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(01/10/18): Pictures: Priyanka Chopra Arriving on Quantico Set (January 9) Quantico > Season 3 > On Set > On Set in Trib.....
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(01/3/18): Pictures: Priyanka Chopra on Quantico Set (January 3) Priyanka was pictured in the bitter cold of NYC fi.....





Bajirao Mastani was your next Bollywood flick – given the grandeur of the movie, was it overwhelming?
Bajirao Mastani has been a mega-mega project, especially given the scale of the work that has gone behind the movie. Working on the three lead actors, the primary characters of the movie, has been a lot of hard-work and it is exciting to see how the churnings of my creativity appeared on-screen and be praised by the audiences and members of my fraternity.

You’ve worked with both Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra twice now for such culturally and history-inspired costumes. What was that like? And how different are the two?
While both Deepika and Priyanka had to portray very contrasting roles, they are also such different actors. Their appearances played a significant role in the way we used each of their features to narrate the respective character to the audience. Priyanka’s eyes helped showcase the innocence of Kashibai in Bajirao Mastani; her features highlighted the vivaciousness of the character and her figure emphasised the beauty of the Nauvari saris she is wearing. Deepika’s character in the movie is a fierce warrior with moments of intense vulnerability. The innocence of her eyes and the softness of her face aptly portrayed Mastani.

Share with us an anecdote from the set of one of the films. What was the most memorable moment?
Bajirao Mastani is period movie based on the Maratha Peshwa – Bajirao’s life, with a focus on his relationship with Mastani. With enough historical records at our disposal today, the costume design, especially for Ranveer Singh (Bajirao) and Priyanka Chopra (Kashibai), was largely based on these historical references, on the code of dressing in that era for Maharashtrian nobility and people of stature. Also, since the narrative is based on real-life personalities that have left an indelible mark in our history, we wanted to maintain the authenticity of the time, era and stature, keeping true to their essence. However, there is not much written or recorded material on Mastani. For that character, being beautifully portrayed by Deepika, we took many creative liberties based only on inspirational references.

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Priyanka Chopra is the first South-Asian star to headline a major US series as the lead in Quantico.

But the award-winning actress told Digital Spy that more “opportunities need to be created” in order to achieve equality on-screen.

“I was very clear with [US broadcaster] ABC that if I did something with them, it would have to be a non-stereotyped version of what an Indian actor could be,” she explained.

“I didn’t want to play a part because of what I look like. I wanted to play a part because I was the best person for the job.

“I’m someone who believes that change takes time and it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. It’s going to be a fight and what we have to do is not create more stereotypes, and not create more boundaries, and not segregate more.”

Chopra – who plays FBI agent Alex Parrish on Quantico – insisted that she “fought tremendously to be cast as someone who was ethnically ambiguous”.

“Indians were only seen as a particular type,” she said. “We were put in a box all the time – and for me that was my fight and this is my victory – but at the same time, it’s not going to stop.

“Everyone’s always trying to make me the exotic little girl, or the Indian nerd. I want to be able to break that stereotype, but it’s not going to just happen with one show that I do, it’s going to happen with me consistently doing different kinds of things. But that’s on me.

“I think that this is going to be a conversation that’s going to be had – and it’s not going to happen with a war, it’s going to happen with conversation.”

Quantico – coming to Alibi in the UK – follows Chopra’s character as she goes from promising new FBI recruit to terror suspect.

“It’s topical in so many ways,” she said. “The girls are kick-ass on this show. I think there is huge representation of women on television, taking the fight for equality forward. The representation of females is so much more on television than movies.

“Alex stands for feminism on so many levels, because she’s an unapologetic character who leads her life on her own terms and at the same time, stands for diversity.

“People on the show are just people and they’re individuals who make mistakes, or not, because of their experiences – and not because of something as superficial as the colour of their skin or their religion or their faith, and I think that’s amazing.

“I love that about the show – it talks about things which are so relevant in today’s time and age, wrapped in entertainment.”

Quantico begins on Thursday (March 10) at 9pm, new and exclusive to Alibi.

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“Don’t think I’m rude,” Priyanka Chopra confides, “but I’m taking these shoes off.”

