She broke the monotony of Indian actors playing blink-and-you’ll-miss appearances in Hollywood by grabbing the lead role in American show Quantico. With a lot of appreciation — and awards — for her role, actress Priyanka Chopra says what worked for her in Bollywood also works for her in Hollywood. Nivedita talks to our desi girl over phone from Los Angeles a day before her red-carpet appearance at the Golden Globes and tried fishing out her differential experience in Hollywood and Bollywood. Edited excerpts:
What do you think is working for you in Hollywood?
Entertainment industry is full of too many wonderful, beautiful people and you can’t (just) be someone else. You have to stand out. You have to find your own uniqueness and that has to work for you. So those who want to be an actress, whether it is in America or in India, you have to find who you are and be comfortable with it.
With so much of success, do you feel scared of failure?
I don’t like it; so I don’t make room for it. It happens with everybody and it is something that you cannot sideline. Its part of the game and you learn how to play it, and I hope I am playing it well.
What are the motivating factors for Priyanka Chopra when she comes across rough patch in life?
I am always surrounded by people who love me. I have wonderful people in my life, encouraging me and pushing me forward; so I never felt that I am doing this alone. I feel support is the biggest strength a woman actually needs in this world. As soon as you have the support from people around you, you can achieve everything.
Like other film actress, you have also set up your own production company. Please let our readers know about your venture?
When I set up my production company Purple Pebble Pictures, I was very clear that I wanted to give platform to young talent. It was very important for me to give opportunity to new talent. We are a very small company, but I want to make path-breaking films. At this juncture of my career, I would like to do movies with people who had not got support or a platform to show their talent.
Any major reason for such feeling for unsung talents of film industry?
When I wanted to do movies, it was very difficult to get in because I was not from the industry; I did not know anyone. I don’t want my company to be like that.
So, we can expect new talents getting a foot hold into the industry through your production company?
Yes. I like to make projects where I launch new people with the help of people who are experienced. That’s why I am doing the kind of films that I am doing.
So what does 2017 have in store for Priyanka fans?
This is an exciting year. Season two of Quantico is coming on January 23 and then ‘Baywatch’ is releasing in May. As producers, we are launching five films.
There have been reports that she is working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali again for a film?
Sanjay sir and I always want to work with each other. I want to work with him. We did talk about doing a lot of things together and hopefully if it works out, that will be great.
Let’s talk about your upcoming Hollywood venture Baywatch…
Baywatch opens on May 26. Directed by Horrible Bosses’ Seth Gordon, Baywatch also stars Alexandra Daddario, Ilfenesh Hadera, Kelly Rohrbach and others. Like other actors of Baywatch, I also have high expectations from it as Baywatch was once the most watched American TV series on NBC.
You recently launched its trailer in which your presence is widely felt unlike the previous one?
We have waited 16 long years to see lifeguards running in slow-motion again. The new trailer for Baywatch starring Alexandra Daddario, Ilfenesh Hadera, Kelly Rohrbach and me will definitely quench your curiosity.
Your Bollywood counterpart Deepika Padukone is also going to slay Hollywood soon. Any comment……………
I always say Deepika is extremely talented and beautiful. I wish her the best for xXx: Return of Xander Cage. The trailers look amazing. I hope she gets the recognition that she is aiming for.
But, there are reports that you two have turned from friends to rivals?
There is nothing like rivalry. Its media made story which doesn’t bare any truth. It’s just a gossip which neither me nor Priyanka has endorsed. In fact, we laugh when we meet and see such pieces.
Is there any new Bollywood project that you would be taking this year?
Many offers have come my way but I just have to decide which one I’ll take. I’ll do it by mid-January as I have to start the shoot from April next year.