If there is one Indian actor who has truly become global, it is Priyanka Chopra. The actress-producer, after starring in several hit Bollywood films, moved to Hollywood and has since played the lead in a mainstream series and also seen in several films. From being the global Unicef Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights to producing films, she has ventured into new territories too.
Priyanka is back to Bollywood after three years and busy promoting her upcoming film - The Sky is Pink. The film, directed by Shonali Bose, also stars Farhan Akhtar, Zaira Wasim and Rohit Saraf. The actress is starring in it and has also co-produced the film, which is releasing on October 11.
During a group interaction in Mumbai, she says, “I am feeling good about coming back to India, shooting and promoting a film. I couldn’t do Bollywood post Jai Gangajaal because I was busy shooting for Quantico which took 11 months to shoot. After finishing the series, I wanted to do a Hindi film next and started reading scripts. I found the script of The Sky is Pink very real with real characters,” she says, adding that the script touched her heart.
“I have portrayed a real character before — Mary Kom, who is an iconic personality and pride of the country. Coming to my character in The Sky...I play a parent. It’s a small film, we have made it with a lot of love and have been protective about it,” she says.
The Sky is Pink tells the story a couple played Priyanka and Farhan and how they deal with their ailing daughter. It’s based on the life of young author and motivational speaker Aisha Chaudhary (played by Zaira Wasim), who is diagnosed with Pulmonary fibrosis.
Priyanka feels that each one of us has gone through some kind of emotional phase, which we are not comfortable talking about because it’s difficult. “We know that death is a reality. Everyone has to go through it, it will happen to me and you. Personally, I have dealt with the loss of my father and grandfather. Having said that, this film gives a very interesting perspective about life. We need to celebrate life, give attention to our parents, loved ones and appreciate them before it’s too late. We get so busy with our day-to-day life that we forget to tell the people around us how much we love them,” she says.
The film has already appealed to the audience. Sharing an incident, she says, “When we screened it at Toronto International Film Festival, a lot of people told me after watching it, ‘We feel like calling our family’.”
Priyanka has an advice for people to deal with their loss or bad phase.
“We need to allow ourselves to feel that phase. Most of the times, when something bad happens, we are told to get over it and move on but till the time we do not feel and accept that pain or situation, we cannot move ahead. That acceptance is very necessary. Bad things happen with everybody and we need to face them because they teach us something or the other,” says the actress who has played pivotal roles in several Hollywood films including Baywatch, in which she played the baddie, A Kid Like Jake and Isn’t It Romantic.
Priyanka is known for her courage and the way she has made her space not just in Hollywood but among international media too. The actress credits her parents for her courage. “Both my parents always harped on the fact that one should have guts, specially girls. The world always marginalises a girl, we are told to be or behave in a certain manner. Our dreams are only limited to our marriage. My parents have always told me, ‘If you have an opinion or you think something is wrong, speak up. Never suppress your voice.’ I have learnt to speak up,” she laughs. She also shared that she is writing her memoir — Unfinished — as she considers her journey unfinished. “The book, hopefully will be out next year in India, UK and USA,” she says.
When asked how she deals with the criticism about her, she says that she never cares about people’s opinions about her personal life. “When the opinion is about my work and people say that I have done bad work in a film, then I get affected. I am not a politician that I owe an explanation about my life to anyone. I am an actor and my job is to make films, entertain people and nothing more. I always try to write, do good work and lead a positive life so that I can inspire others,” she adds.
As the conversation moves towards her marriage with singer-actor Nick Jonas and how her life has changed after that, she says, “I have become very nice. My husband is very calm, he likes peace. I get hyper sometimes but I have learnt to be calmer now,” she adds.
Among her upcoming projects, the actress has joined Netflix action fantasy feature We Can Be Heroes, which is written, directed and produced by Robert Rodriguez. She will soon start shooting for another project for the same digital platform titled The White Tiger, which is an adaption of a book and stars Rajkummar Rao.