Priyanka Chopra has quite an inspiring journey. From winning a beauty pageant to a name in the West now, Priyanka has battled all odds to be at the top. She is someone to look forward to; young girls are diligently taking notes. But is not just her work that makes her a well-known name, she has had failures too, and it is taking failures to her stride that makes her the person she is today. Read on…
You started as a beauty queen post which your career has always been on an upward climb. How difficult is it to be an icon?
The word icon is a very tricky word. An icon is someone who is legendary despite success or failures. Don’t think I’ve reached there yet. I definitely would like to reach a point where I leave behind a legacy for my children. For my country, I want to have a footprint across the world which shows the world that we stand for talent, we stand for in the Indian film industry, I don’t want it to be known as a spoof of Hollywood. I don’t think that’s what we are. So my ploughing the ground right now is to break the stereotype of what people think Indian talent is. Hence my decision to do the movie that I’ve done, and the TV show I’ve done. I never wanted to grow up and be like someone else. I always wanted to grow up and be Priyanka Chopra.
How do you manage you schedule with so much happening in your life?
I truly believe that you have to work really hard. There is no free lunch in the world. And I am willing to sacrifice my sleep, sacrifice my food, and willing to sacrifice my quality of life to be an achiever. To be an achiever you have to let go off something… when you want global domination, you have to pay the price!
Having dabbled into Hollywood, Bollywood, singing…. What next?
I have just done one Hollywood film. Yes, I would take credit for the TV show as that has done tremendously well. We have gone to about 210 territories around the world, dubbed in about 56 languages already; I was just in France to launch it. But my film career in America has not even started yet. So there is no point in me harping about it because I have just signed a movie. That does not make anyone a star. So I am going to wait till my movie comes out and then you all decide how that does. But yes, I have had an amazing acceptance in America. People have been incredibly welcoming. Every airport I go, that’s the only place I get to go to apart from my sets, I hear a lot of people calling me Alex. It is just the beginning.
You are always in news even when you are not in India…
I must be doing something that is newsworthy. I don’t know what that is, but I am glad that I am remembered.
How did you react to the news about people trolling you for your armpits being photoshopped on a magazine cover?
I did react on twitter. But I must be a really big star if my armpits were on CNN in American! That’s the way I see it.
When Kareena Kapoor Khan was asked if she would be testing waters in the West, she instead spoke about you doing very well in Hollywood…
I am really thankful to Kareena for acknowledging my work. She has actually been very encouraging of me, and I really admire her for that. I wish her the best in life.
Tell us about working in Baywatch and playing an anti-Hero.
I did Aitraaz and Saat Khoon Maaf and I really enjoyed playing a negative character. And Baywatch was real fun, because it was comedy. I can’t talk much about the film. But basically it is Victoria (my character) against all the life guards. So Life guards have to protect themselves and the beach from Victoria. It is not a drama, and obviously with Zack and Dwayne, it’s hilarious. I think it will be a major summer blockbuster next year. You must mark May 19 next year and watch it. First of all, we have all loved watching Baywatch while growing up, and then I am very mean in the film. Very mean. I don’t think Dwayne has ever had somebody be so patronizing and mean. It was great fun.
What is your next Bollywood film?
I can’t do a Hindi film till I complete shooting for Quantico 2. So I have the luxury of time. That’s why I have been so much time in Mumbai. I have met a lot of filmmakers. The problem is that I only have a certain chunk of time for the next year, and I have heard so many interesting scripts that I don’t know what to pick. So I am at that point where I am being greedy. I want to do a lot. I have been used to doing four films a year and now I am have been reduced to one film a year, and so I feel it’s not fair. I have time because I cannot start shooting before March. So will decide in next few months.