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This is an excerpt from Priyanka Chopra’s chapter in a new book about NDTV and 25 years of television journalism, called More News is Good News. Order your copy on Amazon now.

It all began innocently enough, with a call and then a meeting to discuss my possible involvement in the NDTV Greenathon. I liked the idea instantly since I have always believed that the protection of the environment is of paramount importance and here was a chance to do my bit. So I agreed, unaware of the madness NDTV had in store for me! This story played out like a big-scale TV family drama, complete with its own set of characters:

– The patriarch: Dr Prannoy Roy. Respected by all and drooled over by the girls (I have real evidence of this). With his salt-and-pepper beard and red socks, he cuts a dashing figure and keeps the whole family together.

– The dutiful son: Vikram Chandra. In my case, he was more a partner in crime than anything else, but ever so often he would remember his role and drive me insane with his demands.

– The tough-nut older sister: Sonal Joshi. She was the first to connect on the Greenathon and I confess scared me into it. Her disapproving look when I sometimes went off-track was enough to scare me back to the right road. Most of my spontaneous outbursts usually happened away from those eyes.

– The court jester: Cyrus Broacha. Cyrus is…well, Cyrus, so I don’t need to say much more except that there is no one else I know who can make me laugh as hard while at the same time overwhelm me with a strong desire to cause him physical pain.

– The supporting cast: or as I call them, the band of merry (and sometimes scary) girls…all equally important to this whole story. Priyanka, Aditi, Shagufta and all the people in the control room and backstage who used to alternate between screaming in my ear (via the in-ear piece) and finding ways to railroad me into doing a bazillion things every moment, while making it seem like it was a part of the plan all along!

In the middle of it all was little I, trying my best to live up to the expectations of this eccentric bunch! Now that you’ve been introduced to the cast, you will understand how this journey suddenly went from zero to 1,000 kmph in what seemed like a second. The first year was a flurry of activity from the minute I said yes. ‘We need to shoot a music video of the anthem for the Greenathon,’ I was told. Sure, I said, but I want to make it interesting. A few brainstorming sessions later and we had it: a fun, live animation idea that promised to be different. Shoot day arrived and we discovered how it was total madness trying to shoot a live animation idea in just a day! We managed to pull it off, though, and the video was well appreciated.

I thought that was a great start, time to move on to the next thing. We began the research and discussion of ideas on what we should be doing on the twenty-four-hour Greenathon telethon. And that’s when it hit me. Suddenly I felt that I was standing in the middle of a highway, all by myself, as I kept getting hit by two-tonne trucks, which in this case was Vikram and his band of merry girls.

There was a lot of material to cover when you want to dissect the current state of the environment. It was crazy. One moment I felt helpless thinking of the magnitude of the situation and the next I was driven to try and make some change, in whatever way I could. It was a roller-coaster ride of emotions. But I had my NDTV team right there, helping me through my varied emotions, egging and prodding me on.


Meghan Markle might be one of the most sought-after names in Hollywood owing to her popular TV series Suits, but the actress has a secret dream to feature in a Bollywood movie with her “good friend” Priyanka Chopra.

Meghan, best known for her role as Rachel Zane on the legal-drama, and Priyanka recently hung out with each other and shared pictures of their “poolside biryani date.”

Meghan, 34, says she would love to work with the “Bajirao Mastani” star in a Bollywood movie, something which even Priyanka suggested her to do.

“I would love to work with her on a film one day! I told her specifically that my dream is to work with her on a Bollywood film because I think it would be so much fun – she said I should do it!,” Meghan told PTI in an email interview.

The actress sent fans in a frenzy when she, along with Priyanka, shared selfies on her social media page. Meghan says she has become good friends with Priyanka since their first meet and hails the “Quantico” star as “unbelievable.”

“Priyanka is unbelievable, she has become a really good friend. ELLE Magazine in the US hosted a dinner celebrating Women in TV (Priyanka was on one of their covers) and we met that night – turns out that she really likes ‘Suits’.”

