There’s a lot more to Priyanka Chopra than her beauty and sex appeal. She’s a great performer and a greater interviewee. Naturally, I was thrilled to bits when I recently met this woman of substance at Mehboob studios. Sporting a floral dress, the actress looked as ethereal as ever and my awe for her only grew further once she commenced speaking. When I told her that her Dil Dhadakne Do co-star Ranveer Singh says that he gets sisterly vibes from her, she quipped and said:
We’ve now done three films back-to-back with each other. We share a comfortable camaraderie. Gunday ke time pe toh dusra hi tune gaa raha tha. Now, he’s getting sisterly vibes as we’re playing each other’s siblings in Dil Dhadakne Do. He’s a method actor, let’s just put it that way. Haha. No, but we both have a really nice equation. We have common friends and common interests. We give each other space while working together and perhaps that’s why it’s so easy to work with him.
I’m quite excited to see PeeCee and Raveer’s on-screen camaraderie in their upcoming movie. But I am equally excited about Priyanka’s debut on American television with the show, Quantico. The promo has received an overwhelming response and everyone is eagerly awaiting its premiere. When I quizzed Piggy Chops about it, she got slightly emotional and shared:
My tryst with the international world has been very personal for me. When I went to school in America, there was a lot of stereotypes attached to Indian people. I was bullied a lot. I witnessed a lot of racism and that’s exactly why I came back to India. I was 16 years old. I was called a ‘Brownie’ and some even told me, “Go back to where you came from.” At that point in time, I couldn’t deal with it. So when these international opportunities came to me, beginning with my music, I decided to try and bring relevance to Indian talent because I was given the opportunity. I mean, I am not some messiah for Indian people but because I was given this opportunity, I wanted to make sure that Indian talent is recognized without the box that we are usually kept in. Everybody doesn’t speak like Apu from The Simpsons. We all don’t smell of curry. We all are not ugly-looking nerds, who are shy and always keep sitting behind their computers. Yes, we are very proud of our big families but that doesn’t mean ki har gaadi mein se 15 log bahar niklenge. In global pop-culture, we are always represented like that. I wanted to break that. So when ABC Network came to me with this idea, I never thought of doing anything with them in terms of acting because I was only getting offers to play the Indian princess, some exotic looking snake-charmer or some hypnotizing lady. I never wanted to be restricted to such typical avatars. I do it and I do it damn well. But it annoys me when my country is seen as only that much in global entertainment. So coming back to ABC, when they came to me for this deal about some show, I told them very clearly that I’d do it if you cast me as an ethnically ambiguous part. I mentioned that the fact that I am an Indian should have nothing to do with the story, cast me an actor. And they did. They found me a part which is half Indian and half Caucasian. I play an FBI agent and the story has nothing to do with my big family or me wearing henna or any of those stereotypes. I play an American girl and I have an American accent. My mother’s character on the show has an Indian accent. I think it’s high time that Indians are given the recognition for our talent and not because of our Yoga and things like that. Doing Quantico has been a very personal experience for me. If the show is successful and if I am good in it, it will definitely make a dent in Indian actors being taken seriously.
Read more on Priyanka Chopra: