Priya Prakash Varrier is on a roll. Even before the release of her debut film in Bollywood, Sridevi Bungalow, she has already signed her second Hindi film. She has been roped in to play the lead role in Mayank Prakash Srivastava’s Love Hackers, a thriller revolving around cyber crime.
Love Hackers goes on floors by the end of next month and will be shot in Lucknow, Delhi, Gurgaon and Mumbai. Talking about her role in the film, Priya told Mumbai Mirror, “I play the protagonist, who, with her knowledge, instinct and presence of mind emerges a winner after being trapped in an unfortunate situation. The story is based on real incidents.”
Priya, who became a social media sensation after her wink in a song from the Malayalam film Oru Adaar Love went viral, was the apt choice for the part, according to the director. He said, “Online security breaches have made society complex today. The number of social media users in India is staggering, but most of them are not aware of different forms of cyber-crimes. We are exploring that with the film.”
Never had Priya imagined that she would become a household name for her wink. “The wink was just a spontaneous gesture that we had in mind while shooting. Nobody thought it would get worldwide attention in such a short span. It was more of a shock. My family took some time to come to terms with it,” she said.
Meanwhile, Priya’s debut film in Bollywood, Prasanth Mambully’s Sridevi Bungalow, is in the centre of a controversy for trying to cash in on the popularity of legendary actress Sridevi. The first teaser featured a distasteful scene of Priya’s feet dangling out of a bathtub, which seems to take inspiration from Sridevi’s tragic demise (she died because of accidental drowning in a bathtub).
Earlier this year, Priya admitted in an interview with Indian Express that the makers were trying to cash in on Sridevi’s death. When she was asked about if Sridevi Bungalow has any similarities with the tragedy, she said, “That is just an element that would make the audience want to watch the movie.”
However, Priya added that she wanted to “stay away from the negativity” and did not want her Bollywood debut to be mired in controversy. “I wouldn’t want my movie becoming a controversy. At the end of the day, everything is publicity. But still, I would rather stay away from the negativity. It’s up to the director and the producer to handle those issues. I am just playing the character that has been given to me,” she said.