Priyanka, 33, is currently shooting for season two of her hit TV show “Quantico” and also has Hollywood movie “Baywatch” in her kitty.

Meghan says she instantly connected with Priyanka and the duo keep in touch while also trying to meet each other if they are in the same town.

“And you know when you meet someone and you just ‘click’… It was just an easy, natural progression. We’ve managed to keep in touch via email and text and try to see each other whenever we’re both in the same town,” she said.

Meghan is currently excited for season six of “Suits”, which is set to premiere in India on July 16 on Comedy Central.

The actress, who has featured in several TV series like “Fringe” and “CSI: Miami”, did not anticipate the show to become this successful and revealed that she had shot for a pilot episode with actor Patrick Adams, who is now her co-star on “Suits”.

“I had previously done five different pilots for other networks that never saw the light of day, including one with Patrick (we played love interests in another pilot that didn’t get picked up) – so, you just never know,” she said.

“By the time ‘Suits’ came around, I was getting really disheartened with the entertainment industry and how hard it is to be auditioning all the time. I loved the Rachel character, and I wanted the show to get picked up, but you didn’t know if it would be…,” she added.

“Suits” chronicles the lives of talented college dropout Mike Ross (Patrick) who initially works as a law associate for Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) despite never actually attending law school.
On being quizzed about the much-awaited wedding between her character Rachel and Mike on the series, the actress said she is happy that it did not happen in season five finale but hinted that “it probably wouldn’t happen until season seven.”
“I’m kind of happy that the wedding didn’t happen at the end of Season 5. Our viewers have earned the right to see the kind of dream wedding you’d want Mike and Rachel to have. If/when it does happen, it probably wouldn’t happen until Season 7, but that’s just my personal guess… I don’t know for sure.”


Actress Priyanka Chopra’s production house, Purple Pebble Pictures (PPP), has begun working on its first Punjabi feature film, which will be a coming-of-age drama.

The yet-untitled movie features Punjabi star Amrinder Gill in the lead role.

“It is a young boy’s coming-of-age story of unknowingly discovering his true identity. The film is already on floors with Amrinder Gill. It will be shot in various locations in India, including Punjab, and then in Canada as well,” a spokesperson said.

“Purple Pebble Production’s Punjabi film is not ‘Ek Onkar’ and it is yet untitled. A formal announcement of the title will be made soon,” the spokesperson added.

The film has been directed by Karan Guliani, who has also penned the story with Ambadeep Singh.

Priyanka’s mother Madhu Chopra will be producing the project.

The 33-year-old actress, who began shooting today for the second season of her American TV show “Quantico”, will be in the US shooting for the show till December.

“She will be there till the end of the year. She might come here in between as she has some commitments including brand endorsements and all,” a source said.


South African actress Pearl Thusi is set to play a new series regular on Season 2 of ABC drama series Quantico.

Thusi will play Dayana Mampasi, a driven, disciplined, type-A lawyer. After graduating top of her class at Harvard, she worked at an NGO for two years before joining her parents’ Boston firm. But though she seems to have it all, Dayana struggles to fit in. She joins series stars Priyanka Chopra, Jake McLaughlin, Aunjanue Ellis, Yasmine Al Massri, Johanna Braddy, Blair Underwood, and Russell Tovey.

Durban-born Thusi has appeared on numerous TV shows in her native South Africa, including Zone 14, Soul City, Rhythm City, Family Bonds, Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency and iCrew. She had lead roles on long-running South African soap opera Tsidingo, as well as feature KalushiThe Solomon Mhlangu Story. She’s repped by Generate and Capacity Relations in South Africa.

Season 2 of Quantico premieres September 25 on ABC.


Quantico premieres tonight in France on M6. I’ve added scans from French issues of Gala, Elle and Grazia. Enjoy 🙂

The actress wrapped up a special appearance for her upcoming regional production on July 2 before flying off to New York.

