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There are celebrities who have the gift of the gab. Priyanka Chopra is one of them. While most actors hate promoting and giving interviews to the media, she admittedly loves doing it. “I just love talking to people,” she announces before we settle for a quick chat at IIFA 2016. She performed at the awards event in Madrid this year, singing on stage for the first time at any awards show. Looking stunning in a Marc Jacobs sequined black midi skirt coupled with a black tank top, she settles for a quick one-on-one.

You performed to ‘Pinga.’ People would have loved to see Deepika and you do it together…
I know. Initially, I guess that was the plan. But then I think they changed it. Don’t ask me why, I have no clue.

Today, with both Deepika and you making your debuts in the West, more than the hype, there’s so much more respect for Indian actors. Comment.
Oh, absolutely! That was always the idea. Honestly, I am in a very happy space right now. Most people don’t know that, initially, the character of the villain in Baywatch was written for a man and I was offered a different part. But I chose not to play the sidekick. And Victor became Victoria.

Both you and Deepika clearly didn’t want a small role. With this, do you think, open windows for other Indian actors to get the same in the West?
I don’t know about anybody else. But for me, I have a show that has done tremendously well globally which is a validation that I have done what I had to. My film (Baywatch) has not released, so you cannot talk about it. Kya hoga uske saath, who knows! For me, my gratification comes for me in a country where I don’t come from. My work is respected, not the fact that I am a superstar and I reached America. I don’t think my achievements — whether it’s being on the cover of TIME, going to the Oscars, the People’s Choice Awards, the Teen Choice nomination and the show doing so well everywhere — all of that is very little. There’s so much more that I need to do to be able to have Indian actors get the kind of respect that we deserve. By doing a one-off film, you don’t become someone. It has to consistently happen. So I am really grateful with the kind of respect that has come my way. But if I have to choose between 1 to 10, I am still 1, despite all that I have achieved already. That’s why I’m not talking about Baywatch because including that would be unfair. It has not released yet. So you will say, ‘Achha, you have signed a film’. But you can’t judge that now. You judge it on Friday when it releases on May 19 next year. Today, my show comes everyday.

Every weekend to so many countries, including ours. So then, I can say that Maine yeh kaam acha kiya, tumko achha laga. But still, I think there’s a lot more I want to do and I need to do.

Playing a negative character has worked wonders for you. Expecting the same with Baywatch?
See, Baywatch is a comedy. So it’s not going to be serious like a 7 Khoon Maaf or an Aitraaz. It’s more like how Joker is to Batman, or like the Bond villains are. There’s sarcasm, the humour. It’s all tongue-in-cheek, so I definitely think Victoria will be very, very liked. After all, there aren’t too many people who can intimidate The Rock. And Victoria did!

What will your schedule be like now?
So, I go back and I pack my bags again because I leave for New York to shoot Quantico Season 2. For the last one year, I have been living out of the suitcase. So now people can see me running around in New York.

What about films?
I am planning to take up two films — preferably one Hindi and one probably in the US, which I will begin next March mostly. Before that, I will be busy with Quantico. See, I simultaneously worked in Bajirao Mastani and Quantico, but it was too hectic and very difficult to do. I did it during Baywatch and Quantico as well. Then again, if I like something, maybe! It’s so much work and exhausting. It won’t be fair to either of them. So right now, I am taking the time to decide which film I will have to do.

Have you picked any?
It has to be something special. Because if I am doing only one film in Hindi, it has to be big, beautiful and incredible.

There were talks about you being roped in for the Kalpana Chawla biopic, then there was the superhero film and Gustakhiyaan…
See, there are many choices right now. But I don’t know which one I’ll do. I am deciding. You should see my bedside. I am reading 16 scripts currently. From both countries. I am assessing and seeing what will work best for me. I will be doing only one or two films next year. So, I have to put my head to it and decide.

Any particular genre?
I always like dramas. So in all certainty, another drama.