The translucent, black-tipped Christian Louboutins have 4-inch stiletto heels, minimum, and you would expect no less from Chopra, a former Miss World turned major Bollywood actress who stars in ABC’s “Quantico” as the most ridiculously glamorous FBI recruit/domestic terrorism suspect ever.

The show’s insane twists are easier to swallow than the idea that Chopra’s Alex Parrish, the subject of massive manhunt, can walk the streets of New York undetected simply because she throws a hoodie over her lush locks. (It’s fleece, ABC, not unicorn hide.)

Chopra and her equally comely cast have turned this sudsy thriller about a group of fresh-faced FBI recruits embroiled in a terrorism plot into one of ABC’s few freshman hits. And just ahead of the show’s return at 10 p.m. Sunday from winter hiatus, ABC announced it is renewing “Quantico” for a second season.

Sunday’s episode picks up three months after FBI analyst trainee Elias Harper (Rick Cosnett) revealed himself to be working with the terrorists behind Grand Central Terminal (he then promptly fell out of a hotel window) a revelation that was followed by another bombing that took out the FBI command center nearby.

Parrish has been cleared of any involvement with the plot but can’t convince anyone that Elias was not working alone. In the show’s signature flashbacks to their FBI training, we’re introduced to another group of recruits — all supremely accomplished and incredibly attractive, of course — with whom Alex and her pals compete.

At the Television Critics Association winter press tour in January, we interrogated the barefoot Chopra about “Quantico”:

VH: I understand that you are shooting while they’re writing. You don’t know much about the show going forward?

PC: I know two episodes ahead of what is airing, literally.

VH: Is that something that you enjoy about shooting the show?

PC: I didn’t expect to enjoy it because I’m a features actor. You always have a bound script. But with this, it was a very new experience for me. The audience finds out as Alex finds out, right? This time I told the writers not to tell me what they’re thinking at all. So it sort of helps me be as … I discover as much as she does, which is great.

VH: The show is very famous for its twists and turns and red herrings. What was the development that most surprised you when you were reading about it in the script?

PC: Every episode there’s a development that shocks me. ‘What? I thought we were going there. Oh, that happened.’ There are nine incredible writers who literally live in a hole in New York in the writers room. They have a map on a wall of each character’s graph. It literally looks like a serial killer’s or a psychopath’s wall. I was shocked when I saw it. They put little things in episodes and then there’s the payoff like five episodes later.

VH: We sort of know part of who did the bombing.

PC: Elias

VH: Sorta. Someone else might have been involved.

PC: Yes.

VH: I have a podcast, and every week we discuss who do we think it is this week. Do you guys do that?

PC: Oh yeah, we have bets, all of us. We’ll find out at the end of this season. Some of us thought Elias, but we know there are so many episodes coming up. We have bets every episode. ‘Oh wait, it’s going in this direction,’ and then we’re proved wrong. It’s too much fun.

VH: One of the things I like about the show is the dual narrative, the events in the past informing the future, etc. Do you think that kind of structure can be sustained in a second season?

PC: So far it’s going to be same narrative in the second half of the first season.

VH: I’m presuming you’re getting a second season.

PC: No one has told me. (Laughs.) I have no idea. I’ve never done TV. I don’t even know the difference between procedural and episodic. I’m still learning. I’m treating it like a ginormous movie. My script is this fat now because I keep every episode together, and my poor assistant has to lug it in a backpack every day. I don’t know how to treat it episode-wise. I only know how to treat it like a long story. I have no idea where it’s going to go.

VH: What attracted you to the story in the first place?

PC: I wasn’t very keen on TV. It’s a very long commitment … I came to LA on a paid vacation. I read 26 scripts. I liked three. As soon as I liked these three, I knew I was screwed because I was going to end up doing TV. ‘Quantico’ was my first audition … You know, Alex was never written for an Indian girl. She was written for an American girl. There were lots of thoughts about changing her name to an Indian name, and I told them it’s my job as an actor to be able to conform myself to a character. So I want to play an American girl. I’m not American. I’m not even Indian-American. I’m Indian-Indian. I’m so happy that coming from another country, [I’m] able to do my job and get the kind of acceptance that it has.

VH: Do you think her Indian heritage will become part of the show?