After wrapping up a three-day schedule for her Marathi production, the Rajesh Mapuskar-directed Ventilator in Mumbai recently, Priyanka Chopra flew off to New York on July 4 with mum, Madhu Chopra, to start filming the second season of her American TV show, Quantico. The schedule will go on through 14-hour shifts till March 2017. PeeCee gets two-three India trips in between.

She may be away from her desi films, but the actress admits that she has a “teesri aankh” and is too much of a micro-manager to let others take decisions for her. “Ventilator directed by Rajesh Mapuskar has my name attached to it so I have to be comfortable with everything that’s happening. The crew back home teases me saying that US main baithe baithe I know everything that’s happening in Mumbai,” she chuckled between shots for the film at a Versova studio. She is dressed in ripped denims, a white ganjee and a trench coat for a shot, which she picked out from her personal wardrobe. While the aforementioned appearance was set in a theatre with assistant directors posing as students, the actress also filmed a special Marathi song. “Life is transient and I am a creative person who constantly looks for new outlets. I have been writing a lot and I am producing films, I like to evolve in different directions,” she asserted.

This is PeeCee’s third regional production, the first being the Bhojpuri June release, Bam Bam Bol Raha Hai Kashi, and the second a Punjabi drama titled Ek Onkar. “Soon, I am going to do another three films in different languages. My focus is on small-budget movies. It’s a great time for filmmaking and there’s interesting stuff coming my way,” she says confidently.

From beauty pageant winner to international actress, singer and now, a producer, there’s a reason why her American crew calls her the “multihyphenated Priyanka Chopra”.

She takes it as a compliment. “If I wasn’t producing films or doing different things like my web-series, I would still have been successful because I am a winner by nature and a survivor. People pursue happiness, success, money or fame, for me it’s the pursuit of excellence. I want to be excellent at my role in my Marathi film too, even if it is a guest appearance. If you’re consistent, you will never be denied success, no matter the age or stage,” she signs off.


Priyanka Chopra makes time from a busy schedule to talk about movies, TV and a work ethic that keeps her going

Priyanka Chopra is in the country for a short visit and we catch up with her while she’s shooting for a commercial in Mehboob Studios. Inside her van, her nine-member woman army is going breathless, trying to keep pace with her uber-busy schedule. During the two hours that we get to spend with her, she changes three costumes, wraps up the commercial shoot, meets visitors, poses for camerapersons and plans her next day. In between, she also manages to give us an interview. Excerpts from the chat:

Your staff is working at a really fast pace?
(Laughs in response) That’s because I do a lot in a day. I am called this multi-hyphenated person there [in the U.S.] because I do a variety of things and like to be really busy. I only need people around me who can fly at my pace and be able to do multiple things like I do. They have to be efficient; we don’t have the time or luxury to get flustered. There is chaos, there is madness, but things happen. There is constant chaos in my life because I do a lot of things, and now is the time for me to do these things. Haven’t I done this always?

Yes, but you seem to be getting only faster?
True. I am doing a lot more things now. I had to learn how to run and they have to run after me. Also, I don’t like saying no… [when people visit her or want to meet her].

Is that how you are on five different magazine covers in five countries: all in a month?
Isn’t that cool? My TV show [ Quantico ] is playing in 216 countries, people in these countries recognise me. I think that’s nice.

Would you call this the brightest phase of your career?
Yes, but even earlier I have had these really bright phases. The good thing is my career has never faltered. It has always been [like] a ladder because, perhaps, all of this is self-taught. Because I learnt to survive here, I have the ability to manoeuvre it the way I want. My career is the sum of the decisions I have made. Everyone can work hard but I work on my own terms. I stand my ground and once I have committed to anything I give my 150 per cent. I don’t take my work for granted, ever. I know that, forget me, no matter where anyone is, everyone is dispensable. Why would I think I am indispensable then?

It is in my nature to give the work I have all the discipline and due diligence that I am capable of. When I had started, Akshay Kumar had once told me, “If a producer pays you, he has bought your time. So, no matter what time he calls you on the sets, you have to be there at that time.” I have remembered that since then. I also imbibed what Amitabh Bachchan told me, “No matter how big or small the role, it is the impact that matters.” These words stay with me and I get influenced by them.