You seem to have the best of both the worlds…
No! I want the whole world! (Laughs)


How does it feel to be an international icon and the most wanted cover girl in the West?
People keep asking me about Time Magazine cover or as many covers that I have done or my show Quantico going to 200 different countries. Yes, it’s an achievement but it so little compared to the depth that an Indian actor should be given a chance to display. I am really grateful for the opportunity that people have accepted my work. I don’t think I am an icon. I think Indian actors have so much potential and I think have hardly achieved anything. Nothing happens with just one big Hollywood film. Yes, I got incredible recognition in a completely different country but there is still a long way to go. I haven’t changed as a person, though. I work really hard. I have never known how to do strategy or planning. I can go to any country in the world and be just as good if not better, all thanks to Hindi film industry.

Your armpit was in the news recently.
That’s when I realised I must be a star. If my arm gets trending on the Internet and CNN America carries it, then I must be a star.

Do you think social media has its pros and cons?
I think scrutiny always existed. The Internet has its good and bad points but I don’t think public figures need to change who they are. I think the reflection of who we are comes out on in front of people. If you have something to hide then you should be careful of what you say but I have always been open and if I have something to hide then nobody will ever find out.

How is the shoot of Baywatch going?
The film is over. It will be really exciting. I always play unconventional characters, I am really happy that in my first film in America I will be a villain.

Are your colleagues from the West familiar with Bollywood?
When I interact with musicians and actors from America, Europe, Canada, I feel they don’t understand what Bollywood is. In the one year that I have spent abroad, I feel that people think that Bollywood is an offshoot of Hollywood or it’s a spoof and it really upsets me. I am at the moment educating people about Bollywood.
We dance when we are having dinner or when we win a cricket match. That’s who we are. We don’t have to be apologetic about who we are. We are one of the most prolific film industries in the world, we make about 900 movies in a year including regional films. 40% of our box-office profit comes from outside of India. We have a different culture, our stories are told through dance and music. I am just trying to change perspectives by saying it’s not random, there is a thought process behind it and it’s an infusion of pop culture and movies. We don’t have radio web of culture, we don’t have Beyonce and Rihanna, our movies are pop culture, pop movies motion pictures. Nobody in the world has been able to do that.

Are you doing the next James Bond film?
I would rather be a James Bond than play a female lead alongside him. But I don’t think the world is ready for a female Bond. I would wish it happens but realistically I don’t think so. Even if it’s not me and if there is another female James Bond, I would be the first one to sit up and say, yay!


Bollywood’s Desi girl Priyanka Chopra, who is all set to take over the West with her much -awaited film ‘Baywatch,’ feels just signing a movie does not brand anyone as a Hollywood actor.

Interacting with the media on the sidelines of the IIFA 2016, the 33-year-old actress said, “Signing a movie does not make you Hollywood actor. Let the movie release first. I am very excited about ‘ Baywatch’ release.”

When asked whether she is willing to play the lead actress in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next, Priyanka said she is right now busy with ‘Quantico 2’ shoot and, therefore, can’t do any another film till March.

“Of course, I want to do .We had a lot of discussion over this. But I am doing ‘Quantico’ season 2 and hence I can’t do another film till March. Only after March, I can do Bollywood or any other film,” she said.

Speaking about the IIFA night, Priyanka won the best performance in a supporting role (female) for ‘Bajirao Mastani’.


Priyanka is in this week’s issue of Emmy Wrap. I added the scan below.

“If your armpits are trending on the internet and CNN America is carrying it, then I must be a star,” said Priyanka Chopra.

She may be joking, but the Quantico actress, who is in Madrid to attend the 17th edition of International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards, has perfectly summed up her life right now.

Ever since she made her US TV debut as an FBI recruit in the hit TV series Quantico and landed a role in the movie version of Baywatch, she has become America’s sweetheart. The world follows her every move.

Last week, men’s magazine Maxim India carried an allegedly heavily Photoshopped armpit of Chopra on its June/July cover. The digital alteration of the former Miss World took social media by storm and triggered a debate on her armpits, digital Photoshopping and celebrity culture. While the magazine is yet to comment, Chopra responded with a tweet: “Here’s another pit-stopping picture to add to the debate,” and a picture of her with her untouched armpits exposed. She slayed it.

