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'I like masala films and Baywatch is in that zone'

By Yoshita Singh/PTI
Last updated on: May 29, 2017 17:56 IST
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'My career is never dependent on somebody else's career at all, ever.'
'Whether somebody else's film does well or not, what has that got to do with me?'

Priyanka Chopra says her career has never been dependent on somebody else's success or failure and instead, she chooses to focus on her films.

Priyanka is gearing up for the release of her first Hollywood movie, Baywatch, which will hit Indian theatres on Friday, June 2.

Earlier this year, her contemporary actress Deepika Padukone also made her Hollywood debut with XXX: Return of Xander Cage, but the film did not do as well as it was expected to at the Indian box office.

Asked if she feels the pressure with Baywatch now, Priyanka tells PTI, "My career is never dependent on somebody else's career at all, ever. It is very solitary."

"Whether somebody else's film does well or not, what has that got to do with me?"

"It's my next film so the stakes are high since I haven't done a movie after Jai Gangajal," she says.

Baywatch, based on the 1990s television series of the same name, also features Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Zac Efron and Alexandra Daddario.

Priyanka plays the villain, Victoria Leeds, and the actress says she had a lot of fun playing the character.

"I don't see it (Baywatch) as my 'first' film. I've been an actor for many years. I have done a lot of movies and now I am being introduced to a different audience. I don't see it as 'Oh my God! My Hollywood film is coming'."

"I loved doing the film as it's such a big tent pole movie, that's totally my kind. I like masala films and this is in that zone. I really wanted to do this first (Baywatch kind of film) and have a role in it which is different."

"I didn't want to play just a girl in the film. This gave me an edge."

The role she is playing, Priyanka reveals, was originally written for a "big male actor."

"It was written for a very big male actor, but I think Seth Gordon (the director) really liked the idea of Dwayne having a gender antagonist."

"He has done a lot of male villains who he can crush in one punch. What will he do with a girl? The director found that very interesting," she says.

Priyanka feels "huge stereotypes" still exist in the West about the Indian film industry and it will take more actors from India in mainstream parts to gradually break such long-held notions.

"There are huge stereotypes about India, about Hindi films. There is a lot more awareness now that Hindi movies are such a big industry, but the stereotypes still exist," Priyanka adds.

People in the West expect Indian actors to not know English, the Quantico star said, even not know acting and just expect them to get up and dance.

"Those are stereotypes you have to fight all the time. I guess it will only come with educating people and having them see Indian actors in mainstream parts, (to make them aware) that we can do this."

"There is no putting us in a box. But it is going to be a struggle. There is so few of us."

Seeing her in Quantico, she believes, prompted people to then watch her Hindi films.

"I think they get an understanding that Hindi films are not just about breaking into random song and dance," she says.

"I believe that in the business where there is demand, there will always be supply. Audiences and people who watch and consume entertainment need to be open to seeing all kinds of people in iconic parts and not just certain kind of actors or people who look a certain way."

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Yoshita Singh/PTI in New York
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