Priyanka Chopra: I owe a lot to the Hindi film industry
After a three-week promotional blitzkrieg in the United States for her new single Exotic, and her first Hollywood film Planes, Priyanka Chopra is back in India.
While Exotic has clocked in over 10 million views on YouTube, the Disney animation film Planes, in which Priyanka voices the character of a pan-Asian champion plane called Ishani, is set to open in India on August 23.
Arriving two hours late for a press conference at PVR in the western Mumbai suburb of Andheri, the actress apologised for her tardiness: “I was at another press conference for Zanjeer.”
Image: Priyanka Chopra
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
'I'm Tinkerbell in my head'
Of Planes, she said, “It’s a super-cute film that you can watch with your family and friends. It is particularly special for me as its release coincides with my father’s (Dr Ashok Chopra, who passed away in June this year) birthday,” she says, her eyes clouding over briefly.
Dressed in a cropped top that showed off her encrusted navel piercing, denims, and high heels, the actress revealed that just like “every little girl wants to be a Disney princess -- Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty etc”, she always wanted to be a Disney fairy. “I’m Tinkerbell in my head.”
Ishani, she says of her part in the film, is a sexy pan-Asian plane. “When Disney came to me with the film -- this was about three years ago -- I thought it was a really exciting idea.”
Image: Ishani, Priyanka's character in Planes
'I'm a performer; I go wherever my work takes me'
The dubbing was a cakewalk. “It just took a couple of hours since we dub for Hindi movies all the time and I’m used to it.”
And the fun part is that you can turn up at work in track pants or pyjamas, she chuckled.
As for whether this is a crossover film and speculation about her moving to Hollywood, Priyanka sets the record straight.
“Everybody’s asking me if this is a crossover for me. I don’t think that’s important. I’m a performer; I go wherever my work takes me. I’ve also said in my interviews in the US that this is not a crossover for me. I don’t believe in that word.
“I owe a lot to the Hindi film industry and I’m very happy to be here. This is more like personal growth for me, an expansion of horizons.”
Image: Priyanka Chopra and Ram Charan Teja in Zanjeer
'Being called the best-dressed at my first Hollywood premiere was very cool'
Another high point of her US sojourn was being judged the most well dressed celebrity at the Los Angeles premiere of Planes.
“That was very flattering. Being called the best-dressed at my first Hollywood premiere was very cool.
“The premiere’s theme was aviator chic and I thought it’d be fun to go as my version of a pilot instead of doing the same old gown routine.”
Despite so much happening on the professional front, the most talked-about topic remains the big clash of cousins at the box office.
Image: Priyanka Chopra at the Planes premiere in Los Angeles
Photographs: Angela Weiss/Getty Images
'I was apprehensive of questions about sibling rivalry'
Her next big release Zanjeer locks horns with cousin Parineeti Chopra’s Shuddh Desi Romance, on September 6, so questions about sibling rivalry were inevitable.
A visibly peeved Priyanka responded: “She is my sister. I was apprehensive of questions about sibling rivalry. I think it’s really cheap that people are seeking out some kind of interesting controversy to write about.
“The way I see it, it’ll be a Chopra weekend. So go and enjoy the movies.”
Priyanka will fly to America again for the second leg of promotions for Exotic.
Her second big film release of the year, Krrish 3, is set for a Diwali release -- a crucial weekend that is known to bring in record-breaking opening collections at the box office.
Image: Parineeti and Priyanka Chopra
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar