Priyanka Chopra ( born 18 July 1982) is an Indian actress, singer, producer and philanthropist, and the winner of the Miss World pageant of 2000. One of Bollywood’s highest-paid actresses and most popular and high-profile celebrities, Chopra has been cited by various media outlets as the world’s sexiest Asian woman, as well as one of the most fashionable celebrities. She has received numerous awards, including a National Film Award, and five Filmfare Awards, and was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, by the Government of India in 2016. The same year, Time named her one of the “100 most influential people in the world”.Although Chopra initially aspired to study engineering or psychiatry, she accepted offers to join the Indian film industry, which came as a result of her pageant wins, making her Hindi film debut in The Hero in 2003. She later starred in the box-office hits Andaaz and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, and earned wide critical praise for her breakout role in the 2004 thriller Aitraaz. By 2006, Chopra had established herself as a leading actress of Indian cinema with leading roles in the highly successful films Krrish and Don. The 2008 drama Fashion marked a turning point in her career, earning her critical acclaim as well as the National Film Award for Best Actress and the Filmfare Award for Best Actress. Chopra subsequently gained recognition for her versatility in portraying a range of unconventional characters in films such as Kaminey (2009), 7 Khoon Maaf (2011), Barfi! (2012), Mary Kom (2014), Dil Dhadakne Do (2015), and Bajirao Mastani (2015), all of which garnered her critical acclaim and several accolades. In 2015, she began starring as Alex Parrish on the ABC drama series Quantico, becoming the first South Asian woman to headline an American network series.In addition to her acting career, Chopra is noted for her philanthropic work, and was appointed as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights in 2010. She promotes various causes such as environment, health and education, women empowerment and women’s rights, and is particularly vocal about gender equality, and gender pay inequality. Though she is reticent to discuss her personal life in public, her off-screen life is the subject of substantial media coverage. As a singer, she has released three singles. Chopra is the founder of her own production company Purple Pebble Pictures.After winning Miss India World, Chopra was cast as the female lead in Abbas-Mustan’s romantic thriller Humraaz (2002), in which she was to make her film debut. However, this fell through for various reasons: she stated the production conflicted with her schedule, while the producers said they re-cast because Chopra took on various other commitments. Her screen debut occurred in the 2002 Tamil film Thamizhan as the love interest of the protagonist, played by Vijay. A review published in The Hindu was appreciative of the film for its wit and dialogue, however it felt that Chopra’s role was limited from an acting viewpoint.In 2003, Chopra made her Bollywood film debut as the second female lead opposite Sunny Deol and Preity Zinta in Anil Sharma’s The Hero: Love Story of a Spy. Set against the backdrop of the Indian Army in Kashmir, the film tells the story of an agent and his fight against terrorism. The Hero was one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films that year, but received mixed reviews from critics. Derek Elley from Variety said that “mega-looker Chopra makes a solid screen debut.” Later that year she appeared in Raj Kanwar’s box-office success Andaaz with Akshay Kumar, again sharing the female lead (this time with the debuting Lara Dutta).Chopra played a vivacious young girl who falls in love with Kumar’s character. The Hindustan Times noted the glamour that she brought to the role; Kunal Shah of Sify praised her performance and stated she had “all the qualities to be a star.” Her performance earned her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut (along with Dutta) and a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress.Chopra’s first three releases in 2004—Plan, Kismat, and Asambhav—performed poorly at the box-office.Chopra was typically cast during this earlier period as a “glamour quotient”, in roles that were considered “forgettable” by film critic Joginder Tuteja. Later that year she starred with Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar in David Dhawan’s romantic comedy Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, which became the third-highest-grossing film of the year in India and emerged as a major commercial success.In late 2004, she starred opposite Kumar and Kareena Kapoor in Abbas-Mustan’s thriller Aitraaz. Chopra considers her first role as an antagonist, portraying Soniya Roy, an ambitious woman who accuses her employee of sexual harassment, as the “biggest learning experience of her career.” The film was a critical and commercial success, and Chopra’s performance received critical acclaim. Author Rini Bhattacharya credited her for bringing back the seductress to the silver screen.The Hindustan Times cited it as the film that changed her career significantly. A reviewer writing for the BBC said, “Aitraaz is Priyanka Chopra’s film. As the deliciously wicked, gold digging, scheming seductress, she chews up every scene she is in with her magnetic screen presence.” She won a Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role, becoming the second and final actress to win the award after Kajol (the category was discontinued in 2008). Chopra also received a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress, and the Producers Guild Film Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
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