People have to like you for who you are. You can't be someone else: Priyanka Chopra

Speaking to LinkedIn as one of the major influencers on social media, Chopra spoke about the difficulty of being an innovator, terming her legacy as that of 'swimming upstream like a trout'. 

Shriram Iyengar

As someone with a global presence on social media, Priyanka Chopra is a major influencer and LinkedIn believes so, too. The actress was speaking to the LinkedIn network about her journey as an artiste and entrepreneur, and touched upon some important points – the risks of being an innovator, the pay disparity in cinema, and the reason for her turning producer. 

Speaking about being an innovator, Chopra said, "You have to. See, what is the choice... that you walk a path like everyone else, dressed in suits, go to work, come back, never have a legacy. Or you swim upstream like a trout. and whatever you achieve is yours. I would rather have something that is my path, paved by me."

The actress said it is important to be true to oneself, in any business. She said, "People call it arrogance, I call it selfish-orance, but I am who I am, you like it... great. You don't like it, I don't care. So, whether I am coming to America, or whether I go to India,I am always true to just who I am... people have to like you, or relate to you, for who you are. You can't be someone else."

As a producer, and an entrepreneur, she spoke on another important issue that has been raging in the industry – pay disparity. She said, "I don't think it's a film industry thing. It is definitely not just an Indian film industry thing. It is a global thing. Not just movies, the pay disparity that happens between men and women is massive even in businesses. Somehow, professional men are given not just remuneration, but compensation for what they do much more than women are."

The actress added that the discrimination is inexplicable, but the increase of discussions about the issue is leading to change. Chopra attributed the pay disparity to the box-office draw rather than societal stereotypes. She said, "An Aamir or Salman on a poster ensures Rs300 crore for the film. We have just about touched Rs100 crore for Tanu Weds Manu, I think. Mary Kom reached about Rs80 crore. Businesswise, the day female-led films command that kind of money [Rs300 crore], we will get paid that much." 

While the issue rages, Chopra has newer peaks to scale. As a producer with Purple Pebble Pictures, she has received rave reviews for her first venture, Ventilator, a Marathi feature film, and some credit for the film might go to the actress. Chopra said, "[Selecting scripts] is the only thing that I do myself in my production company. My mom is the CFO of my company, she handles production while I am away. What scripts are picked are mine. I read them, I vet them, I see the edits. If my name is going to be on something, I have to be on board with it creatively."

The actress also let in that the studio has already started work on a Punjabi film, another Marathi film. a Hindi film, and even plans to do an English film soon.

The Quantico actress certainly has it going with her television series turning out to be a hit, and is expecting the release of her next movie, Baywatch, with Dwayne Johnson. However, she does not see a difference between working in India and America. She emphasised, "I think for me the difference was between movies and television, not India and America. I think filmmaking has the same sort of language anywhere in the world you go. [Television] is physically exhausting. Films are a little bit more languid. It was a big risk on many, many levels. I was very nervous when I did it. Especially because there was no precedent when I did it."

Regardless of the difficulty involved, Chopra is enjoying the experience. She spoke about how the entire journey in America has been an 'education' of cultures for her. She signed out with advice to entrepreneurs about being 'open'. She said, "It is scary,especially business. It is a very scary place to be. It has so many ups and downs. I remember Jimmy Ives, who works with Apple Music, gave me an advice, saying, 'To be successful, you need to be able to walk away from a deal.' You have to be able to walk away from a deal, that's when you become stronger."