But the singer and actress isn’t taking her success too seriously.

“I have always been the same person … How I am with you right now, I am with them, too. I just do my work which I love. I have never known how to strategise nor do I plan my moves heavily,” said Chopra, adding that she has a lot more to achieve in her life. A hit TV series and a Hollywood film project is just the beginning for this singer, actor and producer.

“While I am grateful that people have accepted my work and like what I am doing, I don’t think I am an icon,” said Chopra.

Her potential is yet to be reached, says the actress whose film Bajirao Mastani is leading the IIFA nominations this year.

“Indian actors have so much potential. If I had to rate my work from one to ten, I can only give myself one. There’s lots of work to be done. By doing just one film in the West, it’s not enough.

“I got incredible recognition in many parts of the world, but I still have a long way to go and achieve,” said Chopra.

She’s the classic case of a celebrity living on a plane and out of a suitcase. And what she has observed is that Bollywood is heavily misconstrued in many parts of the world.

“Many people think that Bollywood is an offshoot of Hollywood or it’s some spoof and it really upsets me. At the moment, I am educating the people about Bollywood and our cinema,” said Chopra. She doesn’t shy away from the musical nature of Hindi films.

“Why should we be ashamed about dancing? We, as people, can dance during dinner or when a baby is born or when a world cup is won. It’s who we are, and we don’t have to be apologetic about being who we are,” said Chopra.

Her analogy is simple.

“These songs and dance that we see in our films are not random. There’s a thought behind it and it is an infusion of pop culture and movies. No other country in the world does that. We have no radio where pop culture exists. We don’t have a Beyonce or a Rihanna in our lives. Our movies are a combination of pop music and motion picture. Nobody in the world has been able to do it like we have and I am extremely proud of it,” said Chopra.

She’s equally game to be subjected to intense scrutiny that that comes with being a public figure.

“Scrutiny has always existed for a public figure. You have to move with the times and evolve according to what is going on around us. The internet has its good and bad, but I don’t think public figures need to change who they are,” she said. “If you are afraid and have something to hide, then you should be careful about what you do and say. I don’t. I have always been opinionated. I don’t have much to hide.”


“I hope they see me as Bond. But I don’t think the world is ready for a female bond,” said Chopra, when asked what she thought of playing the famous spy.

“What makes me happy is that my first film in America will be that of a villain. It will be exciting to make the lives of six lifeguards miserable.” – Priyanka Chopra on her upcoming role in Baywatch, the movie.


Priyanka Chopra is tipped to pick up the Best Supporting Actress gong at this weekend’s International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards, but she currently hasn’t signed any more Hindi films.

Instead, Chopra has spent most of this year in the US, shooting for her debut Hollywood movie – the Baywatch reboot – opposite Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Zac Efron.

She has starred in more than 50 Indian films since being crowned Miss World in 2000.

After a short stint as a Universal Music Group recording artist, Chopra found wide fame in America when she signed a talent holding deal with ABC Studios, leading to her television debut in Quantico.

The crime thriller has been renewed for a second season and bagged Chopra the Favourite Actress in a New TV Series gong at this year’s People’s Choice Awards.

But despite her success, Chopra says she wouldn’t describe herself as “a Hollywood star” just yet.

“I’m still very new, I’m not even a year old in America,” she told the BBC.

“I may be on the cover of Time [Magazine] because of 100 most influential, People’s Choice Awards, Teen Choice Awards but I think there is such a long way to go.”

‘Indian actors are not a joke’
Chopra now hopes that she can use her wider profile to make Indian Cinema more accessible in the west.

“To convince another part of the world that Bollywood is not just jokers who break in to song and dance was very difficult. I’m literally ploughing the ground and making people understand that Indian actors are not a joke.”

