Priyanka Chopra made her Hollywood debut with the 2015 American thriller Quantico.
Priyanka Chopra, who is currently gearing up for the release of her American TV series Citadel, talks about the challenges she faced while starting from scratch in Hollywood.
In 2012, actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas forayed into Hollywood with the musical track In My City with rapper Pitbull. She followed it up with other hit tracks like Exotic and I Can’t Make You Love Me and marked her acting debut in the West with the thriller series, Quantico, in 2015. Eight years later, she is headlining another spy thriller series, Citadel, co-starring Richard Madden of Games Of Thrones fame. It sees her playing an undercover agent, Nadia Sinh, who returns to the world of espionage years after a tragic episode.
Known as a global icon, Priyanka is credited for paving the path for many Indian actors who aim to make it big in Hollywood. She is one of the very few actors from the subcontinent to have headlined shows that boast of colour-blind casting, thus carving a niche for herself in the USA. And though inclusivity, multi-ethnicity and diversity might have become important topics of conversation globally, she acknowledges the dearth of Indian faces headlining content in the West. Speaking to News18 exclusively, Priyanka says, “I do think that when we talk about representation in Hollywood, especially English language entertainment, we should have more Indian actors.”
Shedding light on the number of films produced in India every year and the prominence that Indian films enjoy at a global scale, she states, “We, Indians, are just one-fifth of the world’s population. English language entertainment travels all along the world. Why don’t we see more of us as leads? We come from one of the largest film industries in the world. We produce more than a thousand movies pan-India every year.”
So, what’s the solution to this skewed representation? “Our technicians are world class. They are hired by Hollywood to do a lot of their work. Why? Because we’re good at our jobs but yet we’re sidelined. So, we need to create more opportunities,” says the 40-year-old.
Priyanka turned a producer in India after she launched her banner, Purple Pebble Pictures. And now, she has taken it upon herself to helm stories that help Indian faces gain wider recognition in the world. “As someone who has gone abroad from India, I’m doing that as a producer myself. I’ve a first-look deal with Amazon Prime. I’m developing multiple shows with them which not only star Indian faces but also have Indian faces, including women, behind the camera like writers and directors,” she elaborates.
The actor, who is also headlining an American romantic comedy, Love Again, and action film, Heads Of State, tells us that though it has taken her a while, she doesn’t want to be deterred from fulfilling her responsibility as an Indian actor working in the West. “My dream is to be able to influx Hollywood with brown faces because I know how talented we are and how much we deserve to be on the world stage. It wasn’t easy. It has taken me ten years to be able to be the face of a poster and have equal opportunities with my male co-actors. It will take time but I’m not scared of it,” says the Baywatch (2017) and The Matrix Resurrections (2021) actor.
As per reports, Priyanka has joined hands with actor, comic and filmmaker Mindy Kaling to produce and act in a wedding themed comedy film. Confident that the upcoming years will bring about a drastic change in Hollywood as far as Indian representation goes, Priyanka beams, “I’m very hopeful that in the next five years, you will see a very changing landscape because of a lot of my colleagues, and our demands of making sure that we see a lot more faces that look like ours.”
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