Recently you spoke about how you have never dated and only had relationships… please elaborate.
I have always been open about saying that I have had relationships. I have been professionally and personally blessed. It is just that I don’t want to talk openly about my relationships until I get married. This quote was from an interview that I gave in the U.S. I was trying to tell them that we don’t really have a concept of dating, where we have dinner and then we might or might not call the other person the next day. There is lot more answerability in our culture. Next I know, it went viral. I have never said I don’t have relationships. I am not abnormal to be without relationships. I just hide it better than you. My whole life is on Google. Let me keep some private parts to myself. I want to be known for my work, my accomplishments, not anything else. There’s always speculation about who I am with, but that’s part of being a female public figure in this industry.

You are playing an antagonist in your first movie in Hollywood?
Yes, I play this evil, mean character Victoria in Baywatch . It is so much fun. I didn’t want my first film in America to be just another role. I have a TV show there riding on my shoulders. It’s always been like that. I have never planned anything. I think art cannot be planned. The audience is too smart to get the dishonesty or too much planning thing. I am not a legend, but I want to be one. I want to be known as an achiever. There is so much more that I can do.

Deepika Padukone recently turned down an offer to dance with you on stage. She later said you are too good a dancer, so she chose not to.
It is sweet of her to say that. Honestly, I don’t know what happened. They did speak to me about doing it; after that they said I am doing it alone. It would have been great if we had done it together, and I think at some point we should.


“Victoria walks in slow motion all the time; she doesn’t run because it’s too much of an effort,” actress tells TheWrap

Priyanka Chopra goes head-to-head with Dwayne Johnson in the “Baywatch” movie, but the “Quantico” star says she does it in a “womanly way.”

Though she’s proven her mettle by doing her own stunts on ABC’s FBI drama, Chopra says that doesn’t mean she could actually fight with the enormous former pro wrestler. “He’d crush me with his pinky,” Chopra said in an interview with TheWrap.

“I put my highest heels on in all of those scenes, because I’m really patronizing, extremely insulting and evil and manipulative,” she said, before adding “And extremely delicious.”

Chopra will star in Paramount’s big-screen adaptation of the classic 1990s TV series when “Baywatch” hits theaters next year.

Originally written for a man, Chopra’s character is Victoria, the villainous real estate developer trying to destroy the bay beloved by the lifeguards played by Johnson and Zac Efron.

“Slow motion is my game. Slow motion is my thing,” Chopra said, recalling memories of watching “Baywatch” with her mother while growing up in India. “Victoria walks in slow motion all the time; she doesn’t run because it’s too much of an effort. She just walks in her couture and high heels.”

And the actress, who had a huge career as a model, singer and Bollywood actress before making a crossover to American audiences with “Quantico,” has plenty of experience getting things done in heels. Even when she plays the FBI trainee Alex Parrish on the ABC drama, “You don’t notice it because the attention doesn’t go there, but I’m always in heels,” she said.

“I think because I was Miss World, and I modeled for a little while, I have — I just like heels, actually,” Chopra said. “I think that’s the truth. I’m trying to find an excuse.”

“Who doesn’t want to be like five inches taller whenever they can be?” she added. “If boys could, they’d be wearing heels.”


UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra andLouis Georges Arsenault, UNICEF Representative to India addressed over 100 adolescents from top schools and media house representatives from Delhi and Haryana, highlighting the need to give a Fair Start to every child. Woman’s Era spoke to Priyanka Chopra on the occasion. We bring you this exclusive interview.

Woman’s Era : The girl child today is the focus of attention still she is the most oppressed and most trafficked person? How can Bollywood stars really transform the situation
Priyanka Chopra : Why is there always pressure on Bollywood? I feel like it’s a awareness that needs to be happen to every individual. Not just Bollywood stars, public figures or organisations. ‘Un se kyun puch rahe ho jo kaam kar rahe hai, Un se puchna chaiye jo nhi kar rahe hai’ – you are asking us who are doing work, why don’t you ask those who are not doing anything ?

