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Priyanka Chopra, in her eighth year as UNICEF’s goodwill ambassador from India, launched the ‘Fair Start’ campaign for every child in the country by unveiling a documentary which used nursery rhymes like “Ringa ringa roses”, “Jack and Jill”, “Twinkle, twinkle little star” and “Johnny Johnny, yes papa” to address the disparity between the rich and poor which has become the bane of the youth. Over the next year, PeeCee will launch a series of films by UNICEF that offer an insight into the lives of children who despite their innate potential are less likely to grow up healthy and safe and more likely to be married as children. Clicking selfies with students from Haryana and Delhi, she urged them not to live in a delusional world but work towards an opportunity.

“I associate myself with initiatives close to my heart. Now, I am also a ‘Girl Up Champion’ for the United Nations,” says the actress, who earlier was a part of the Greenathon mission and has also launched The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education to carry the cause forward. “It is completely self-funded and a small endeavour at the moment but I plan to partner with bigger organisations soon.”

Speaking about female empowerment the Quanticostar admitted that the issue invariably came back to feminism. “Feminism needs to become a proud word, give women the freedom that men have been enjoying for years without being judged. Feminism desperately needs two things – one, girl love and two, more men. Women need to prop each other up and not pull each other down and men need to support the idea of getting their women their due,” she asserted.

As a spirited woman she is tackling pay disparity in the film industry head on. Admitting that it is a big issue that actors globally are paid a lot more than actresses, she acknowledged that it’s a tricky situation. “When I did Fashion, I was told that actresses did solo films at the end of their careers to prove a point. The film worked and did good business and I could demand what I wanted,” she reminisced, adding that the audience too is at fault for going to watch a ‘hero ka’ film. “Whether the film revolves around the hero or the heroine shouldn’t matter, what’s important is talent,” she signs off.


Priyanka Chopra left for the US to shoot for Quantico Season 2. She’s gone for at least 3 months. The time was right to catch up with her. Excerpts from the conversation that followed:

How does it feel to read almost everyday that ‘you are India’s first global star’?
Incredible. Amazing. It’s been more than 15 years since I was first sent to Miss World 2000 (she won the title) and since then, I haven’t known anything better than to represent India on a global stage to the best of my capabilities and make India shine through me.

While you studied and nursed a few ambitions, did you ever imagine that you’ll become so famous?
I never ran after fame. Fame was never on my agenda. There’s a big difference between fame and success. Fame is a byproduct of the fact that I have been good at my job. I happened to become famous because I am good at what I do, or people think that I am good at what I do. I just wanted to be an achiever. I wanted to come first in class in every sphere- be it academics or even race. Actually, I wanted to be an engineer. I guess I would have wanted to stand first in that also.

That killer instinct was always there, you mean?
Yeah. I strive for excellence- even while I am just cleaning my room and putting things at their right places.

What if you wake up one day to find that you have lost your stardom? You fear that, don’t you?
No, nobody is indispensable. Everybody has phases in his/her career when he shines. You need to know how to evolve yourself at regular intervals if you want to keep winning (pauses).

Go on…
You and I did an interview few years ago when my films weren’t doing well, and you asked me: Do you think it’s over? I remember telling you that ‘It’s never over as long as you are talented and your creativity doesn’t die’. Like yesterday, I was an artiste in India. Today, I am an artiste in India and the US. Tomorrow, I might do something in another country. Okay, let’s also look at it this way. Earlier, I was only a model, then I became an actress, now I am producing films, and even writing columns. This all comes from being a creative person. As long as you have creativity within you, you need not fear that you are going to lose fame. I am scared if I’ll lose my creativity, not stardom. It will be over for me then. But until that day, I will continuously try and keep giving people different aspects of my work for it to be appreciated.

Fame reminds me that with it, you get an unwanted baggage as well. You are discussed for your armpits too…
I have been a girl whose life has been out in public for more than half my existence till date. So, I try to be a private person. But yes, I am quite opinionated.
I know since the longest time that my profession takes my life under a magnifying glass and understand that. I try not to be affected and take things in my stride, even in the recent armpits episode wherein I put out a picture of what it looks like. You ought to know how to take the so-called controversies with a pinch of salt.

Birthday (July 18) plans?
Nothing much. Mom will join me for few days in the US, where I start shooting for Quantico Season 2 from July 11. A few friends are also expected.

Is your mom feeling bad since you shifted out to your new apartment (in Juhu)?
(Laughs). Interestingly, it was her idea that I should have my own space. But now that I have, she is feeling the pangs.