PC: It has already. Alex wears an om bracelet. She lived in India for 10 years. She went backpacking through Iran and Pakistan. There are so many things that the writers have now started bringing together because I am Indian, such important things I am saying. They ask me, ‘Why do you think you were framed?,’ and I said, ‘Because in this country, framing a brown girl is easy.’ It’s such an important statement that is supremely relevant to a country that is so multicultural. And our show is exactly like that. It’s a representation of what America is today, so many people from so many parts, so many ethnicities, and I love being a part of such a progressive show.

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In her first Bollywood movie since the blockbuster Bajirao Mastani, Priyanka Chopra reigned in Indian cinemas last weekend in Jai Gangaajal, director Prakash Jha’s crime and corruption thriller set in the Hindi heartland.

A regular in the US series Quantico, Chopra, who also plays the villain in the upcoming movie Baywatch opposite Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, portrays a kick-ass superintendent of police, Abha Mathur. Appointed as the first female officer in charge of the Bankipur district, she encounters ruthless politician Babloo Pandey (Manav Kaul), who, with the help of a rogue cop Bhola Nath Singh (Prakash Jha in his acting debut) and younger brother Dabloo Pandey (Ninad Kamat), rides roughshod over the locals.

A kindred spirit to Jha’s 2003 hit Gangaajal, the film from Prakash Jha Productions and Play Entertainment grossed 11.75 crore ($1.74 million) on Friday and Saturday on 2,684 screens, dislodging director Ram Madhvani’s Neerja, which stars Sonam Kapoor as the 23-year-old Pan Am flight attendant who sacrificed her life trying to save hijacked passengers at Karachi airport in 1986. Neerja has amassed a stellar 57.75 crore ($8.6 million) in just two weeks.

Jha’s film scored an estimated $120,000 in three days on 80 screens in the U.S. and about $A30,000 ($22,200) on 12 screens in Australia. Its only Hindi competition in India was Zubaan, first-time director Mozez Singh’s musical drama which got some rave reviews but struggled to secure screens and visibility.

There were mixed reviews and B.O. predictions for Jai Gangaajal. Among the most positive, Bollywood Hungama declared, “ Priyanka Chopra … steals the show . Be it her perfect and impeccable timing, her intimidating screen persona and presence, she delivers a superlative performance, even though it may not qualify to be her career-best. She stands tall and gets her role spot on. As far as Prakash Jha the ‘actor’ is concerned, he pushes himself a bit too hard to get the nuances and the finer points of his character. And that very clearly shows on screen. But, that does not take away the fact that he delivers a remarkably good performance…. With no competition and great brand value, the movie sail through at the box -office.”

The Hindustan Times’ Rohit Vats was more equivocal, observing, “The storyline doesn’t offer anything that you haven’t seen before. This holds true even if you have watched only Prakash Jha’s films. But it has tear-inducing moments and Priyanka Chopra ensures they keep coming at regular intervals. Once again, the dark underbelly of the Hindi heartland has been explored with explosive dialogues and superficial sensibilities.

“Prakash Jha is the hero of Jai Gangaajal if screen time is our consideration. In any case, you need to spread wings to make a 158-minute film engaging. But, it has to be said that Jha has done justice to his role. He is restrained in dialogue delivery and really effective in emotional scenes.”

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Mowgli, Bagheera, Baloo, Kaa and Shere Khan, the characters from ‘The Jungle Book’, may have found their voices in India. Sources say that Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan, Nana Patekar, Shefali Shah and Om Puri have reportedly agreed to dub for the live action feature’s Hindi version.

PC is currently on a roll in the West. Between shooting for ‘Quantico’ and ‘Baywatch’, our ‘desi’ supergirl is also the first choice when it comes to dubbing for popular animation characters. Earlier, she was the voice of Ishani in ‘Planes’, a 2013 animation film. Now, in ‘The Jungle Book’, she is all set to be ‘Kaa’, the sultry python, who has been essayed by Scarlett Johansson in the original. While Bill Murray has lent his voice to ‘Baloo’, the friendly bear, Irrfan will do the same back home.

Shefali Shah will be ‘Raksha’, the wolf, portrayed by Lupita Nyong’o in the Hollywood film. And guess what? Om Puri and Ben Kingsley are ‘Bagheera’, the panther, in the Hindi and English versions respectively. There is more. Nana Patekar will be the cavernous tone of ‘Shere Khan’, the tiger and self-professed ruler of the jungle, played by Idris Elba in the original.

