Priyanka Chopra – arguably Bollywood’s most important global icon – has made it big in Hollywood. But even the former Miss World isn’t privy to discrimination.
On various occasions, the Quantico star has opened up about her racist experiences in the international film industry.
Now, in a recent interview to Instyle Magazine, the actor recounted how she was once denied a role in a movie simply because of the colour of her skin.
The Baywatch starlet was asked about how Hollywood is treating her when it comes to equal pay for men and women belonging to a different races. Recalling an incident from last year, Priyanka said, “I was out for a movie, and somebody from the studio called one of my agents and said, ‘She has the wrong—what word did they use?— physicality’.”
She added, “So in my defence as an actor, I’m like, ‘Do I need to be skinnier? Do I need to get in shape? Do I need to have abs?’ Like, what does ‘wrong physicality’ mean? And then my agent broke it down for me. Like, ‘I think, they meant that they wanted someone who’s not brown.’ It affected me.”
Priyanka is the first South Asian actor to bag a lead role in an American television show. The actor has graced the covers of almost all famous magazines and attended big award functions such as the Emmys, the Oscars and the Golden Globes. She also made her Hollywood debut opposite Dwayne Johnson in 2017, as a villain in Baywatch.
Priyanka also shed light on the pay disparity between genders and how it’s different in Bollywood and Hollywood. “In America, we don’t talk about it as brashly, whereas in India the issue is not skirted around,” she said. “I’ve been told straight up, if it’s a female role in a movie with big, male actors attached, your worth is not really considered as much.”
However, she noted that even with all the shyness about not discussing the pay gap issue outrightly in Hollywood, producers still manage to do what they wanted to in the first place.
The actor also talked about how her parents raised her in a feminists’ paradise of a home. “I grew up in an environment where a woman led the household… He (my father) was man enough to say, ‘Listen, my wife does this way better than me.’ And nobody even questioned it. So when I came out into the big, bad world of entertainment, I was like, ‘Oh, well the world’s different from my house!’” she said. As for her own finances, she stated, “I’m actually really careful with my money. I’ve earned it with a lot of hard work.”
This goes back to her financially savvy mother, who still has Priyanka’s first modelling paycheck framed. “When I was 16 or 17, I was just about to start working and I got one modelling job. I got a check, and my mom was like, ‘There’s no way in the world I’m cashing this.’ I was very proud,” continued Priyanka.
While she sometimes gets a little too carried away while shopping, Priyanka admits that her mother still has access to her credit card statements and will lift an eyebrow after a particularly extravagant purchase.
“I burn a little bit of plastic if I’m feeling emotional,” she says, chuckling. “And when I mean burn plastic, I don’t go, like, shopping at Saks,”—she pauses—“I’ll buy a car.”
Quantico’s new season will air on April 26 on ABC. Priyanka will also be seen in supporting roles in A Kid Like Jake and Isn’t It Romantic?Moreover, rumour has it that the starlet will be making a huge Bollywood comeback as she reunites with Salman Khan in his upcoming project Bharat.
Source: The Express Tribune