Why are you dressed so differently in the Baywatch poster which features you?
I am playing the villain, who makes life miserable for others on the beach.

You were the highest paid actor at the recently concluded IIFA…
People can say anything, but I don’t discuss my remuneration. Yeah, people discuss the money I get. But I am not someone who wanted to be known as the highest paid actress or not the highest paid one. People confuse that and label it as ‘achievement’ but I don’t see it likewise. My achievement is to be conferred with all my honours that I have been conferred with, over the years for my work. Ek din koi highest paid hota hai, doosre din nahin hota hai— it doesn’t matter. Money is very transient in show business, but recognition stays with you till the end of time and that I have.

When are we going to hear that you have signed a new Hindi film?
I can’t do a Hindi film till March 2017. I have heard a lot of amazing scripts here and overseas recently. Let’s see which ones I end up committing to. I think I am just being greedy and I don’t know which to sign for now.

Has your process of filtration increased when it comes to selecting films?
No, my filtration process is still the same, even when I chose Quantico and Baywatch. I don’t understand strategies, which is why I have always done different things- be it Aitraaz/ Fashion/ Barfi/ Mary Kom. I have always done stuff which they say is unconventional for a Hindi cinema heroine. I choose my films keeping myself in the viewer’s seat if I would want to watch them. It’s simple. If and when mera man nahin karta, toh phir doosre ka kyun karega?

How is it going as far as your production house is concerned?
Chhota sa production house hai mera, but plans big hain. I spent a lot of time recently in my office setting up all the verticals. The team is working and we are in the process of developing content. For now, my Marathi film Ventilator is nearly complete and my Punjabi one is going on floors in Vancuover next week. Slowly, I’ll announce more films.

Your singing has taken a backseat…
I have been doing many things and I don’t want to do music until I have time to back it up, so it’s on hold for now.

Has Bollywood started seeing you with a different eye?
They have really shown a lot of love and affection this time and given me a hug and said: ‘We are very proud of you’. I haven’t been treated differently. I have been a part of the industry since quite some time, and ajeeb hi ho jayega if it changes towards me.

Let me be specific. Are filmmakers coming up with meatier scripts because they feel they are talking to ‘The Priyanka Chopra’ or is it that too many filmmakers want to sign you with whatever they have?
I don’t entertain every offer. I work very differently, I entertain only those offers which have an amazing part for the female which is me. And it has always been the same. People know I won’t do roles which are fluffy. I have always been treated with a lot of respect when it comes to work in the film industry— and it continues to be the same.


The first South Asian actress to win a People’s Choice Award (PCA), Priyanka Chopra continues to slay the industry with her acting prowess, spunky attitude and never-say-die spirit. Armed with a bag full of awards — she was recently honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for her fearless rendition of Kashibai in Bajirao Mastani — and many projects in the pipeline, she is a force to reckon with on both the small and big screens, in India and abroad.

True power: “Having the ability to carve new paths and set new trends. Essentially, it is about challenging the status quo.”

On being an inspiration: “I’m just a girl doing my job; pushing boundaries wherever I can to facilitate the change I want to see in the world. If people see my journey as something they get inspired by, I feel humbled, fortunate and also a little scared. There is a huge responsibility that comes with it. There’s a fine line between pushing my boundaries as an artiste and keeping people happy because they might not always like or agree with a decision I’ve made.”

Success mantra: “You cannot rest on your laurels. You must push forward and explore the depths of your own talent and creativity.”

Exciting milestones: “Winning the National Film Award and now the Padma Shri. I come from a defence background and to be recognised for my work in the hallowed halls of the Rashtrapati Bhavan by our honourable President is something very special to my family and me.”

Striking alter ego: “I’ve had the good fortune to essay the role of some very powerful female characters and it’s difficult to pick just one. But, I would choose my role in the movie Fashion because it changed the way the audience and industry looked at female-centric films. The character I portrayed, Meghna Mathur, was flawed and very realistic, yet the audience connected with her and, in the end, was seen rooting for her success.”

On conquering 2016: “It’s been a terrific year that began with the PCA (for Favorite Actress in a New TV Series), followed by all these amazing opportunities. After playing Alex Parrish (Quantico) — she’s willing to put everything on the line for what she believes in ­— I’m now really waiting to sink my teeth into the role of Victoria Leeds in Baywatch. She’s the villain and I’m looking forward to being evil in a very different, sexy way!”


Priyanka Chopra certainly needs no introduction, keeping her current professional graph in mind. Returning to her home ground, the actress was in the capital flaunting yet another colourful feather from her myriad multi-national and multi-faceted cap — she spoke to win not just hearts but to ignite the minds of adolescent school children with her worldview, vision, experience and expectations as the Unicef Goodwill Ambassador at their #FairStart campaign.

Success and failure
“Success,” she says, “is not a destination but a journey. Yes, I am a superstar today. But I am still struggling. Struggles don’t end when you have become successful. You are known by your last failure and that will happen to every single person. You just need to strive for excellence every single day of your life. There is no substitute for hard work for anybody. Everyone is dispensable.”
She continues, “The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure. Never be afraid to fall and fail.”

Violence and religion
The actress, who is also a globetrotter, feels pained at the violence and acts of terrorism taking place in different parts of the world. PC, who was recently spotted spending some quality time with her mother in Paris, reflected on global terrorism, and rued, “I believe in humanity. I also always believe in the fact that irrespective of where we are living at this present moment, we are going through a violent turmoil. Violence seems to have become our everyday reality. And sadly we have become desensitised to it. Every day we read and hear about deaths of hundreds of people around the globe but what do we do? Turn a blind eye? Why are we fighting anyway… for what reason? Your God is better than mine? Who has seen God? How can we be creating such disparities based on faith? Everyone has the right to have his or her own, right? It is just sad.”

Movies and social messages
Issue-based movies and their makers have got flak from the Censor Board in recent times. Talking about the moral element in the cinematic medium making a valuable impact on the populace, the actress points out, “Firstly, cinema is a main source of entertainment, and it would be wrong to mix up social issues with entertainment. Cinema is nothing but a mode of storytelling, just like books. In both the media, it’s up to the author or filmmaker to talk, write and showcase a social issue or stick to the parameters of entertainment. I don’t think we need to put the sole responsibility of changing society on the entertainment industry. It’s the job of the government. Celebrities and public figures (not just actors), on the other hand, should always be bound by social responsibilities. Whereas, cinema… can, may, should, maybe or maybe not carry a moral message.”

Feminism and Gender disparity
“Feminism just needs two things. Women joining hands to help one another instead of pulling each other down. Secondly, it needs men. Good, educated and conscious men who understand the need to have equal rights, equal participation in an equal social structure. Actually, the problem lies in our mentality/ mindset; it is in-built. Mothers can bring about a huge change too, by educating their sons. As much as we need a drive to empower our women, we should strive to empower our men by making them understand the value of a woman in a social structure,” she shares.


Priyanka is on the cover of the August’s issue of InStyle. I added the scans below. You can pick up your copy at your local bookstore!

Actress Priyanka Chopra has praised the work of mathematician and founder of Super 30 Anand Kumar in preparing children from humble background to crack IIT.

“Kumar’s work for the underprivileged students is inspiring,” Priyanka said in a statement after Anand Kumar presented a copy of the book on his life and work titled “Super 30: Anand Kumar” to her in New Delhi.

The biography on Anand Kumar has been published by Penguin Random House and Prabhat Prakashan in English and Hindi respectively.

The 33-year-old “Mary Kom” star praised the efforts of the mathematician for youths hailing from deprived family, the statement added.

Chopra had on earlier occasions also lauded the functioning of Super 30 which has helped more than 325 students since its inception in 2002 crack IIT.

Super 30 is a programme under which Anand selects 30 students from underprivileged sections and provides them free-of-cost mentoring for IIT entrance.


Priyanka Chopra is having an amazing year. Besides winning awards for Bajirao Mastaani in India, she is making giant strides in the West – not only is her popular American TV show Quantico now in its second season, she has also bagged a major role as the antagonist in a big budget mainstream film like Baywatch.

The actress knows when to count her blessings. She sighs:

“I have had an amazing acceptance in America. People have been incredibly welcoming to me — whether it’s the film industry, the press, media or the audience. Every airport I go to (that’s the only place I get to go outside; my exposure to the world is the airport), I get so many people calling me and saying, ‘Alex (her name in Quantico), we love the show.’ They speak to me no matter which country I go to. It has been an incredible experience.”

Yet Priyanka also feels that “it’s just the beginning” not only for herself but for Indian talent as a whole. The actress says, “I truly believe that everything that has happened to me, all of it, is just about one or maybe two percent of the respect Indian actors deserve in the world. We have always been boxed into thinking that we can do only certain things, but we are worth so much more. I want to be able to open up gateways for Indian talent. They should get opportunities by coming there and I hope they are even more successful than I am.”

