The team itself was absolutely amazing, passionate and driven, thanks to a director like Krish. So finally now that our work is being appreciated, with all the nominations, awards and a national award, I feel humbled and elated at the same time. I am also inspired to continue doing the good work.

What kind of films and roles are you looking forward to do now?
I want to be a part of films that tell a good story. I want the audience to laugh, cry and go along on the journey with me. Just want to be part of good cinema, entertain the audience and be remembered as a good actor!

Since we’re here shooting at a lovely interiors store, if you were to pick something from here and bring it into your home, what would it be?
I am a sucker for lampshades! So I would love to pick one of these beautiful lamps for my house. It’s been great shooting at Address Home in Banjara Hills with so many beautiful and interesting pieces around me.

What do you do when you’re not working?
I am the kind of person who enjoys being engaged in something or the other. So even when I have a bit of free time, I go for dance classes, yoga or a workout. I also like to travel, listen to music, watch movies and TV series. I want to start reading, but that’s a work in progress. But one of my favourite pastimes is to clean and organise my house.                    --- as told to Niharika