#WomanCrushWednesday: Priyanka Bose

#WomanCrushWednesday: Priyanka Bose

Into the lion's den

Text: Adibah Isa

Image: Getty Images

Here’s to another Indian export on the rise — meet Priyanka Bose, Hollywood’s newcomer starring in Lion alongside Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel

1. First things first...
The 30-something actress is a Delhi native who graduated from Delhi University with a BA. Always keen on the performing arts, she was trained to be a dancer from the age of six. Now based in Mumbai, she lives with her husband, actor and musician Paresh Kamath and their seven-year-old daughter Naiima.

2. An indie darling
You'll be hard-pressed to find Priyanka in a four-hour long Bollywood musical. Most of her significant roles have taken on serious tones, with themes exploring prostitution, child trafficking and rape. She first garnered international attention in Gangor, a gritty, art house film by Italian director Italo Spinelli in 2010. A film about police violence and the rape of India's tribal women, it won four awards at the New Jersey Independent South Asian Film Festival.

3. She's into plays as well
Another demanding role came in the form of a play titled Nirbhaya, written and directed by South African playwright Yael Farber. Based on the 2012 Delhi gang rape case, Priyanka played one out of seven women narrating their experience of being a woman in India. First viewed in London, the play went on to win the Scotsman Fringe First Award, Herald Angel Award at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.

4. The existential question surrounding God attracted her to Lion
Playing the biological mother of Saroo — a child who searches for his long-lost family after being separated from his mother and adopted by an Australian couple — in Lion, Priyanka is seen at the start of the film as well as in flashbacks, aging as the movie progresses. "It's interesting to go through the trajectory of doing a young person and then going into an old, that journey," she shared. "And there's the existential question about if there is God. These were the things that actually attracted me to this character and I had to just trust that everything will come together technically."

5. She wears her country proudly on her sleeve
And even more. A frequent collaborator with Indian stylist Aasia Abbas, the duo have been championing locally-designed wares for Priyanka's international red carpet appearances. They've teamed up for Toronto International Film Festival, AFI Fest and the Governor's Awards in designs from Sameer Madan, Lola by Suman Bhat and Vaitaanika.


Lion is now showing in theatres. For last week's #WomanCrushWednesday, click here.