Pragmatic as ever, Priyanka acknowledges that “it’s going to take time” but she is optimistic about the future … just don’t ask her what shape it has. Priyanka laughs, “I am not someone who has ever planned my career; I am very instinctive. I consider myself as an artist, not an actor. So whenever opportunity comes my way, I take it on if I like it. So I don’t know what is next … I know it will be something within creativity. But, if you think I surprise you, I surprise myself also!”


To ensure that every child born in India has a fair start in life and is nurtured in an environment that helps him/her achieve full potential, Unicef on Tuesday launched its #FairStart campaign.

The initiative, through a series of short films that will be disseminated via social media, hopes to change the mindset of people and help remove the inequalities that large groups of children in the country face.

Actor Priyanka Chopra, who is Unicef’s National Ambassador, launched the campaign here.

She said it would be delusional to think that we can end poverty and the disparity that exists when it comes to education, health and gender, but change can be brought about if each individual contributes towards creating a change in their social circle.

“It is the little things that all of us can do that will create a change. Every drop counts to build an ocean,” she said.

The actor added that though there are a number of initiatives by the government and others, there is need for change in the outlook and mindset so that students do not drop out of school and girls are given as fair a chance as boys to become thinking, independent individuals.

“We have become insensitive to inequalities that exist, but if we all think about how we can bring about a change in our own small way, this divide can be bridged.”

Ms. Chopra also cited a personal example of how she found her domestic help’s daughter sitting in her library reading a book during the day instead of being in school. The incident encouraged her to start her own foundation to educate underprivileged children.

Empowering children
The campaign video, made by the children, uses nursery rhymes to showcase the disparity between privileged and underprivileged children, and how they relate to the same nursery rhyme in different ways.

Unicef representative in India Louis-Georges Arsenault said if each individual starts caring, a lot can be done to empower children who have dropped out of school for various reasons and ensure that nobody is left behind.

Ms. Chopra also encouraged the students in the audience to use their privilege of studying in a good school to reach out to those who are not as fortunate and include them in their lives, be it in a game of soccer or in class.

“The youth of the county and the adolescents have the power to make the change so that when they become parents, it is with a mindset that does not discriminate,” she added.


Priyanka is on the cover of the Malaysian’s Women’s Weekly. You can enjoy the scans in the gallery below 🙂

In the past one year, Priyanka Chopra has literally captured the imagination of the entertainment world. After debuting in a hot TV show, she followed it up with appearances on the most sought-after talk shows, red carpets, billboards across America and invitations to the most prestigious events including the White House Correspondents’ Dinner hosted by US President Barack Obama. She also featured in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the world list and on the US Time cover amongst others. All these achievements have seen her emerge as India’s first bonafide international superstar. She has become the poster girl for the new, young Indian who identifies with her drive, passion, intelligence and charisma, making India proud with every step that she takes.

Her rise to global stardom outside of the Indian diaspora is unseen before for a star from the subcontinent, so much so that she is now a target for the infamous Hollywood paparazzi. She cannot walk down a street alone without being recognised — from Mumbai to Miami, from Buenos Aires to Barcelona and everything in between. Meanwhile, Priyanka has continued to blaze ahead in the Indian film industry with her award-winning and critically-acclaimed performances in the box-office blockbuster ‘Bajirao Mastani’ and the acclaimed ‘Jai GangaaJal’.

As she wraps up a toothpaste commercial at a suburban Mumbai studio, the actress, who has an envious set of pearlies, flashes her brightest smile on a monsoon day, prompting usto ask:

How does it feel to be the only Indian to make such a huge impact on the international pop culture?
On one level, it’s surreal and on the other, it’s very exhilarating. It is difficult to go to another country, do new things and be accepted by a whole new audience. For me, that’s the most intoxicating aspect of this voyage I’ve embarked on…being able to grasp all the tremendous opportunities that are coming my way internationally. It’s humbling to be on the receiving end of such love, support and acceptance for me as an entertainer in new geographies.

Your achievements have resonated with everyone in India as a true inspiration. Do you feel the pressure?
It means a lot to me to be appreciated for what I’m trying to achieve. Being a matter of pride for your country and its people is always a huge honour and I feel blessed for that love and support. I’m full of so many emotions. I’m excited to be a part of the movement for change. I’m proud of the progress we have made (which, when you take a step back, is so small in the grand scheme of things… there is a long way to go), and I’m humbled that people feel I have made Indian talent relevant in the US. The opportunities I’ve had in the past few months have been tremendous, but the path to success is not easy and most importantly, it is continuous. While this move was part of my larger quest of pushing the boundaries, I knew it wouldn’t be an easy task and I was up for the challenge from the beginning. I was prepared for the long days, sleepless nights, 18-hour work days and making the best of it all. So, I’m glad it’s all coming together. But the more time I spend in the US, I understand there is a certain cliched perception of our films and our film industry and I really want to change that. I want to make them see the reality of who we are, the amazing work we do and the talent that we have. I want to break the mould that we have been set in and I hope that I can create a path for more talent from India to follow.

