She is one of the reigning stars in Bollywood, but Priyanka Chopra says she was a very bad actress when she debuted with Andaaz six years ago. While the former Miss World has set high goals for herself and is experimenting with roles like never before, she is also clear about what she is looking for in her 'Mr. Right'.
Excerpts from an interview:
Having had two hits in 2008 - Fashion and Dostana - along with several awards... how do you look back at your past year?
I feel like I'm 20 years into my career because I've done so much work in such a short time. When I look back, it's been only five-six years since I've been here. I've never received any formal training in acting or cinema nor do I belong to a film family; so for me, the biggest achievement is that my hard work and my family's support have led me to the place I'm in today. I take great pride in that.
How would you review your performance in Bollywood ever since you made your debut with Andaaz in 2003?
I think I was a terrible actress when I started off as compared to what I'm today. I still have a lot to learn, but I believe that I've grown as an actress and I evolve constantly. I always had the hunger to learn and become better at what I do - just like a sponge, trying to absorb as much knowledge as possible.
Your forthcoming movies are Kaminey and What's Your Rashee? and Pyaar Impossible. Which one are you more excited about and why?
I have different feelings for different films. I'm very excited about Kaminey because it's pathbreaking cinema. On the other hand, I'm equally nervous and excited about What's Your Rashee? because it was a huge challenge for me. I play 12 different characters in it, something that hasn't really been done in Indian cinema before and the fact that I'll be a part of history in the making is very scary.
Pyaar Impossible is a sweet, cool story where I have a glamorous look and contemporary character. As cliched as it sounds... each one is special...
In Kaminey you play a de-glamourised role opposite Shahid Kapoor. Were you sceptical about the look because you were seen in ultra-glam roles in Fashion and Dostana?
Let's put this into context. I chose the role not because she was de-glamourised. I chose it because of the way the character is etched out and not how she looks. That's incidental. With most of my films, especially the most recent ones... I have taken up roles that are interesting and different from what I've done before.
You have always been silent about controversies related to your personal and professional life - why?
Because I firmly believe that all aspects of my life are for public consumption. I learnt early in my career that speculation, rumours and gossip come with the job... a professional hazard. But I'd much rather approach it with dignified silence than to engage in ugly mud-slinging.
What about your multiple link-ups and break-ups news - don't they disturb you?
They definitely do because eventually I'm a girl and have a family - a father, a mother, a brother. It does bother me, but I don't believe in clarifying the rumours. It just gives it undue importance. As long as my family knows what the truth is, that's all that matters. The rest doesn't!
Any plans of settling down in the near future? What sort of a guy would you want as a companion?
No plans of settling down at the moment. But when I do... Mr. Right has to match a lot of my parameters... He has to be someone who knows how to make me feel special... make me feel like I'm walking on air... He has to be somebody who loves me for who I am and takes pride in being with me. He also has to be honest and be able to speak well... make me laugh... all in all, somebody who really really loves me.