Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
Bollywood Career, Krrish, Don
Currently Known For:
Some people just seem to have everything working in their favor. Priyanka Chopra is one of those people, as she combines brains, beauty and talent all in one package, and it’s helped to make her an international superstar.
Chopra was born on July 18, 1982 in Jamshedpur, India, and attended several different schools while growing up. Eventually, she would end up in the United States when she was a teenager for a few stops before she came back to India to finish high school. Chopra said that it wasn’t easy growing up, as there were bullies and that those of all races would torment her for being from India.
“You know when you’re a kid, and you’re made to feel bad about where your roots are, or what you look like?” She said. “You don’t understand it, you just feel bad about who you are…I told my mom, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.” When she made her return to India, Chopra became a pageant contestant despite not feeling as confident about herself during her times in the United States. She quickly gained notoriety in India, but had long term plans to become an engineer.
However, while she was in college, Chopra would end up winning the Miss World competition in 2000 that had producers requesting her for films and television shows. Chopra looks back on her time as a pageant winner, saying that “I had to defend it a lot (as an actress)…I was very empowered when I did Miss India and when I won Miss World…I got to do so much good for the world. It made me stronger and more articulate. It made me an orator, it made me confident. I think it set me up actually as a powerful woman.”
It was in 2003 that Chopra made her film debut in Bollywood in “The Hero: Love Story of a Spy” as one of the lead actors. Over the next couple of years, Chopra would appear in a series of films, but wasn’t finding much critical success.
During this time, Chopra was finding more success as a singer, being signed by Universal in 2011 and releasing her first single in 2012 with “In My City”. The next year, she collaborated with Pitbull for the song “Exotic”, and has released a few other singles that have reached the top of the charts in India while finding moderate success in other countries.
After a few years of films that were mainly panned by critics, Chopra would opt for roles that took her out of her comfort zone that included “Kaminey” and “What’s Your Raashee?” While she was very well known in India, not many people knew of Chopra outside of her native country. She would have a few hits that would gross well overseas, but it was in 2015 that Chopra decided to come back to the United States where she was cast as the lead in the ABC series “Quantico”.
Chopra made history by becoming the first woman from South Asia to land the lead role in a primetime series, and “Quantico” would last for three seasons and around 50 episodes before being cancelled in May 2018. It didn’t last long, but Chopra did receive recognition for her work, winning a pair of People’s Choice Awards with one for Favorite New Actress and Favorite Dramatic TV Actress.
While “Quantico” was running in the United States, Chopra was still starring in Indian films, and her new global name recognition would help to enhance the performance of her films in Bollywood. That didn’t mean that she was done with films in the United States, either, as she landed her first role in a Hollywood movie in 2017 with the film adaptation of “Baywatch” as the antagonist.
Chopra then followed that up in the United States with the independent film “A Kid Like Jake” with co-stars Claire Danes and Jim Parsons. She’s trying to set a new precedent in Hollywood, saying that “There are so many Indian actors who have crossed over, and have done a lot of work in the west, but they’ve always been made to speak like Apu (from ‘The Simpsons’). I want to be able to break the stereotype of what Indian people or people of South Asian descent are supposed to be. Nobody’s supposed to be anything. You can be whatever you want. And I want young people to see that.”
Now, she’s a popular name among Hollywood producers who’ve cast her in several upcoming movies, and will also have her produce a sitcom that will allow her to return to ABC. The 35 year old combines a talent for acting, singing, writing and still somehow finds time to be a philanthropist, making her one of the most well rounded celebrities out there. Even if she isn’t an A-lister just yet in the United States, she’s been a megastar in India for a very long time.