Sunday, August 10, 2014

What makes Upendra and Priyanka's jodi click?

She chatters away while he is more of an observer. But a shared love for home has made this star couple's jodi click

Relative Value Upendra (45) and Priyanka Upendra (36)

On a relaxed Saturday morning at the Upendra household in Banashankari, the busy actor is lounging on his sofa, keenly watching Terminator 3. Around him, there's a buzz of activity — his manager trying to figure out dates and his wife performing her daily puja.

Cutting short her usual hour-long prayer session, a chatty Priyanka tells us that a long day lies ahead, because they have to head out to finalise locations for Uppi 2, a home production. Besides, Priyanka is also getting ready to sign her first horror film. "I've never signed a film with a debutant director in Sandalwood."

As we wait for Uppi to join us, Priyanka gets candid about her "off-screen" husband. "He's not what you see in films. He's simple and uncomplicated. And surely not outgoing and larger-than-life, the way he comes across in his films. He's more of an introvert in his personal life," Priyanka says. But Upendra, who has just joined in, is quick to interrupt, "But I'm a complicated husband. She misjudged me completely." And then the room — with his crew moving in and out — echoes with laughter.

The two first met in 2000 on the sest of Raa and H2O. "We never spoke to each other until the end of both the films. In fact, I knew her mother and aunt better," Uppi says. That's because they used to accompany Priyanka on shoots. Soon, after one of his birthday celebrations, Priyanka and Uppi began talking on the phone for "hours together". "Looking back I wonder what we spoke about for so many hours," Priyanka muses.

In 2003, they tied the knot. For Priyanka, a Bengali-born who grew up in the United States of America and lived in Singapore, adapting to new cultures has been part of the journey. Even so, getting used to the South Indian way of life meant several adjustments. "My life changed completely," the actress says. But not one to "plan" anything, Priyanka has taken things as they've come. "In fact, I never thought I would be acting in films after getting married," she says.

Again Uppi is quick to interject, "Actually, I'm the one who has had to change a lot in the last 10 years." That's because as a carefree student and bachelor who was involved in films as a youngster, Uppi hardly spent time at home. But today, he's a family man who ensures that he spends all his free time with nine-year-old Ayush and eight-year-old Aishwarya, and attends every PTA meet at the Valley School, where his kids study.

His busy schedule means most family vacations are centred around shoot locations. But he does make it a point to take up fewer projects in April and May, when his kids are on vacation. This year however, because he was unable to wiggle out of work, Priyanka and the kids headed to Singapore, where her younger sister lives. But home is where you'll usually find the duo. "We have everything here and rarely feel the need to go out."

As a kid who studied in Chamrajpet, Uppi was always the class topper, whether it was in studies or the cultural activities. "I wanted to be the best in everything I did," Uppi says. Much before he became a superstar, he acted in his first play — Compounder Gunda — which he performed at Makkala Koota, garnering much adulation."People were praising me, and I was quite surprised." Then again at APS College, he got involved in cultural activities and before long, at the age of 18, he found himself turning dialogue writer.

The legacy continues with his kids; they who will be making their appearance in Uppi 2 along with Priyanka's brother Vinaayak. "Until now we weren't too keen that they join the film industry, but if they're interested we will encourage them," Uppi says. In fact, he says that the kids used to get "affected" when they saw him smeared with blood in emotional scenes in films. That's the reason he started coming home with make-up on, just so that his kids would get used to it.

It is time to wrap up, and Uppi checks with Priyanka if the kids are all ready to go location-hunting. After all, once the war paint comes off, the on-screen action hero is a family man

Friday, July 25, 2014

Upendra designs warrior outfit for his next film : uppi-2

In this exclusive still from Uppi 2, Upendra is seen in a leather warrior suit, which he designed with his wife Priyanka and had it put together by another professional designer. "Lots of leather and buckles were used to give him the warrior look and it took almost a month to put this outfit together," says producer Priyanka Upendra. Uppi adds, "Upendra, which released 10 years ago, was popular for the character's style. So we retained the style and updated my looks." Uppi will wear the outfit in the climax action sequence.

Upendra chills out in Mysore with Gurukiran

Director-actor Upendra is busy with his next home production, Uppi 2 — The Unknown. While not much has been revealed about the movie, what we do know is that the Real Star and music director Gurukiran are away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and are busy at work in Mysore.

The album will reportedly have six songs, including one promotional number. Some scenes for the movie were recently canned at theatres in Bangalore, but even as several portions are yet to be shot, Upendra has decided to take a break and has headed off to the outskirts of Mysore with his team to get their creative juices flowing. The album sure sounds like one to look out for.

Uppi 2 is unique, since Upendra has been working on the movie for the last 10 years. He even said once that he considers this to be his first film and that no one can steal the story. What is interesting is that Upendra's look in the film is similar to that A, making many wonder what the movie is about.

Uppi-2 : Uppi’s panche Avatar

BANGALORE: When Upendra helms the camera, the audience is sure to expect a product with some distinct feature, be it in camera angles, looks, posters or costumes. In his latest film Uppi 2, the star sports a dhoti (panche) throughout. “He will be in seen in different avatars but the panche frame will remain all through. It is required for the character in the film,” says Priyanka Upendra, who has taken up the production responsibilities of the film.



With Kristina Akheeva, Parul Yadav and other well-known artistes in the cast, the first schedule of the film in Mangalore has been completed and the shoot is now going on in Mysore. “We have a few more locations to shoot at in Karnataka before we head abroad,” reveals Priyanka.


About producer C Manohar backing out of the project, she says, “Manohar couldn’t concentrate on the project and he thought it would be best to move out. Uppi’s film needed a lot of attention and time, which Manohar could not give. We mutually decided that we would work together on another project. He is also the producer of Upendra’s other film, Basavanna. So there are no hard feelings,” she says