Her time in America has also made her appreciate the campaigning of performers such as Amitabh Bachchan and Shabana Azmi who want to denounce the use of the term Bollywood.

“People think we’re a spoof of Hollywood and we’re not. We’re one of the most prolific film industries in the world. We speak Hindi which is spoken in one country, but 40% of our business comes from outside of India.”

In the last five years, Chopra has been at her most experimental in terms of Bollywood roles. She’s played an autistic girl, a boxer and a policewoman; all ground breaking female characters.

“We want our brains to be stimulated, we want to be entertained, otherwise we’ll not watch it. So now content is king, content is most important because now Indian films are also competing with content from around the world.”

Although Chopra says she has only just begun in the States, she’s certainly on the right path to stardom.

In the Baywatch reboot, she plays the antagonist – and she loves the role.

“First of all, my character Victoria was written for a man and second of all, it’s so good to be bad. My character is just evil, delectable and mean.”

‘Art is collaboration’
Deepika Padukone is another Bollywood star who is gearing up for her Hollywood debut. She will be starring alongside Vin Diesel in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.

Chopra believes the rising number of actresses exploring options globally is a great thing.

“So many people from the west are coming in to India, all the studios have come in to India and they’re making films here, whether that’s Fox, Warner Bros, Disney, everyone. That stands as testament for us so why are we afraid of sharing our talent with the world? We must.”

Nonetheless, some critics fear that Hollywood’s growing presence in South Asia could be detrimental for the existing film industry. Most recently, Hollywood has begun regularly using Bollywood A-Listers to dub over big blockbusters in Hindi. Chopra replaced Scarlett Johansson in The Jungle Book.

However, she says such collaboration is a good thing.

“Art is collaboration, we are artists all over the world. I believe that people are always going to watch Hindi films… that’s never going to die, but I think it’s amazing that collaborations like that are happening.”

In the past, Bollywood actresses have been limited with offers in America.

Another former beauty queen, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, starred in Gurinder Chadha’s Bride & Prejudice in 2004 and also appeared alongside Steve Martin in the 2009 comedy, The Pink Panther 2.

However, her refusal to do sex scenes or scenes with nudity saw her lose out on big blockbusters like Brad Pitt’s Troy.

Chopra’s conditions for choosing films are different.

“I always look for the same thing which is a story that I would want to go watch and a character that would inspire me and women around the world.”

And she now hopes to “divide [her] work” between both film industries, getting the best of both worlds.

“I’m going to be doing one Hindi film and one film in America probably.”


Her journey from being a beauty queen, a Bollywood star, an international singer and to now a Hollywood actress has been a great success story but Priyanka Chopra is not reading too much into it as she says all the fame and glory will go away one day.

The 33-year-old actress’ dream career in the west began with the launch of her single In My City in 2012, which was followed by her leading role on American TV series Quantico.

There has been no looking back for Priyanka since then and she will soon make her Hollywood debut with Baywatch, as its main antagonist.

Of success and fame, Priyanka said the following in an interview on the sidelines of International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards:

#1 I believe that you have to be who you are.

#2 I don’t take success for granted. Nobody should.

#3 It goes away in a wink. I am sure it will go away with me also.

#4 But I am someone who is an achiever, so you just have to be able to evolve into different things

The Bajirao Mastani star said times have changed today and opportunities galore for people who are ready to grab it with both hands.


Priyanka Chopra makes juggling major projects in Bollywood and Hollywood look like a cakewalk.

But ABC’s Quantico star, who has also been nominated in the Best Actress category for Dil Dhadakne Do and in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in Bajirao Mastani at this year’s International Indian Film Awards (IIFA), says moving between two continents for her on screen commitments has been hectic but satisfying at the same time.

“I love what I do and I don’t take my career for granted,” says the 33-year-old actress during an interview at IIFA in Madrid, Spain. Chopra will be performing at the awards night tomorrow.

“Nobody can just sit down and say, ‘come and hand me success.’ It doesn’t happen. You have to work hard for it.”