Flummoxed at the questions about Bollywood action on the girl child, PC countered to our reporter

PC : Aapne aaj kya kiya – how have you changed the life of girl?

Woman’s Era : Madam, I tried my best I helped a girl by donating my books to her.

PC : That is the thing, ‘Tumne atleast koshish ki’ Exactly like when that every single person starts thinking like that in our society about the opportunities girls have in society, things will change. How we as individuals can help them is going to bring about the big change, not movie stars talking about it, not NGO’s standing up for it. Unless the mindset of the people changes and society changes there is nothing anyone else can do. All we can do is we can talk about it.

WE : How much time could you spend on a consistent basis for the upliftment of girl child in India ? Do you have a planned program for the same, can you please share ?
PC : Well I am working with UNICEF for 10 years now and that is pretty consistent.

WE : Any program that you run yourself or any foundation of yours?
PC : Well, I have a foundation that is self funded right now. It is a very small foundation so whatever I earn goes into it. It educates around 75 kids in India for primary, secondary, and higher education and most of the kids are people I know, my staff, my team. Besides that I don’t like to think that I have to constantly talk about what are the associations I am going to validate I do for philanthropy. It is a very small decision and even the smallest thing can make a difference. So I think ‘Mein Causes se associated hun doesn’t make me bigger or smaller’ . So I don’t like to focus on that. Wherever I can help, whenever I can help I make sure I do help and I think it’s the best I can do

WE : You are one of those who is working in both Bollywood and Hollywood. How do you see yourself 5yrs later. Would you be more known as a Hollywood actress or a Bollywood diva ?
PC : I see myself as an achiever, not as an actor, singer, producer, or philanthropist. I am an achiever. I do wherever my work asks for and I’ll make do most of the opportunities that comes across. But, I am an Indian actor first and then I am anything else.

WE : What is your priorityHindi cinema – Bollywood or Hollywood?
PC : Whoops ! why do I have to choose now ? Did everyone before me choose one ? Hindi cinema is my top most priority – Bollywood name acha nahi lagta, because hum Hollywood ke spoof Nahi hai…..I don’t like the name Bollywood as we are not a spoof of Hollywood

Mr. Louis Georges Arsenault, UNICEF Representative to India said, “We have a clear choice to make – to invest in progress of children being left-behind or if unaddressed, face consequences of a far more divided and unfair world by 2030. Changing mind-sets through awareness-raising is critical. Mobilising entire communities – in terms of political, caste and religious leaders to frontline workers, parents and children have shown positive results. An integrated approach is needed to bring about change. This includes enforcement of legislation and protective mechanisms, ensure access to education for girls and generating opportunities for empowerment.”
Currently, 6.1 million children in India are out- of -school; around 10 million children are engaged in work in India. Girls in India deserve an equal chance in life too, but on an average 2.22 million girls marry early every year in India, and 23% girls between 15-19 years of age experience physical or sexual violence.
“To make change happen, a mind-shift is required. When the most deprived children are not given a fair chance to realise their rights, they fall further behind. Each one of us can make a difference in our own spheres of life, by creating awareness and ensuring that every child reaches their full potential” said Mr Arsenault.


She rules the Box Office in India even while making headlines as a star of American TV series Quantico. She is also the villain in upcoming Hollywood flick Baywatch. But Priyanka Chopra is more than just an award-winning actor. In an exclusive conversation with Bloomberg TV India, the star talks about her passion for taking up different roles.

