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The Sky Is Pink about how not to get bogged down by death: Priyanka Chopra at FICCI FLO

After meeting with the women of FICCI FLO, the actress sat down for an interview with journalist Vir Sanghvi where she discussed her professional life and career.

Photo: Twitter/@PriyankaCentral

Sonal Pandya

Actress Priyanka Chopra flew back to India to be a part of FICCI FLO interactive session, mostly made up of women, titled ‘Challenging the Status Quo & Forging New Paths’ in Delhi on 6 August 2018. After meeting with the women of FICCI FLO, the actress sat down for an interview with journalist Vir Sanghvi where she discussed her professional life and career.

Calling her journey to America and her three-year stint on American television organic, Chopra said, "I really believe that destiny has incredible milestones for me, in my life, and I just have to make sure that I take each opportunity and make it a 100%."

She went on to say it is a smart thing to recognize opportunity as it knocks on everyone's door. The actress was filming for Gunday (2014) in India when she was approached by ABC network for a television show.

Chopra, who had studied in the US as a teenager, eventually agreed to a television deal as she also wanted to see herself represented onscreen. "My biggest pet peeve was like, to not ever see anyone on mainstream television who looked like me," she said.

After landing the lead on Quantico as the half-Indian Alex Parrish who is an FBI agent, the actress felt she could demand the kind of roles she felt she should get. So in films like Baywatch (2017) and Isn't It Romantic (2019), she plays characters that have nothing to do with her ethnicity as an Indian. "Why do we always play the sidekick?" she asked, "I wanted to play a leading lady."

Indeed, Chopra will now star in Hollywood film Cowboy Ninja Viking (2019) opposite Chris Pratt.

Chopra said that women have fewer opportunities coming their way and that is why they have to elbow each other out to go ahead. "We've been conditioned to pull each other down," the actress noted. When she entered the film industry through her wins at a beauty pageant contestant, she believed she had to do that too. But in recent years, she has realized that if she wears her confidence really well, she doesn't need to elbow anyone else out.

She is back in India to begin shooting for Shonali Bose's The Sky Is Pink. Her first day of shooting is this Thursday (9 August). In The Sky Is Pink, she plays the mother of an 18-year-old girl, played by Zaira Wasim.

She said she welcomed the challenge to play all kinds of roles. "It's a beautiful story of a child, Aisha Chaudhary who died after writing a book. She was diagnosed with severe immuno deficiency disorder, kids don't survive [that]. Her mother, her father fought to give her that survival, it's an incredible movie of dealing with death, grief and at the same time, making it a celebration of a person's life, instead of being bogged down by it," she said, adding that she is also a co-producing the film.

The actress shared that she makes a Bible for her character in each project - who she is, her backstory, etc. The character becomes her best friend as she has to act like her for the project, she stated.

Chopra joked FLO president Pinky Reddy and Sanghvi about playing them on screen and then said, "It's actually my dream to be able to play a man." She also said she would love to do a play on Broadway while discussing her perfect day in New York City.

She usually plays characters that are modern women. "A modern empowered woman who wants to value herself, the only thing she asks for, is let me make my decisions without being judged for it. That's the freedom men have experienced for so many years," she pointed out about characters like Alex Parrish.

The actress pointed out that she is often judged for her decisions, like her decision to do films like Aitraaz (2004) early in her career, but now she chooses to keep some aspects private, hinting of her rumoured relationship with American singer Nick Jonas. "My entire life, especially my personal life, everything about me is not for public consumption. 90% of my life is for public consumption, but 10% is for me. I have the right to keep that for myself," she said.