I Want Alex Parrish to Break Into a Dance: Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra talks about her crossover to mainstream American television and films. 

Updated
Entertainment
5 min read
Priyanka Chopra talks about her journey so far. (Photo: Reuters)

When Anupama Chopra asked Priyanka Chopra if she did any house chores living in New York shooting for her American TV Series, Quantico, Priyanka announced, “Listen, I’m a princess!”

It’s exactly like Bombay for me. I’ve got my staff, my cook’s here, my valet is here. I have a mirror image of my team in India, to my team here. So my life stays the same. It’s a well oiled machinery. Every single person is substituted here.
Priyanka Chopra, Actress

While in New York, journalist and film critic Anupama Chopra, spent a day in the life of Priyanka Chopra. During the interview, the actress also opened up on breaking away from the typical way Indians are stereotyped on the global media platform.

Priyanka Chopra talks to Anupama Chopra. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9EKYKQWo5A">Youtube/FilmCompanion</a>)
Priyanka Chopra talks to Anupama Chopra. (Photo Courtesy: Youtube/FilmCompanion)

When asked about what she misses about home, Priyanka said:

I miss the language, I miss the dancing, I miss the music. I really want Alex Parrish to break out into a dance. I miss the familiarity of home. I’ve built a world around myself where nothing really is different.
Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka with Anupama in her New York pad. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9EKYKQWo5A">Youtube/FilmCompanion</a>)
Priyanka with Anupama in her New York pad. (Photo Courtesy: Youtube/FilmCompanion)

On breaking away from stereotypes:

Initially I had to educate people about what all I was capable of. Now Quantico is on air. People can see what I am. But they used to see me as what “Bollywood” is supposed to be. For everything, the emotions are heightened. But that’s not true. We can do anything. That struggle was very hard. I had to really break down concrete to not be that stereotype. Especially because I picked a part of an FBI agent which had nothing to do with either my ethnicity or Hindi movies. At the same time, I’m playing the part where I play the villain in the movie.
Priyanka Chopra
A  caricature created by <i>Yesyeswhynot </i>of PeeCee and her family that is put up  in her New York home. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9EKYKQWo5A">Youtube/FilmCompanion</a>)
A caricature created by Yesyeswhynot of PeeCee and her family that is put up in her New York home. (Photo Courtesy: Youtube/FilmCompanion)

When she was asked if the experience of Quantico will enable her to be a better actor in India:

No, I think the experience of all the work that I have done made me the better actor. This just gave me exposure to the world. 
Priyanka Chopra
Wall hangings in Priyanka’s New York home. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9EKYKQWo5A">Youtube/FilmCompanion</a>)
Wall hangings in Priyanka’s New York home. (Photo Courtesy: Youtube/FilmCompanion)

Is the grammar of acting the same?

No, not to me. The way I convinced Maharashtra that I was Kashibai, or in Kaminey. That same way I’m convincing America that I’m an American girl every Sunday. The language of film-making is the same. Television, that’s different. Uh, no one sent me that memo. It’s so hard. The speed is insane. 
Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka shows Anupama her home. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9EKYKQWo5A">Youtube/FilmCompanion</a>)
Priyanka shows Anupama her home. (Photo Courtesy: Youtube/FilmCompanion)

On being the first Indian star to truly cross over into mainstream America:

What I did differently (is), I stood my ground. I did it on my terms. I didn’t go looking for it. It came to me. The VP (of Quantico) thought I could be the talent that does cross-over. The way I speak. The way I look. Just who I am. And (they) decided to curate and create a show for me. I told them ‘I’m used to being the face on a poster. If you can get me that I’ll do the show. And I don’t want to do my big fat Punjabi wedding. I don’t wanna do whatever would stereotype us.’ And to their credit they found me that. 
Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka drives to the studio to shoot an episode of  <i>Quantico.</i> (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9EKYKQWo5A">Youtube/FilmCompanion</a>)
Priyanka drives to the studio to shoot an episode of Quantico. (Photo Courtesy: Youtube/FilmCompanion)
Even with Baywatch. I shot Baywatch exactly the way I shot Bajirao Mastani. Which was on the weekends of Quantico. Paramount and ABC sat down together and figured out my schedule. I don’t know how it happened. They literally shot me out when Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson were on set. They were always on my angle. They were always on my shots because I was the one who had to leave the next day. And they would shoot them after I’m gone. I’ve worked for that many years. I have a certain respect in the films that I do. And I have to respect the audience that’s put me there. So if I ever do something, I don’t want to settle. I never settled. 
Priyanka Chopra
Anupama shows a clipping from <i>Bajirao Mastani </i>to Priyanka. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9EKYKQWo5A">Youtube/FilmCompanion</a>)
Anupama shows a clipping from Bajirao Mastani to Priyanka. (Photo Courtesy: Youtube/FilmCompanion)
Priyanka talks about the ‘Om bracelet’ that gives her character Alex, her “Indian-ness”. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9EKYKQWo5A">Youtube/FilmCompanion</a>)
Priyanka talks about the ‘Om bracelet’ that gives her character Alex, her “Indian-ness”. (Photo Courtesy: Youtube/FilmCompanion)

On Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor’s debut in Hollywood:

I want to see what happens, first of all. I hope all the actors, whoever come here see the notoriety and the popularity that I have achieved or reached. I hope that happens to them because it’s unbelievable when it happens in another country. When you walk out and you have like people who don’t look anything like you, coming up and knowing you. And I hope that happens to Deepika and Sonam. Because they’ve signed up. 
Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka gives her ‘Alex Parrish’ look. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9EKYKQWo5A">Youtube/FilmCompanion</a>)
Priyanka gives her ‘Alex Parrish’ look. (Photo Courtesy: Youtube/FilmCompanion)

On why women from Bollywood are making their way:

But why women? I feel, America suddenly sat up and said, ‘Oh, this is a great business module. To take an international superstar and put them into something. It just elevates the popularity.’ Because today it’s not about domestic, it’s all about entertainment. It’s global. So now everyone wants that. But the women. Because we are beautiful. The exotic, Indian beautiful girl. It’s an easier fit. I mean I’ve gone to the left and decided never to do it. I did a show which is on my shoulders. I’m doing a movie in which I’m not the side-chick. I’m the main villain of the movie. 
Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka in a tell-all reveals how she didn’t settle for anything less than what she deserved. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9EKYKQWo5A">Youtube/FilmCompanion</a>)
Priyanka in a tell-all reveals how she didn’t settle for anything less than what she deserved. (Photo Courtesy: Youtube/FilmCompanion)
I like my terms a little bit. The exotic, gorgeous pretty girl in amazing clothes is so the fit of where people tried to put me. And I hope that doesn’t happen to anyone else. Because it’ll really ruin all the work I’ve done. We need to stand as a force to reckon with. Because our industry is that. Our industry is one of the most prolific in the world. And we need to not be afraid to stand our ground on our feet and say, ‘I’m not settling.’ And I hope Indian talent comes here and does that. And I hope me being in the position that I’m in can give them the confidence to do it. 
Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka in her make up room with Anupama. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9EKYKQWo5A">Youtube/FilmCompanion</a>)
Priyanka in her make up room with Anupama. (Photo Courtesy: Youtube/FilmCompanion)

More power to you, PeeCee!

Watch Priyanka Chopra’s interview here:

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