I want to start by talking to you about the UNICEF Brand Ambassador that you are and the way you are working towards creating a platform for more awareness, whether its child rights or other things. You were talking about incremental changes that take place on a personal level and how perhaps they can have a ripple effect. Where does this sensitivity come from?
I think that my parents were extremely sensitive and big believers in giving back to society. That was a norm for us while growing up. So every summer, I remember — this was the time when we were in Bareilly — my parents would take their ambulance to the villages for at least one or two days. My mom was an OBGYN (gynaecologist) and ENT specialist, and my dad a surgeon. And they would take a pharmacist and two nurses and go into villages and meet patients who could not come out, especially women. And this would be our summer thing to do. So I grew up in an environment where that was the thing to do and my parents were keen to do it. They just felt that they could contribute (to the society). For the longest time we could remember, there were always two beds that were FOC (free of charge) in my parents’ hospital. Anyone could come at anytime and the treatment would never be denied. So, my brother and I have been raised thinking that when you have the ability or the position or the potential to be able to just change something around you, you should do it. We are individuals. At this moment, the only thing I can use is my platform and my voice.

One of the ideas that you put forward was using your celebrity image to impact dialogue. This also means coming into sensitive things like changing mindsets. That is not an easy business. For a a political figure, it may be easier to advocate. But as a celebrity, it is a difficult proposition to change the mindset of people. So how do you think you will you attain this feat?
I actually think that it is easier for celebrities to change mindsets. And it is not just celebrities, public figures who are loved, revered and adored in this country. And fortunately for us — Hindi film actors — we get a lot of respect and love from people not just in India, but also people who watch our films around the world. So if we feel that we have the social responsibility, which is a very individual thing, you have got to use yourself to bring about change.

I’ll not say that anyone who is a public person needs to take on a social responsibility, not at all; because you cannot do something without actually feeling it in your heart, and it has to come from within. And I believe that I want to change the world.

I don’t know how I can do it. But I want to bring about a change in thoughts and stereotypes. I want to bring a change through my work. And that is the only way I know.

For the longest time, whether it’s in India or across the globe, Indians have been always portrayed as a stereotype. Even now Indian artists are always put in a stereotype box — that we are extremely academic or we have a big fat Punjabi wedding or Bollywood. I want to change that.

We have so much more and we are going to take on Hollywood and not just Bollywood.

Even in India, for a long time, female actors were told that when films in which they are standing behind or with the guy, make ₹300 crore, they are successful. ‘Female-oriented films don’t do well. They don’t do well because people don’t watch them. The film industry is demand and supply. Box Office is the business of entertainment, it is not charitable. And you have to be smart about it.’

So our films, now, — after a decade after I did Fashion (2008) — ‘people are not watching’. People told that it is not going to do well as it is a female-oriented film. But it did so well and it opened well.

There are so many brave and phenomenal female actors who have come out and demanded stronger roles to play. So, like that, change comes when you have advocates of change. I want to be an advocate of change. How and how much? I do not know.

Talking about the evolution of female-oriented roles, how much of the success depends on script writing? How is it different in India and abroad?
Scripts are as good or as bad as people who want to watch it. Today’s generation, especially the tech generation, which has the entire world on their finger tips, can stream a movie from Iran and America to Australia, from anywhere they want.

So the exposure to world cinema is so much that today’s generation is demanding, and they don’t like stupidity. They want to see great content. Hence, films of great content are doing well. As I said, it’s demand and supply.

Globally, I do feel — because I have worked in television and I am doing a film there — the best content, especially in America, has gone into television. Everyone, be it writers, directors or movie actors, are coming into TV.

Films have become this ten-fold formula, big block buster and super-hero movies, which are also fine. That is also my favourite genre of film. May be that is what you want to see on 70 MM.

So it is a very interesting time for entertainment at this moment, and especially for a female actor like me, who demands parts I would be happy with.

You talked about demanding parts and demanding roles. You have no hesitation in playing darker roles whenever you had to. And I think you were probably one of the girls who have done it very well and you have done it repeatedly as well. I understand that in Quantico you have done this rebel. And on the other hand, in Baywatch you are going to play a villain and I think that role was originally written for a man. How does it feel? Is it more fun?
When Seth Gordon, the director, spoke to me about Victoria, he told me she is delectable, evil and fun. Can you imagine how many different people exist in this world? How many different personality traits? How many different characters can I play? So the way I see it is, whether you are positive or negative, there are so many different characters, that’s what I want to do.


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