No one would have faulted Priyanka Chopra for resting on her laurels. A few years ago, Chopra was one of Bollywood’s biggest celebrities: a former Miss
World who was busy starring in international hit movies and recording platinum singles. But instead of stopping there, Chopra took a job with the ABC show
Quantico, which went on to become a success for the network. The show was just renewed for a second season, and in 2017 Chopra will star in a new
Baywatch adaptation. It’s safe to assume we’ll be seeing her on Hollywood red carpets for years to come.
Céline dress, $5,700, Céline pants, $2,350 and Céline pumps, $990 at Céline Madison Avenue.
Adorably, Priyanka says her personal original story has a lot in common with The Fresh Prince of Bel Air: “When I was 13, I would come visit my aunt and
uncle in New York. I decided I wanted to live with them after seeing my cousin’s school. Honestly, I just wanted to go to a school where I didn’t have to wear
uniforms, and my mom said okay.”
She stayed in the U.S. for a few years, going back to India at the age of 16 with the intention of becoming an aeronautical engineer. Fate would have it that
when she took head shots for a scholarship program, a family member sent them to the Miss India contest and she won. “I went on and happened to win
the India Miss World and movies started coming my way,” she explains. “In the meantime I was still going to college and trying to study, but once my first
film did really well, I never looked back. It definitely set me up to be able to be in the big bad world of entertainment.”
Even then, Chopra wanted to be a household name in Hollywood productions, not just (“just”) an international star. She’s extremely hardworking —
something you pick up from spending less than a minute with her — and it’s clearly paid off, as she is the first Indian woman to headline an ABC show. “As
an entertainer I try to do projects that reflect a woman having the ability to stand up for herself,” she says.
When ABC handed her some 26 scripts for her to read, Quantico stood out because it had all the elements of quintessential good television: action,
romance, the spycraft of shows like Sherlock Holmes, and fight sequences that have people calling Chopra a female James Bond. Chopra says she was
drawn to Alex, her character, because, “she’s intelligent and a badass rebel with a cause. She lives life on her own terms, and she’s a little anti, you know?
I like the mixture of softness and hardness.”