The actress Priyanka Chopra, who was in India to promote her forthcoming programme Citadel, adds, “I like challenges, being simple bores me.” Priyanka is portraying a spy in the much anticipated series. Beginning on April 28, 2023, Amazon Prime Video will broadcast this Russo Brothers-produced science fiction action thriller series.
Priyanka Chopra discusses extensively about her film career’s path from the Hindi film business to Hollywood in an exclusive interview with Filmibeat. also touches on the empowerment of women.
portions of the interview.
Q. There is a lot of bias against Hindi cinema and its themes in the West. Has it undergone any changes? Has the directors’ viewpoint on you changed?
A. Since I first began working in Hollywood about ten years ago, a show like this has fallen on my shoulders. So, yeah, I believe that filmmakers’ perceptions of me, Indian cinema, and Indian artists have changed, and I believe that OTT is a major contributing factor. I believe that streaming has drastically reduced global distance. We use subtitles to watch a variety of media. Filmmakers will be left behind if they don’t adapt to the changes in the entertainment industry that have occurred over the past several years.
Q. You brought up worldwide content. What place does Indian material have? Do you recently have someone’s work that you’ve admired when watching Indian content?
A. I enjoy watching films. I consume Indian media. I watch each film starring Rajkummar Rao. He has a lot of my support. I believe Indian cinema has advanced significantly, and we are now a global force. The world is aware of our business, our films, and our material. There were hardly any Indian or South Asian people when I first began working in the West. Nowadays, I meet a lot of people at parties.
I’ve just started throwing Oscar parties exclusively for South Asian performers. And I can’t even express how emotional this is right now. I got to know a lot of actors and directors who have been working in Hollywood for years, either trying to break into the industry or playing supporting roles. We now number 200 to 300 and have established ourselves here. As a result, travelling somewhere takes time.
After visiting, I witnessed a lot of difficulty, which is why I am aware of my responsibility for the situation I find myself in today. I want to move everyone ahead, whether they are technical employees or directors, young writers, particularly young women writers. I currently work with a production firm and produce numerous shows and documentaries. It is crucial to me that I present South Asian stories in a way that is accessible to the world. for equal space to be given to both of our stories. People shouldn’t just sit back and watch because they feel compelled to do so in this day and age. I want to make it normal. It will take time for now, but I have already begun.
Q. When you first began your career, your goals and aspirations would have been different. You serve as an example for many people today. What goals and aspirations do you currently have?
A. Perseverance, in my opinion, is crucial. I started when I was between 17 and 18. I used to dream of getting a nice role in a movie, a good co-star, the chance to dance to a good song, and a good costume. Your goals and aspirations may start off being rather modest, but they will inevitably grow. My goals are pretty high at the present. I want to alter how people in other countries view Indian talent.
I hope to share and showcase more international stories from South Asia and our country’s diaspora in the future. I wish to see more Indian filmmakers working on worldwide projects and telling global stories. I would want to see huge studios and producers create Hindi-language entertainment that is accessible worldwide. I have so always had higher aspirations than I currently have. Mere pair hamesha chadar se bahar hote hain will be my only Hindi phrase. I believe that if you aim high, you will still be high even if you don’t achieve it. I therefore have lofty goals and am optimistic that I will be able to at least partially realise some of them.
Q. You frequently discuss the empowerment of women, and you have made significant progress in this area. What else do you want to accomplish?
A. Every morning when you wake up, you ask yourself, “How can I create another opportunity?” I’m doing everything I can to help. I have a strong sense of sisterhood. When girls succeed, it makes me very happy. Being a small-town girl, I have seen many of my friends, family members, and other ladies that I have met who had their wings clipped at a very young age and who did not have the opportunities or choices that my family provided me. This inspires me so much. As a result, whenever a woman steps forward, I always advise passing your hand to invite another lady to do the same. That has always been my goal.
