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Confidence is self taught: Priyanka Chopra gets real on London Real


The actress occupied the central spot on the famed podcast by Brian Rose, talking about her rise as a model, confidence issues, and her opinions.

Shriram Iyengar

The fascination about Priyanka Chopra's rise as India's global face is only increasing in the Western media. The actress certainly proved her credentials for it on Brian Rose's London Real show. The actress spoke about a number of topics ranging from her career as Miss World to her work ethic, and the need for stronger women characters.

Starting with her surprising turn as Miss World, Chopra revealed that she actually wanted to be an engineer, and that her mother had sent in pictures to the contest without telling her. She said on receiving the call from the organisers, "I didn't know where that came from till mum broke the news to us."

One of the reasons for her success at the event, Chopra revealed, was her confidence. "Confidence is not something you are born with. It is a skill set," the actress added, "As a child, I had very low self esteem... Growing up in America, I was made conscious about being Indian."

However, the actress added that her 'inherent competitiveness' forced her to 'fake it' till she made it. "I decided I am not gonna let anyone see that I am scared. Over time I realised, that as a woman, in this world, if I allow myself to be hurt, or affected, that's all I am going to be." The Quantico star finished the statement by saying, "It's not easy being a woman in show business."

The actress attributed her rise to a mix of destiny and hardwork. Explaining her statement, she said, "I was always creative in school, but didn't know what to do with it. I used to write, I used to do plays, but my aspirations were never creative...and now that I've found this vocation, I am producing, I write columns, my creativity comes out in whatever way it can. Somehow something guides you... I believe in that."

Despite her faith, the actress warned against complacency. She said, "You have to be able to recognise opportunity...you have to seize the day, and work bloody hard."

The actress also proved why she is considered the face of Indian cinema abroad when she launched into a defense against the usage of the term 'Bollywood'. "I hate it," said the actress, before saying "It's a misunderstanding that we are just people who break out into random song and dance without any context." Chopra went on to explain how, despite the presence of songs in films, the screenplay continues to move.

Speaking about the success of Quantico overseas, Chopra said she had clearly outlined to ABC, her producers, that she wanted to pick roles that 'were so much more than my ethnicity'. The actress admitted that she was nervous about the reactions that might come in to an Indian girl playing an 'American hero', but said "that doesn't matter...The success of Quantico showed us that."  

As a producer, Chopra has been pushing boundaries herself. A staunch feminist, she has championed the cause on several platforms, however, she said it would be 'unfortunate' if female producers were needed to continue the cause. "I think feminism needs men...who have the courage to stand by the women in their lives."

Giving an example of her role in Baywatch, which was written for a man, Chopra said, "That's what you need. You need filmmakers like that, and these are all men." She added Dwayne Johnson, her co-star, was extremely excited about turning this character female, along with a number of lifeguards in the film. Raising an important point, she asked, "Think about how much money, box office wise, films that are led by boys do, compared to films that are led by females?" adding, "That just shows you where society is."

Going by her quotes, Chopra is really making her point. No wonder she is racking up more fans every minute.