Priyanka Chopra: When I entered films, everyone was somebody’s uncle or daughter
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Priyanka Chopra: When I entered films, everyone was somebody’s uncle or daughter

Actor and producer Priyanka Chopra talks about the vision behind her production house and the experiences that encouraged her to give a real chance to newcomers by backing their projects.

bollywood Updated: May 22, 2018 17:30 IST
Yashika Mathur
Yashika Mathur
Hindustan Times
Priyanka Chopra,Paani,Production house
Actor Priyanka Chopra’s next production is called Paani.(Getty Images for DIFF)

Actor Priyanka Chopra recently announced her next production venture Paani, which will be fourth Marathi film and tenth project overall as a producer. However, the actor, whose debut home production Ventilator (2017) won three National Awards, does not feel that her vision as artist has changed ever since she started backing projects financially.

“I don’t think I look at cinema [any] differently because I am a producer. I want to make the kind of films as a producer, which I may not have seen being made otherwise. Regional cinema, for instance, is one such [area of] focus for me and it was very important for me to give new talent [the right] opportunities,” says Priyanka, who has produced Bhojpuri, Assamese and Sikkimese films, too.

A former Miss World, Priyanka, who has been part of films such as Aitraaz (2004), Kaminey (2009), Barfi (2012), Mary Kom (2014), and Bajirao Mastani (2015), surely knows the value of opportunities, having lost out on several projects to people hailing from film families, herself.

“When I entered Bollywood, everyone was somebody’s uncle or somebody’s daughter. It’s very difficult to get inside a production office if you are an actor from no [film] background. I know that it happened to me because I started like that,” recalls the actor, who will be seen in the Salman Khan-starrer Bharat.

Her own experience led Priyanka to contribute to creating a level-playing field for outsiders. She adds, “My production company was set up with that in mind. Almost all directors we have worked — seven I think — are new directors. My route is very different and it’s a personal journey. The films that I make are important to me and I have a point of view that our entertainment has commercial value and it has a story,” she shares.

Priyanka, who bagged the lead role in the American TV series Quantico, thereby shattering the stereotype of the Indian actor in Hollywood, says she believes in an open house philosophy for her production house.

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“When I joined films, I was already winner of a beauty pageant and still had it a little easy. I got my first few films but I know that I was thrown out of the films because somebody else was recommended, who was somebody’s daughter. I didn’t know people, ki main dinners pe ja rahi hun and networking kar rahi hun. I know that opportunities came to be because of merit. I know that opportunities were also taken from me because of these reasons. I wanted to have an open house philosophy in my production house,” maintains Priyanka.

Not the one to only preach, the website of her production house makes it evident that she indeed wants to work with new talent. “Even on my website, I have a forum where you can write to us if you think you have directors, writers, or technicians, and there is a whole page (to send one’s ideas), which is a first in the country,” she says.

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First Published: May 22, 2018 17:30 IST