I collaborate frequently with female writers, producers, and directors. I frequently reflect on how fortunate I am, or we are, to have relatives who provided us this chance. There are many ladies who are just as talented and attractive as we are, and even if their wants may be just as intense as ours, they were born in a different environment. The glue that keeps the family together is a woman. Giving your daughter the chance to be independent will enable her to ensure the prosperity of not just her family but also the neighbourhood. Therefore, it’s crucial that we teach our sons and daughters the value of advancing women and providing them with chances.
Q. We have seen you in Bollywood films performing action and stunts, and you look wonderful in Citadel. Do you take on action scenes and stunts as a challenge or do you like executing them?
A. Citadel was incredibly challenging to shoot because it took us a year and a half. A movie can be made in as few as 60 to 90 days. As a result, it’s critical that you maintain physical fitness. We shot the stunt sequence for 12–12 hours a day as we were performing it. It is crucial to focus on your physical health, how you stay warm or avoid injury, as well as how you recall your choreography in such a setting. I have never had training and am not a true spy or combatant; I have only learned this for work purposes. I now adore acting in action because I have done it in numerous Bollywood movies and I am very self-assured. I’m kind of excellent at it, it’s what I enjoy doing, and it fits into my wheelhouse. I therefore don’t feel intimidated when I enter a set. Sure, I can train. (Laughs) Then I start looking for projects that make me nervous. I enjoy difficulties. I like looking for work that makes me feel a little nervous.
Q. What is the one motivational or driving force that keeps you going constantly at this point in your career?
A. I have collaborated with some of Bollywood’s top actors and filmmakers. I had the opportunity to play several different characters. However, I haven’t yet had the chance to do it in Hollywood. I want to establish my artistic reputation there as well. In the following ten years, I expect to be able to accomplish the same there.
Q. The Russo Brothers have acknowledged that James Bond is a major inspiration for Citadel, but this is not the only thriller Bond has served as an inspiration for. Do you worry about comparisons? What distinguishes Citadel?
A. There are numerous spy-verses, including those found in the Bond series, Mission Impossible, and other works. I believe that as a species, we find the concepts of espionage, intelligence, deception, and spies to be fascinating. Since many people enjoy watching television, this is likely why these shows have done so well. You can make analogies if you want, but Citadel is a totally different show in my opinion because it is truly international. All of the films I’m mentioning take place in various nations, but this show’s premise is that everyone has opted to pool their brains. Citadel therefore has no loyalty to any nation. Because it is present everywhere, we are able to tell stories everywhere. Because of this, there is an Indian franchise, an Italian franchise, and possibly many more. Therefore, it has never been tried before. It’s not just about one spy; there are spies everywhere. Espionage is a global phenomenon.
Q. Citadel is an international series that depicts a distinct planet. How demanding and difficult was it for you to behave in such a huge environment?
A. It was challenging, but I enjoy challenges. I believe I have been doing this for so long that I will grow bored if it becomes too easy. and dislike being idle. When I get at work, I prefer to be motivated. I want to be excited when I get up in the morning and drink my coffee. I need time to reflect about my actions. This show is really difficult on a physical, emotional, and other level.
Q. You claimed that you struggled for ten years in Hollywood and that you still have a long way to go. What do you think about your struggles and how do you see them?
A. Everyone has ups and downs, in my opinion. You are a few of your mistakes and some of your choices. A person is defined by what they do after failing. Everyone fails, but what will you do then? Nobody can assist you if you choose to remain passive and declare that you failed. However, you must locate the capacity and the courage within yourself to declare, “I’ll move forward one step at a time.” Therefore, I believe that difficulties make people stronger.
Q. What does it feel like to be a part of such a successful worldwide franchise that will represent India so well, especially with Varun Dhawan having his own film?
A. I am really happy. I am eagerly anticipating the Indian episode. I’m not particularly knowledgeable about it. I only have a basic understanding of history and other things, but Varun recently gave me a brief introduction when we met at an event. And he said that they are currently filming. Since I much love Raj and Dk and think their work is very amazing, I was informed that they would be contributing some very cool skills to the India show. You’ve never seen anything like it before.