More untagged pic Priyanka at HT Most Stylish Award
Untagged Priyanka at HT Most Stylish Award
Priyanka Chopra Interview with Starweek
Priyanka Chopra adds yet another jewel to her crown as her latest release Gunday sets the box-office on fire. Claiming that she is “one of the most competitive people ever”, the stunning actress also asserts that she doesn’t feel threatened by her peers as she is in a secure place in her career. StarWeek reports
By EEPSITA GUHA
If confidence had a face, it would look a lot like Priyanka Chopra. The girl is confidence personified – no two ways about that. After all, it is her sheer belief in her talent that has seen her become one of the top actresses of B-town. Couple this remarkable confidence with her steely determination to excel in whatever she does and you’ve got a winner. No wonder then success hardly ever eludes our PeeCee darlin’. As the gorgeous actress tastes success yet again with Gunday, she opens up to StarWeekabout the film, her passion for her work and her innate competitive streak. Excerpts:
Gunday was always touted to be a big hit and what made it even more special was the fresh pairing of you with Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor. So how was the experience of working with the two?
It was great working with both of them. Arjun and I have known each other for too long. We have been friends since I had just joined films. He was an AD on Salaam-e-Ishq and I was acting in it. So that’s where we met. Plus, we also had a lot of common friends because we’re in the same age group and same circle. So we used to go for lots of movies and parties and knew each other really well. On the other hand, I got to know Ranveer only now because of this film. It was great working with both of them because they both are such good actors and have such positivity to them. Plus,Gunday is the quintessential Hindi movie. We’ve grown up on these kinds of movies and you don’t get to do them anymore. So all three of us were very excited about doing it.
While you’ve been in the industry for over a decade now, Ranveer and Arjun are relatively new actors. So do you see it as a compliment that directors are pairing you with the newer crop?
I don’t know why all those actors who are paired with younger girls don’t get asked these questions. Why is it that only actresses get asked this? Honestly, I just think that if people look good together, they should be cast together. If it’s looking odd, then they shouldn’t be cast together. If a senior actor looks like a dad to the girl he is romancing, then he shouldn’t be cast with her. But if he is looking good with the girl, then why not ya? So I think directors have that kind of vision. Ranveer, Arjun and I are anyway in the same age group. So there is no disparity as such in age. Yes, there is disparity in experience. So I think it’s cool. If they were 16, then it would’ve been awkward (laughs). But they are not, so it’s okay.
Apparently, director Ali Abbas Zafar and you had many look tests and finally, your Bengali look in the film was modelled on your mother. True?
Yeah, I was always very fascinated with my mother because she was the seventies’ flower child. She used to wear those bell bottoms and knotted blouses. So I did that in the film. And then when she had gone to medical school, she used to wear these cotton saris, a bindi and would tie her hair in a braid. So when she left her hair loose, they would have these curls from the braid. My dad used to tell me that he used to go to the hospital only to look at her and then he realised that all other patients also used to do the same (laughs). So I wanted Nandita to have that aura. I wanted her to be graceful and poised but at the same time, she is a tough chick who can take on the boys. That’s why I modelled her on my mom. I wore Dhakai saris, which were bought locally in Kolkata. So the budget of my costumes was very little, trust me (laughs). Ali and I tried different looks like in salwar kurtas and all. But it didn’t work for us. I think the saris made for a beautiful look.
With Gunday, you have yet another hit in your kitty. Having spent over 10 years in the industry, had you ever expected your career to reach such highs?
I didn’t think that I’d even become an actor. I was supposed to be an engineer with thick chashmas, hiding behind my books. I don’t even know when I became an actor and how it all happened. My nature has always been such that if you give me something, I will do it really well. This has been the case with me ever since my school days. So God gave me acting and then I was like, abhi main isko karke hi dikhaoongi (laughs). Then music happened and again I was like, I’ll do this also to the best of my ability. I think that’s how it has always worked for me.
Considering you’re so determined to be successful in whatever you do, you must be extremely competitive as well.
I’m one of the most competitive people you will ever meet. I can’t tell you how competitive I am. It’s like if you say that you’re going to drink a cup of coffee, I’ll say that I can drink more than you and better than you. I’m competitive to that extent. I compete with everything and everyone – boys, girls, everybody. I’m hugely competitive but it is within my own film. Because the way I see it, my career has never been defined or affected by anybody else’s growth or loss. So if any other actor is successful, I’m not more successful or less successful because of that. By God’s grace, I have consistently got good films, consistently given good performances and have consistently been a part of successful films. If I wasn’t getting good work or success, then maybe I would’ve looked at somebody else’s career and questioned kiwhy is she doing better, why is her career going so well? But I’m already doing so much and I’m very content and secure within my space. But yeah, I’m very competitive. Ask the boys, I used to compete with them also. And the thing is I’m competitive on the stupidest of things. If you play a game with me, I’ll crush you (laughs).
Lastly, your cousin Parineeti Chopra has stated that she can’t wait to watchGunday and will catch up on it as soon as she gets time. Do you also catch up on her films?
Yeah, we both always watch each other’s films and give feedback to each other. We’re family and we’re supposed to give honest feedback to each other na. I still haven’t been able to watch Hasee Toh Phasee because I was so busy with Gunday. I’m really looking forward to watching it. And we have this thing – we watch each other’s films and then give each other half an hour where we say good, bad, ugly, everything we thought about the film and the performance. We’re sisters, so we can tell each other everything. We toh comment on each other’s clothes also (laughs).
Priyanka to play politician in Madhur’s next
There were three contenders (Priyanka Chopra, Vidya Balan Kapur and Deepika Padukone) for Madhur Bhandarkar’s next Madam Jee — based around an actress-turned politician’s life. But PC has beaten the other two to the finishing line.
This will be her second film with the director after Fashion (2008). This socio-politico-thriller is about an actress who switches to politics, rises to power and the situations she faces and people she meets along the way. Madhur is known to make films inspired by real people and stories. And this one sounds like it is based on the life of Jayalalithaa (AIADMK leader and current chief minister of Tamil Nadu, fondly called Amma by her followers).
An insider says, “Madhur has never repeated his heroines. Page 3 had Konkana Sen Sharma, Chandni Bar starred Tabu, Corporate featured Bipashu Basu, Traffic Signal’s leading lady was Neetu Chandra and Kareena Kapoor played the main lead in Heroine. He wanted to work with Priyanka after Fashion. When he was writing the script of Madam Jee, the story of a strong woman’s journey through life, he pictured PC in the role. Everyone knows that in Madhur’s films, the actresses play the protagonists and that is also true of Madam Jee. It will also be a realistic film as all Madhur’s films.”
A source informs. “Currently, Madhur is in Spain for a recce, and when he returns, he will finalise PC’s dates. Though she has given her nod to the film, she is trying her best to work out the dates for this year. Priyanka is already committed to three films this year — the bio-pic on Mary Kom, Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do, and Prabhudheva’s film opposite Saif Ali Khan. So if she cannot give him this year, Madhur has decided to start his film next year, as he feels no other actress can do justice to the role.
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