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Rediff.com  » Movies » Priyanka Chopra: I am a big geek. I love nerdy things

Priyanka Chopra: I am a big geek. I love nerdy things

Last updated on: January 16, 2014 18:33 IST

Priyanka Chopra: I love being in front of fans

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Aseem Chhabra in New York

'I am such a hard worker. Last year when I was doing my album, I finished 40 songs. I shot five films. I released three films. And I started prep on two films. This happened within a year.'

'I am a multi-tasker. While I am doing music, I train in a gym every day and I go back and do movies.'

Priyanka Chopra, in candid conversation with Rediff.com

Priyanka Chopra came to New York City on Wednesday, January 15, to promote the next International Indian Film Awards show.

The 15th IIFA weekend is scheduled for April 24-26 in Tampa Bay, Florida.

"Standing here in the greatest city in the world, I can only say that Tampa Bay will blow you away," she promised.

Later, in an exclusive interview with Rediff.com's Aseem Chhabra, she spoke about her passion for performing on stage and how she sees her career evolving so that she is always challenged and does not get bored.

You referred to IIFA as a 'travelling caravan' which takes the Hindi movie industry across the world.

Yes, that is right. IIFA has always been grand. It was (directors, Wizcraft International) Andre Timmins and Viraf Sarkari's imagination that made it this phenomenally big show.

What I like about IIFA is that we are taken to the fans. All the other award shows they get to see on television, which is great also.

To me, Hindi movies are like an experience. I am very passionate about Hindi movies. It's like India.

Kaise explain karogey aap kissi ko ke India kya hai? I can't explain it. You have to come there.

Our movies, our food, everything is elaborate. Everything is an experience and that is what IIFA gives you.

We have been to Macau, Bangkok, London, South Africa and so many exotic countries across the world. We have such a huge audience for Hindi films.

If we made films in English we would be the biggest film industry in the world.

I think it is really cool. Who would have thought that Tampa Bay main baith ke, saari Bollywood ke stars wahan aane walle hain?

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Image: Priyanka Chopra
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com

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'I am a big geek. I love nerdy things'

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After the Miss World title, you became an actress because you wanted to act. What kind of satisfaction do you get when you perform in front of audiences?

When I became Miss World, things changed. It wasn't supposed to happen. I was in the 12th standard. I was 17 years old. I was supposed to be an engineer.

I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer and make planes.

You can still be one...

And I intend -- not to be an engineer, but I do intend to study.

I am very academic and I am a big geek.

I love books and I love nerdy things.

It's part of my 30-year plan (laughs).

When I was introduced to show business, I didn't know what part of it I was going to join. I started with modelling.

Suddenly, I became Miss World and I was doing interviews and talking about the economy of Uganda at age 17!

I was like accha, yeh bhi samaj main aana chahiye, one should talk well. So I learnt on the job.

When I got my first film, I didn't even know how to stand on a mark or how one should look at a camera, or what lighting was.

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Image: Anil Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra at the IIFA promotion event in New York.
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com
Tags: Uganda

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'Stage is such a rush'

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You obviously did not grow up in a Bollywood family.

No. My family never even came to Bombay for a holiday.

My dad was a musician. I was exposed to show business because of him. He used to do stage shows for the army wives.

I used to start his shows. From the time I was three, the first song was always sung by me.

I loved the stage. And as I discovered movies, I realised accha stage par bhi perform kartey hain Hindi film actors.

So I started doing that and it became my drug.

I love being in front of fans.

In films, you have to plan what you or your character is going to be, 10 months down the line. It takes a lot of thinking.

But stage is such a rush. I still do a lot of thinking because I like to conceptualise my act and I like doing something different in all my acts.

When you are on stage, there is no room for error. You cannot mess up.

How do you make someone stay glued to you for that entire time?

To me, as a creative person, it is phenomenal.

Even doing the music now, it is just an addition. So I am just going with the flow.

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Image: Priyanka Chopra
Photographs: iampriyanka.chopra.com

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'I want to keep doing different things'

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You have won a National Award and other awards, worked on some amazing films with a range of directors.

Why was it necessary for you to take this next step? The music, for instance.

It is not necessary at all.

Why redefine yourself at this stage of your career with the music and the Guess modelling gig?

Do you get bored with what you do?

I think I have ADD (laughs). I do get bored. I want to keep doing different things.

Even in my films, the genres that I do... I do Don and then I do Barfi.

There is action and I am looking sexy and then there was Fashion and What's Your Raashi?

I don't like to see myself as the same person in my next film.

I need something to be constantly challenging me.

And to be a newcomer, in a new country, a completely different culture and conquer that for me is a high.

I mean I don't know if I will or not, it's just been one year right now. But to me, that's cool.

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Image: Priyanka Chopra in Barfi!


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'I am so happy doing Hindi films'

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Before you, there were Indian actors and actresses who tried hard to make it in the West. They got agents and everything else.

You have to have agents. That's for sure.

But hardly anybody made it. What are you doing differently?

I did music (laughs). I don't know what I did differently. But I never pushed it.

For me, it wasn't that I have to do a Hollywood film. I am so happy doing Hindi films.

I am blessed with amazing work and incredible directors.

And now my music career, well, for a newcomer it's pretty all right. The third single is coming up.

When is that coming up?

I don't know because I am shooting the video day after tomorrow in LA (Los Angeles). We have been prepping for that.

It's going to be really nice, because this one is very special to me.

It should come out in a couple of weeks or maybe in February.

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Image: Priyanka Chopra
Photographs: iampriyanka.chopra.com

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'I am such a hard worker!'

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Is this work in LA taking time away from Bollywood?

I am such a hard worker.

Last year when I was doing my album, I finished 40 songs, out of which only 12 or so will stay.

I shot five films. I released three films. And I started prep on two films. This happened within a year.

What are we going to see you in next?

You are going to see me in Gunday. Then there is my next single.

And you will see me in Mary Kom. I start two other films this year.

Is the Mary Kom film all shot?

Yes. I mean not fully. We have one schedule of the fight scene to still shoot.

I am going back in February, so I am training too.

I am a multi-tasker. While I am doing music, I train in a gym every day and I go back and do movies.


Image: Priyanka Chopra
Photographs: iampriyanka.chopra.com

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