Ever since she signed her American TV show Quantico, which went on to become a hit, Priyanka Chopra has largely been stationed in the US and Canada. Of late, she has also been busy wrapping up her debut Hollywood film, an adaptation of the iconic TV show, Baywatch, which also stars Dwayne Johnson and Zac Effron. It is probably due to her hectic schedule that the actor hasn’t had the time to finalise her Bollywood projects yet. But Priyanka insists that she will be doing so very soon.
“I should be taking a decision on my next [lot of] Hindi films soon. With the next season of my TV show starting later this year, and also the work that I have to do for the Baywatch adaptation, I have limited time. But, I have received some interesting [Bollywood] offers. It’s hard to figure out which one I should not do (laughs).”
But the actor doesn’t want to reveal any names. “I’d rather talk about a film when I have made a decision about what I am going to be able to do, and not what I want to do (smiles),” she says.
Making time for India
On April 30, Priyanka attended the White House Correspondents’ dinner, where she met President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama. Before that, Priyanka was in India for a few hours to receive her Padma Shri. “Both the production teams (of her TV show and Baywatch) worked really hard to take out three days, so that I could travel to India, even though we are shooting for the season finale and all my portions for the film. They understood how important coming to India was for me,” she says.
But Priyanka admits that “they (the cast and crew members of her film and TV show) didn’t know what the Padma Shri was”. “I told them that it’s like receiving the knighthood in the UK, and that it’s the fourth-highest civilian honour in India. So, everyone was really excited for me,” says the actor.
Proud of her roots
Recently, in an interview with Esquire, Priyanka also clarified that Bollywood isn’t an “offshoot of Hollywood”. “Firstly, I don’t like the term, Bollywood, especially because of the stereotypes that come with it. We aren’t a ‘me-too’ [industry] of Hollywood. We are the Hindi film industry, and we are proud to be one of the most prolific [film industries] in the world. We make about 900 films a year, if regional films are also included. So, we need to have our own identity. And that’s exactly what I meant [in the magazine article] when I said, ‘Please don’t stereotype us (Indian actors)’,” she says.
Priyanka states that she is “a Hindi film actor”. She adds, “We have the ability to stand in front of any camera, in any country or on any stage, and to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with talented people from any part of the globe.”