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Nothing is impossible, or so seems to be the case with Priyanka Chopra, who, over the past few months, has been making waves in India and abroad. From winning the People’s Choice Award in Los Angeles, to presenting an award at the Oscars — she is unstoppable at the moment.

“I feel exhausted,” says the actor, before promptly adding, “But I also feel a sense of accomplishment with everything that has ­happened so far. I’ve worked very hard for this. But I know there are many more miles to go and milestones to achieve before I sleep.”

On February 28, the 33-year-old presented the Best Editing award to Margaret Sixel at the Oscars. She admits “it was a new ­experience” for her to walk down the red carpet of the prestigious event, meet interesting people and watch the show live. “The Oscars have such a history, and yet a familiarity, ­having grown up watching it. It was nice to be part of it. I enjoyed every moment, including being a presenter.”

Priyanka’s white sheer gown, by Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad, was a big hit on the Oscars red carpet. Ask her if it was easy to zero in on the dress, and she says, “I had multiple options, but I went with what I was feeling that day. I loved the colour, and the fact that it was classy and elegant. It felt right when I put it on. I couldn’t believe the pressure that was on me, so it’s a relief that my outfit was appreciated. The fashion critics and the media on the red carpet, the people I met at the show — everyone had very nice things to say [about the gown].”

After the Oscars, Priyanka headed straight to Miami to start shooting for her debut Hollywood film, Baywatch. “I love the creative rush I get from being on a film set. The excitement to work on a new film, to get into the skin of my character, understanding the thought process of my director, and geting to know my co-stars — all of this makes it an amazing experience.”

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The smoke has cleared — literally — and the rubble has been carted away from the blast site, but don’t assume that means that the three-month time jump between Quantico‘s second bombing and its midseason premiere provided much in the way of clarity or peace for Agent Alex Parrish.

“She told Simon to take his hand off the trigger,” star Priyanka Chopra reminds TVLine, referring to the moments following suspected terrorist Elias’ suicidal swan dive from a midtown Manhattan hotel. Alex was sure the threat had been mitigated. She was wrong.

“Now, she has to live with that,” the actress says. “Obviously, there were casualties [at the FBI command center] when the bomb goes off,” adding that the back half of the season will deal with “what happens to her, psychologically, after that.”

“Because of the time jump, a lot of things have changed,” showrunner Joshua Safran adds. The first — and perhaps biggest — difference? As previously reported, 32 FBI agents, including some we know and care about, were killed in the explosion. To recap: Claire, Clayton and Caleb Haas were in the building when the device detonated, as were Shelby, Raina and a bunch of others. But good luck getting anything out of Safran or executive producer Jake Coburn on that front.

“One thing we can say about Caleb is that you will not see him in the future in the first episode back, at least,” Coburn teases.

As Sunday’s hour (ABC, 10/9c) of the recently renewed drama opens, “Alex finds herself having to come to the carpet to explain her actions, and what she perceives as having transpired,” Safran previews. Chopra describes the situation in slightly more visceral terms.

“She was made a fugitive of the law. She was blamed for the worst terrorist attack in America after 9/11. It’s got to affect you,” the actress says. “She was on the run. Everyone turned against her. There’s so much that’s going on in her head! Imagine all of that happening to somebody. She’s in a dark place.”

Meanwhile, back in the Quantico timeline, expect to see fresh faces — including Lenny Platt (How to Get Away With Murder), Jay Armstrong Jordan (Broadway’s On the Town) and Li Jun Li (Damages) — as new NATs.

“Relationships, jealousy, betrayal,” Chopra previews with a laugh, adding that viewers can expect “all of that good, juicy stuff that happens in Quantico in class.”

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She’s “fabulous,” “endearing,” basically “perfect,” say the castmates of Quantico star Priyanka Chopra. But their No. 1, most favorite thing about their ABC drama co-worker? Her love of hearty, meaty food, a love so strong she refers to herself as… The Baconator.


Chopra’s co-stars, Josh Hopkins and Johanna Braddy, share the many things they love about the actress in a Yahoo TV video chat, and can’t deny they’re envious about her ability to chow down on burgers, hot wings, and chili dogs, and not have to pay for her indulgences with hours in the gym.






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