Chopra, who made it to the Time magazine’s 100 most influential people’s list this year, says that shooting for the second season of Quantico, in which she plays the lead FBI agent Alex Parrish who is a prime suspect in a terrorist attack, will begin in July.

“The show has moved to New York,” says the actress. “So you’ll see me running on the roads somewhere saving the city. It should be fun.”

She says it will also be very different from the last season because some of the cast members will not be returning for the next season. “The new season will have the same flash forward and flashback format but this time it will be about how Alex’s choices will affect all her relationships. Everyone from the cast doesn’t come back for Season 2,” she says.

Chopra also makes her Hollywood debut with the film reboot of the nine-season hit television soap drama Baywatch that aired in the 90s. Chopra plays Victoria Leeds, the main antagonist in the film about Los Angeles County lifeguards that will release in 2017.

Chopra, who has wrapped up the shoot for the film, says she was initially offered a small part but after some discussions with the creative team she ended up taking on the role “reserved for a key male villain with my own spin to it.”

The actress says New York scares her. “It’s a bit like Mumbai. It’s spirit is like Mumbai.”

The superstar says she was on a tight schedule while shooting Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani and the TV show Quantico. “ I shot Bajirao with Quantico,” she says.

“I used to fly from the US to India on the weekends to shoot each scene. I would fly from New York on Friday and arrive in Mumbai on Sunday, shoot full day with Sanjay sir and then fly back to the US to shoot Quantico on Monday.”

Chopra says she will continue to look for varied characters to keep it fresh in her career. “My filmography will reveal that I only look for different characters. I don’t like repeating roles. I’m not a method actor. I like being spontaneous and instinctive. So I create characters while I know so well that you can give me any scene and I know exactly how they’ll turn out. I know them like my best friends. It’s not difficult for me to jump from one to the other.”

She says she has her sights sets on much bigger projects, not just in India and Hollywood. “I love Hindi movies but I also love the work that I am doing in American, so I want to be able to do both. I don’t want the best of both worlds, I want the whole world.”

IIFA awards will take place in Spain, Madrid tomorrow (Saturday). The show will be aired on Colors TV in the UAE on July 10.​


She is 33, and is a proud recipient of the Padma Shri and a People’s Choice Award – and has made huge inroads into Hollywood. Actress Priyanka Chopra has advised youngsters to push their boundaries.

“You have to be who you are. You just have to be able to evolve to do different things and people shouldn’t restrict themselves.

“You should not shut yourself and your possibilities,” Priyanka told the media here on the sidelines of the ongoing International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) celebrations here.

Priyanka, who has gained global recognition with her stint in the American TV show “Quantico”, will next be seen starring in the international movie “Baywatch” along with Hollywood stars like Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron.

She will be seen playing a negative character named Victoria Leeds in the film.

As of now, she can’t wait to perform at the 17th edition of IIFA.

“I am very happy to be here as I believe that whenever the film industry comes together, it’s such a unique feeling. We take our film industry through this platform. Also, performing on stage is exhilarating,” she said.


Her journey from being a beauty queen, a Bollywood star, an international singer and to now a Hollywood actress, has been a great success story but Priyanka Chopra is not reading too much into it as she says all the fame and glory will go away one day.

The 33-year-old actress’ dream career in the west began with the launch of her single “In My City” in 2012 , which was followed by her leading role on American TV series “Quantico”.

There has been no looking back for Priyanka since then and she is making her Hollywood debut with “Baywatch” movie as its main antagonist.

“I believe that you have to be who you are. I don’t take success for granted. Nobody should. It goes away in a wink. I am sure it will go away with me also. But I am someone who is an achiever, so you just have to be able to evolve into different things,” the actress said in an interview on the sidelines of International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards.

The “Bajirao Mastani” star said times have changed today and opportunities galore for people who are ready to grab it with both hands.

“Young people should not restrict themselves to one thing. They should not think that there is one thing so I should only do that.

“We live at a time when anyone can do anything, be anything at any age. You shouldn’t shut down the possibilities, you need to have an open mind,” she said.


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