Your achievements have been quite substantial and consistent… People’s Choice Award, presenting at the Oscars and Billboard Music Awards, being on the cover of Time Magazine internationally, being on every talk show from Jimmy Fallon to Good Morning America and on the cover of so many magazines… India is very proud. Your comments?
I have been representing India from the very beginning. It started with the Miss World stage in 2000. I’m glad that my efforts have been appreciated and recognised. I’m a proud Indian and wear that on my sleeve. All the achievements you mentioned combined together is still maybe just one per cent of the potential we have to achieve in the entertainment world and I’m not stopping anytime soon.

Everything from your clothes to your armpits makes headlines. Comment.
What else can I say except that I’m flattered. It’s unreal in many ways that the little things I say or do are reported, but like I’ve always said, it comes with the territory of being a public personality.

Being visible via Quantico being licensed in 212 territories and dubbed in 56 languages around the world has made you a household name in the West…
It’s been a whirlwind year for me balancing careers on two continents and I’ve pretty much put my head down and just worked. But every now and then, I look up and see all this amazing recognition, love and support for my work from across the world and that is so surreal. It feels great when people in different parts of the world come up to me and appreciate my work. On social media as well, it’s so much fun to see the pictures of billboards, magazine ads, screenshots of their TV screens etc. as they discover Quantico and me in so many countries across the globe. The reality of that is just setting in.

Living out of a suitcase is a way of life for you now. Is it tiring or exhilarating?
For now, it’s my reality and I’ve accepted it and made it my own. Just the other day, I actually celebrated being in one place for six days in a row without taking a single flight. I now carry my home with me in those suitcases, so everywhere I go is almost like home. This hectic schedule is tiring but it allows me to pursue my dreams.

When you went to the West four years ago to record your maiden album, did you even envision that in such a short span of time, you would actually go on to become this huge global star?

I’m not quite sure what I envisioned for myself at that point. I’m extremely intuitive, sometimes impulsive (especially when it comes to work), and I’m not typically the one to plan for the future. At that moment, I knew I wanted to stretch my creative wings. I made music because I felt I was ready to explore that side of me. I explored international TV because the opportunity was right. I chose to be in Baywatch because the role excited me. Everything I do is simply to challenge myself, push the boundaries of my talent and take the unchartered road. I work hard and am passionate and committed to whatever I choose to pursue. That and God’s hand on my shoulder has led me to this place right now.

From desi girl to a global superstar, you are perhaps the only person who has actually penetrated the Hollywood industry in a big way. How does it feel?
I’m really excited about all the work I’ve been doing… the opportunities have been amazing. What I’m most overawed about is the huge amount of love and support I have received. The show itself has connected with a wide range of audience and has created so many opportunities for not only me as an entertainer, but also for other extremely talented actors from our part of the world to pursue opportunities outside of a stereotypical Indian role. It’s great to be accepted for your talent and be given work that challenges and pushes you as an artiste. It’s been a whirlwind experience for me from shooting for the show to red carpet appearances, events, talk shows and covers… it’s been exhausting but so worth it. The year has been amazing and there’s still so much to look forward to.

A peek into some of her global achievements in the past 8 months alone:
Launch of Quantico in the US, supported by a major marketing blitzkrieg across America, with Priyanka as the main lead. The show was an instant hit and renewed for a second season. It has been licensed in 212 territories and dubbed in 56 languages around the world.
She was signed to play the villain in the big screen adaptation of Baywatch alongside Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Zac Efron among others.
On the list of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People from across the world. Also the only Indian to be on the Time cover in the US.
Attended the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner hosted by US President Barack Obama.
Winner of the People’s Choice Awards — ‘Favorite Actress In A New TV Series’ for her role as Alex Parrish in the hit ABC drama Quantico.
Appearances on the most sought-after talk shows including Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Good Morning America and Live With Kelly and Michael.
On the cover of prestigious US magazines such as Elle, InStyle, Complex and Emmy amongst others.
On the cover of magazines across the world from Germany to Malaysia and Italy.


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