Priyanka Chopra: Baywatch isn’t my first Hollywood movie, the entire world will watch it
For 34-year-old actor Priyanka Chopra, 2017 started off on a high note. From Golden Globes to the Oscars, Priyanka was spotted at every international awards show. Her sartorial choices too have been the talk of the town. After her international debut on American television with Quantico, she is all geared up for her first Hollywood release, Baywatch. In a chat with HT Café, Priyanka talks about living the American dream and much more. Excerpts
From the beginning of 2017, you’ve been to a lot of award shows. Was there any one overwhelming moment that stands out for you?
I loved witnessing Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes. I was standing on my table and I was screaming and hooting and Sofia (Vergara) who was sitting next to me says, “This is not a football game.” I started laughing and that’s when I actually realised where I was. But the good thing is that the Globes, as an event, is quite easy with just about 200 people and a close set up. It was an amazing moment to witness and that speech really was wonderful.
Meryl Streep made a very strong statement when she condemned US President Donald Trump for mocking a disabled reporter. Do you think it would be possible for a celebrity to talk about issues like this in India?
May be. I don’t usually refrain from talking. I am opinionated and if I have an opinion on something, I will voice it. I can’t say that it’s really difficult to have an opinion in India. Every country is different and we are too. But I do believe that public figures in general are soft targets, because it’s easier to make a headline about someone saying something. Then it’s sometimes misconstrued and that gets blown out of proportion. But, I can’t speak on behalf of everyone in Bollywood.
You shot to limelight with your villain act in Aitraaz (2004) and now you play a character with grey shades in Baywatch . Has life come full circle?
Honestly, I don’t have time to make these comparisons. I didn’t think of this as my first film in America. To me, it’s my next film, because it’s not just America that is going to see my film, the entire world is. I have done over 50 films and people who like my work and know me for my films, will also watch Baywatch.
You said you’ve done over 50 films. In this scenario, are you still nervous before your film’s release?
I have butterflies in my stomach every time I walk on to set. ‘What if I make a mistake, what if I trip and fall, is it all going to be okay’ – these are the things that go on in my head constantly. Subconsciously, I am thinking about this all the time.
Would you say that the quality of roles being offered to Indian actors in the west has substantially improved?
That was the idea behind doing Quantico and now, my film. I can’t single-handedly hold a mashaal and say that I am here to change the world’s perception of Indian actors. But in my individual journey, I will definitely never be stereotyped; I am very clear about that. I haven’t done it in India as an actor so I definitely won’t do it abroad. This is not to say that I haven’t been offered stereotypical roles because sometimes the kinds of films that come to me are the stereotype of what an Indian girl should be. But now, the films that come to me are varied. I think people have understood the kind of roles that I would choose and that’s a good place to be.
Dwayne Johnson recently called you a ‘great tequila drinker’. How did you get that tag?
I think it is his favourite drink. He loved the idea that at every red carpet I have been to, I’ve had tequila shots, which helps eventually, because when you are inside, you are not inhibited.
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