Ever since she made her acting debut, Parineeti Chopra has faced a lot of criticism with regards to her weight. However, those remarks are a thing of the past now. The actor’s new, slimmer avatar has got the industry talking, and she couldn’t be more thrilled. In an exclusive interview, she breaks her silence.
Your recent public appearances have been great…
Thank you. I am receiving many compliments for my weight loss, and I am feeling very happy. I feel more confident when I dress up now, and also during my photo-shoots.
How did you go about losing weight?
I took some time to understand my body. Why was I putting on weight despite the fact that I am a health-conscious person? Why was I not losing weight at all? So, I consulted a doctor.
What was the diagnosis?
I was told that I should strike off eggs and milk from my diet chart because I was allergic to them. I used to have a lot of eggs, and I had a weakness for both milk and milk products.
How long has it taken you to get to this shape?
Five months. And mind you, I haven’t reached my desired weight yet.
Weren’t you counted as a ‘bindaas’ girl who didn’t care how much the weighing scale read?
I used to tell people that I was working towards shedding weight, but nobody believed me. People mistook me to be a carefree person. I used to tell everybody that I don’t want to remain fat. I was obese when I returned from London, UK; I was 86kg. It was just that the right steps had to be taken, which I am doing now.
Did you feel it was that necessary for you to lose weight?
A certain level of fitness is very important if you’re an actor. You feel better, you don better clothes, you look better.
Was your excess weight getting you typecast?
Your physical appearance doesn’t get you typecast, but a role does. Everybody goes through a phase where the impression is that he or she is getting typecast, but that’s not always true. Not in my case, at least.
But people started saying that very loudly in your case...
Those people are not film-makers. So, does it matter? (laughs)
What does your exercise regime comprise now?
I started doing Kalaripayattu, a form of martial arts from Kerala. I do it every day for an hour. It has made me more flexible and stronger, and has also helped me build my stamina.
I needed something that was not boring. I can’t do the usual cardio and treadmill stuff. I had done a small session of it before Ishaqzaade (2012; her debut film) and quite enjoyed it. So I returned to Kalaripayattu, and now the results are showing. But I am not even 50% of what I have set out to be. Give me five more months, and I shall surprise you further.
How has the industry reacted to your new avatar? What did your parents say?
My body language has changed. They are loving it. After a point, it’s easy to say, “F*** it” and that “I am going to return to eating everything”. But I promise I shall maintain myself from now. Snacking in the night is also ruled out. I shall not let my hard work go down the drain.
Yesteryear heroines were never so conscious of their weight...
Times are different now. I feel the way you are supposed to look now is very different. The costumes you are supposed to wear are not the same either.
Were you ever tempted to opt for surgery to lose weight?
No, I am scared to go under the knife. But I may have considered it if my body hadn’t shown results, and if I was still desperate to shed the excess weight.
Buzz is that you are going to star in Salman Khan’s next big project...
There’s too much speculation about my next project. Trust me, nothing has been finalised. I am so glad that I got a break from work. It has given me a chance to look at not only my body and fitness, but also my new house. I could have entrusted its designing to a professional, but I have taken care to see that I do almost everything myself.
Why did you move from Andheri to Bandra?
Bandra is amazing. No place offers you the kind of life that Bandra does. Besides, I wanted a sea-view apartment.