From Bollywood to Hollywood, Priyanka Chopra has become a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry globally. While many may know Chopra’s first ever Hollywood stint to be her role in the popular television series Quantico, few may remember her early days as an aspiring music artist. With hits like ‘In My City’ and ‘Exotic’, the star showcased her vocal talent to a global audience, before eventually focusing on her acting career in the West.
In 2015, Chopra took that leap of faith and broke into an industry that is notoriously difficult for actors of colour to succeed in. Not only did she bag a leading role in Quantico, she went on to star in major films like Baywatch and Isn’t It Romantic.
Throughout her years in Hollywood, Chopra expanded her impact beyond acting by venturing into production, creating content that not only celebrated her Indian heritage but also promoted inclusivity and representation of underrepresented communities in popular media.
In a recent podcast, the superstar actress and singer revealed the real reason behind her move to the West despite being at the peak of her acting career in Bollywood, touching upon her immigrant experience coming from India to America, her inherited burdens, and how returning to India for school prepared her for fame.
Chopra also discussed the equity of lighter skin in India, her journey with pay disparity, and the incredible evolution of Bollywood, apart from her love story with Nick Jonas.
During the candid conversation with Dax Shepherd on his popular podcast Armchair Expert, the Citadel actress revealed that she felt trapped and “cornered” in Bollywood. She was facing some opposition as people were not casting her in the movies and she also had some “beef” with people in the industry. However, her fortunes changed when her manager, Anjula Acharia, noticed the star in a music video and proposed that she try her luck in the music industry in the United States.
Chopra said that she was quick to seize this opportunity because she was eager to explore new avenues and distance herself from the challenges she was facing in the Indian film industry at the time. She shared, “I was being pushed into a corner in the industry (Bollywood). I had people not casting me, I had beef with people, I am not good at playing that game so I kind of was tired of the politics and I said I needed a break.”
She added, “This music thing gave me an opportunity to go into another part of the world, not crave for the movies I didn’t want to get but I would require to schmooze certain clubs and cliques of people. It would require grovelling and I had worked a long time by then so I didn’t feel like I wanted to do it.”
Earlier in an interview, the White Tiger actress had openly talked about how there was a time when people in the Indian film industry tried their best not to let her work. “I have had people wanting to jeopardise my career, take away from my work, make sure I wasn’t cast just because I was doing well in what I was doing,” she shared during her appearance on The Ranveer Show. Well, we all know who’s laughing their way to the bank after all these years, right?
Meanwhile, on the work front, Chopra is looking forward to the release of the Russo Brothers’ much-awaited series Citadel. It stars her as a spy along with Richard Madden. The series will stream on Prime Video from April 28. The actress is expected to return to Hindi cinema with Farhan Akhtar directorial Jee Le Zara, co-starring Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif.